I’m starting 2023 off right! The first hike of the year was to keep a promise to my son to hike up Mount Kosciuszko just like his sister did at his age! We had the added treat of a little snow! Photos are at the end of this post.
I had a 3:30am start for an early drive from Sydney. My son was surprised to see so many cars on the road at night but was more excited about breakfast at Goulburn Maccas! We also stopped at Bredbo and Jindabyne for coffee and loo breaks before driving the remaining distance to Thredbo.
It was mountain bike city! It was fairly easy to park so it wasn’t crazy busy but there were plenty of bikes going up the lifts to ride down the tracks. An adventure for another time I think.
We rode the chairlift up to the start of the walk and I always find it a little nerve wracking but my son seemed to enjoy it whilst hanging on for dear life!
It was cold and misty up top. There would be no expansive views today. After a little walking we were soon removing layers and were down to tshirts. My son stopped in his tracks and said “is that…is that snow?”
It was snow. A little too far from the track (and across a cold creek!) to play in so we kept walking. I knew from other peoples instagrams that there was snow across the track further up so my son had that to keep him motivated.
Just before the first lookout we saw a huge patch of snow just off the track with some people playing on it so we headed to it, being mindful not to step on the plants.
My son plotted a path that avoided getting wet feet from the run off and couldn’t believe it when he finally stepped on the snow. It was like it wasn’t real until he could touch it! We made a tiny snowman and found a rock to make its hat, then we had a snowball fight! It was heaps of fun. We need a proper snow holiday now!
I managed to pry him away from it and carry on the walk. Despite the mist there was plenty to see. He was fascinated (as I was) by the little streams and waterfalls and the start of rivers. We even saw some baby fish in one of the bigger streams.
We could not see Lake Cootamundra from the lookout due to the mist and it started to get windy so we put on the raincoats. We soon came up upon a second snow bank that was so large you could probably ski on it! Some kids were walking up the bank then shoe-skiing down! We had a little play but decided to press on.
At the loo intersection we bumped into one of my sons classmates! What are the chances of that! He and his family had walked from Charlottes Pass which we would do next time if we came as a whole family. Would be nice to see Seaman’s Hut again and show the kids. We kept on going.
One gentleman coming down the trail warned us that the path ahead was covered in snow and was quite treacherous, but we had come prepared with hiking poles so I thought we’d be ok.
There was quite a drop off to the side and my son was a little nervous. The poles made all the difference though and we didn’t fall. There was one little girl very unprepared and I felt so sorry for her. She had tennis shoes on with no real grip and was slipping and sliding so much she ended up crawling across the ice! Poor thing. Just a quick google would have revealed the need for hiking poles or at least good grip. What made it worse was that no one in her family was helping her, at least that’s how it seemed. There was a national park ranger snow shovelling a path and it sounded like she intervened. We were powering on through with no issues whatsoever.
That said, I could see my son was a little rattled by the prospect of slipping and falling down the slope and it was playing on his mind knowing full well we had to come back the same way.
Pretty soon we reached the summit. He stood on the marker for his photo. His schoolmate caught up and they had a photo together. His dad pointed out that the chairlift doesn’t stay open forever and I googled and found we had two hours to do the return trip – which should be fine as long as the website was correct!
After taking in the view for a bit longer we high fived and headed down. My son hated the crossing of the snow, with a few tears towards the end. I gave him a hug and told him he was right to be worried as there was clearly a danger but that he did all the right things and was using his poles to steady himself and that he had stayed careful the whole way which is why he succeeded. Later I showed him a short video I took of him walking and told him he looked like a professional, that a professional would do nothing different. That sunk in and he retold the story to his mum the next day with a sense of pride.
We power walked back along the trail as neither of us wanted to walk the extra four kilometres down the hill to Thredbo. We waved goodbye to the snowman as we passed the snow patch we had played in earlier. It was lightly raining and it felt like there was a little ice in it too. We reached the chairlift with plenty of time to spare. As we rode down, the icy rain hit us harder and we reached the bottom frozen, wet and laughing silly! So much fun!
We high fived each other again then headed quickly to the cabin to check in and have a warm shower!
I felt great after this walk. It’s the first since my fall last year that I really felt like I was fit and strong. I have been trying to get back into shape and I think I’ve made a little progress! My son was tired but had plenty of energy left to head out to the local Chinese restaurant for dinner. We both slept extremely well!
I think this was well worth doing, the snow made for a different walk and gave my son a challenge that he had to work through. I love this part of the world and will return again and again!