Ascent of Mount Kosciuszko on 1993-10-17
|Date:||Sunday, October 17, 1993|
|Ascent Type:||Successful Summit Attained|
| Location:||Australia-New South Wales|
| Elevation:||2228 m / 7310 ft|
Ascent Trip ReportI was up early from my very uncomfortable slumber in my Ford sedan parked on a roadside in Kosciusko National Park, and I ate my breakfast, got my daypack together, and set off up the trail towards the highest mountain on the Australian continent, Mt. Kosciusko at 2228 meters (7310 feet).
The trail was actually a wide dirt road now closed to vehicles, and any 4-wheel drive vehicle could have driven right to the top. The terrain was scenic, though, and there was lots of snow everywhere, since it was still the middle of spring (here, October = April). I even crossed the Snowy River, as in "Man from. . ." I was the first one on the trail, and didn't see a soul on the whole way up as I made excellent time, arriving at the very top of all Australia at 7:45 AM.
I hung out at the summit for half an hour or so, taking pictures and looking around--there were low clouds off to the north, but it was still a nice, sunny, and cool day. Excited about my first continental landmass high point ever, I took off to the north, without a trail, to hike over a few more peaks of the Snowy Mountains. I descended to a col, climbed over rocky Muellers Peak (2120 meters), had difficulty descending it to the north due to blocky terrain, then slogged across and up some broad snowfields to the pinnacles atop Mt. Townshend (2209 meters/7247 feet), Australia's second highest peak.
This was a more impressive summit, and I lounged out and relaxed, unable to see much due to the foggy clouds blowing over the summit crest. After my rest I hiked back down Townshend the way I came up, contoured around Muellers Peak to its west (tricky and steep without a trail) as a helicopter flew over very low, and then found my way around the south edge of Muellers Peak on a trail leading northeast along a ridge.
These mountains were very similar to, say, the Presidential Range in New Hampshire--generally easy, but still high, above-timberline peaks with the occasional difficult section thrown in. The snow was no real help at all, either, but I had no problems just hiking along over it.
On Carruthers Peak (2140 m) I saw my first other people of the day, and at the summit there were a bunch of typically youthful snowboarders getting pumped for the steep run down the snowfield on the peak's southeast face. Without skis I had to follow the trail down past increasing hordes of hikers and skiers to the difficult ford over the Snowy River, and then up a steep uphill to the end of the road and my car. I had done a nice loop hike, and it was only 2 PM.
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