LOCATION: Mount Kosciuszko is the tallest mountain in Australia. Located in the Snowy Mountains of Kosciuszko National Park, it stands at 7,310 ft (2,228 m) and is part of the Australian Alps National Parks and Reserves in New South Wales, Australia. Kosciuszko National Park is open year round and is home to Thredbo, Charlotte Pass, and Perisher downhill ski resorts.
THE ROUTE: There are three routes which lead to the summit of Mount Kosciuszko; Kosciuszko Walk via Thredbo Village, Summit Walk via Charlotte Pass and Main Range Track. The routes range in distance and duration but are all fairly easy in difficulty. Colin will use the Charlotte Pass route consisting of a round trip 11.2 mile (18km) hike with 1,476 ft (450m) of vertical elevation gain. This summer only walk passes through snow gums, heath and herb elds and has extensive views of the Main Range. The trail follows the old service road to Mount Kosciuszko. After crossing the Snowy River the track climbs gradually to Rawson Pass and then reaches the summit. You can track Colin’s journey live via GPS here.
DURATION: This is a walk-up day hike and the least challenging of the Seven Summits*. The suggested time for completion is 3hrs 30min – 4hrs 30min. *Read the 8th of the Seven Summits blog to understand more about Kosciuszko.
CLIMATE: The Mount Kosciuszko Summit Walk is open during the warmer months of the year between September – May with average temperatures between 65 and 41 degrees F. However the weather in this area can be extreme and the route is occasionally covered by snow.
SAFETY: Some thirty thousand people climb Kosciuszko every year and until 1976 cars were allowed to drive just short of the final few hundred meters of pathway. The NPWS closed the road to public vehicles because of safety and environmental concerns. Park rangers still have access and are permitted to use the old service roads should an emergency occur on the mountain.
TEAM: Colin is climbing Kosciuszko with fiancée, Jenna Besaw. The plan is to drive six hours South from Sydney to the mountain, complete the hike to the summit and return to Sydney in a single day.
FIRST ASCENT: In 1840 Mount Kosciuszko was first climbed in March by the explorer and scientist Sir Paul Edmund de Strzelecki who had arrived in Sydney only a few months earlier. Mount Kosciuszko may have been ascended by Indigenous Australians long before the first recorded ascent by Europeans.
FUN FACT: Brewed from the “highest brewery in Australia,” Kosciuszko Pale Ale was named after the tallest mountain itself. Located within the Banjo Paterson Inn in the ski-resort town of Jindabyne, the Kosciuszko Brewery is a playful side-line for Malt Shovel brewmaster Dr Chuck Hahn. A renowned ski buff, Dr Hahn installed the copper-clad pub-brewery in 2009 to produce a single beer – Kosciuszko Pale Ale, an easy-drinking American style pale ale which is designed to slip down after a day on the slopes.