Posts Tagged ‘Thredbo’


“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.


Today was always going to be mammoth – 3000m total climbing over 100km. Heavy rain and thunderstorms forecast for tomorrow set me this challenge – cycle to Thredbo in one day. It was a stunning day cycling in the glorious sun, steep up and steep down, under the imposing presence of Mt Koscuiszko.

Arrival in Thredbo

Arrival in Thredbo

I left just after dawn through the low hanging fog, and over a few small passes with views over the Murray River – a much smaller stream up at these heights.

Early morning mist

Early morning mist

View over the Murray

View over the Murray

A huge chicken schnitzel and 2 litres of milk later, I left Khancoban – the last piece of civilization before Thredbo. The road rose to 1000m before descending again (with lots of uphill bits too) to around 300m where it had started. At the top was the most spectacular view. Opposite, on the other side of the valley, was the ridge of the highest mountains in Australia. The sky was blue, and the air was oh, so clear. These mountains are spiritual for the aboriginal people, and I could feel why.

View of the highest mountains in Australia

View of the highest mountains in Australia

A few climbs and descents later (returning to almost the same altitude I started the day), the slog up to Thredbo began in earnest. And it was steep. I really didn’t think I would make it, with plan B camping in the last marked spot half-way up the last climb. The first 10km were the steepest, and as I continued crawling up the mountain, I realised I was going to make it. As I got higher, I entered into a spooky forest with just white, leafless trunks. Everywhere. They covered the sides of the mountains all the way to the top.

White trees

White trees

At the highest point of today

At the highest point of today

At the highest point of today

At the highest point of today

In Thredbo it was time for a dormitory room (all to myself), and a big dinner. I have deserved it. ☺