Day 9. 43km. Thredbo – Koscuiszko Mountain Retreat

Posted: December 9, 2016 in Australia, Cycling
Tags: , , , , ,

“A car can drive up,” he said, pointing up into the heavens from the Thredbo skiing village.
“If a car can do it, so can I!”
Well, I made it to the top of Koscuiszko but almost passed out from exhaustion on the way. Sitting in the camping ground down the other side, with food in my stomach, I am really content and happy.

The summit of Koscuiszko

The summit of Koscuiszko

Thredbo was a-buzz with a mountain biking event. People were scooting through the village on their mountain bikes, and discussing the different routes over dinner.

The weather forecast for Thredbo yesterday was for sun in the morning, and pouring rain in the afternoon and evening. Given that time is moving on, I decided to try to scale Koscuiszko in the morning by catching the chairlift to the top, and then walking. Well, I paid my $35, and the chairlift didn’t run. Winds of 120km/h saw to that, and so I had a complete rest day in Thredbo. The rest day included 4 hours sleep in the afternoon and 12 hours sleep at night. All ready for the ascent today.

Today’s forecast was for rain/snow in the morning (maybe) and then good weather, so I slept in, had a big breakfast, and started once the rain had stopped.

The road up the mountain was extremely steep – climbing 400m in 2 km. For the first time ever, I had to take the bike and luggage up separately which made for slow progress. I passed the mountain bikers regularly who crossed my road while doing ‘The Flow’. I staggered up to the top of one of the chairlifts to cheers from the mountain bikers.

Mountain bikers

Mountain bikers

Part of the way up the mountain

Part of the way up the mountain

Then, just in the final stretch up to the top of the highest chairlift, the mountain bikers were racing on my road, and not just crossing it. They were hurtling down at the rate of knots, and so I didn’t dare to push the bike up on the same road. Plan B was the walking path up steep stairs.

Foot path

Foot path

I got to the top, expecting an easy cycle on the footpath that goes to Mt Koscuiszko. The description of this path was ‘not steep, and a moderately easy walk.’ Well, I pushed the bike up multiple stairs, and through steep snow patches.

The top of the chairlift

The top of the chairlift

Snow over the path

Snow over the path

The last 1.5km was through some particularly steep snow.

Steep snow

Steep snow

The views from the top were spectacular. I felt like I was on the roof of the world.

View from the top

View from the top

The way down was not all down either. I read somewhere in the Internet that it is all down from Charlotte’s Pass. Well, it isn’t. I really hadn’t stopped much for food as I wanted to get down from the heights before nightfall. I was really running on empty as I descended into a valley, only to climb out the other side – over and over.

Hut

Hut

Road down to Charlotte's Pass

Road down to Charlotte’s Pass

The pristine road down

The pristine road down

I passed a camping ground as it was starting to get dark, and pulled in to call it a day. Today was fabulous – the best days are with an element of struggle. Today certainly fit that description.

Comments
  1. Eliza Waters says:

    Looks fabulous! How chilly was it at the top?

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