Today’s post is about last weekend where my family and I climbed up Mount Kosciuszko. This mountain is, in fact, the highest point in Australia sitting at 2228 meters altitude (altitude = above sea level). I am going to talk about my experience and some tips and suggestions. Some of the tips and suggestions are included within the ‘My Experience’ section so if you would like to read absolutely all of my tips and suggestions then make to read it all. Enjoy xx
This was one of the hardest things I have ever done while being one of the greatest accomplishments of my life. My family and I started in a town close by called Jindabyne. We reached the afternoon before the day of the hike. This allowed us to explore the town a little and prepare ourselves for the big day. We also spent the day chilling as a family with some games and heaps of laughter. I can honestly say that at this point in time, I still didn’t know if I wanted to climb up the mountain.
We all packed any medication and other miscellaneous items at home and on the night before the walk we packed spare clothes, snacks and finalized our miscellaneous items. By miscellaneous items I mean (for me at least) :
- Power bank
- Charging wires
- Lip Balm – Mine is an ointment so I can use it for rashes as well
- A change of clothes – Long pants, long-sleeved shirt, underwear, bra, and socks
- Wind Cheater
- Water – I like water room temperature
- Snacks – I have some protein balls from the store (therefore it was in an airtight container)
My parents packed first aid kits and their own stuff as well. The morning of the walk, after breakfast, we all packed sandwiches. I packed 2 tuna sandwiches. I was planning on eating only half of my sandwich about halfway and another half at the top but then about halfway I was too tired so I decided to eat 1 whole sandwich. This actually helped because after lunch it was all steeper and higher uphill.
We started at Charlotte Pass and did the Main Range Walk. Going up. While going up, there was a lot and I mean A LOT of snowdrift on the track so we actually had to walk through the snow for a good portion of the trek. It got to a point that it was safer, better and faster to walk/trek around the snow. I kid you not, at one point we were walking almost vertically up. We had to climb rocks, very very steep grassy areas and sometimes rocks that were covered in snow. At first, you go downhill fairly steep, then you have to cross a river (there are rocks that you walk across) then it is all uphill from there (literally). Somewhere in between there is a mesh bit where it is flat and give you a miniature break but once that is finished it is an even steeper uphill. Once at the top, we all laughed, drank water, ate some food and celebrated. After a break and photos, we all walked back together…ish.
On the way back we used the Summit walk; this was a 9km walk. Now, this was the best because it was flat and a gravel road. So that meant it was easier on the legs and you could take breaks more safely and easier. On the way back we crossed a Hut, a river, and some more amazing views.
If you are still with me, congratulations because for you lovelies, I have some tips or suggestions.
Tips and Suggestions
- Research, research, research. Research everything. How to get there, where to stay, food options, safety resources, sunset and sunrise and anything else that comes to mind.
Now, I STRONGLY SUGGEST you do your research on where exactly to start. There are I THINK 3 tracks to the top:
- Thredbo to Mount Kosciuszko (13km return, Grade 3)
- Charlotte Pass to the summit of Mount Kosciuszko through Summit Walk (18.6km return, Grade 3)
- Charlotte Pass to the summit of Mount Kosciuszko through Main Range Walk (22km loop, Grade 4)
JUST DO YOUR RESEARCHHHHHH!!!!!
- Train or practice as much as possible. I strongly suggest that you work out and try to increase your cardiovascular health and your endurance to cardiovascular workouts. I know if I had done some form of fitness preparation I would have done a lot better. I mean, my parents had to stop themselves walk with me because I would have 100% left behind.
- Think wisely about the food you pack. For the actual walk think very wisely about the food you pack. Think about high protein, high energy, food that are slow to be digested. You would also want to pack chocolate and such things just in case you need it. The sugar can be used for energy as well but you have to be careful this.
- Have the right gear. Make sure you pack the right clothes for the walk. You would want something that is not too thin but not too thick. You would also want something that is waterproof just in case it rains or you fall into the snow. You would also want something kind of windproof (like a windcheater) and something warm as well. Don’t forget about your shoes. If possible try the trekking shoes or try to find shoes that really support your feet.
- Safety procedures. Look into all safety procedures and measures. How can emergency services get to you? Make sure you have a power bank that can charge your phone. A solar charger if you must. Extra food, extra clothes, medication, first aid kit, torch, water. On the summit walk, there is a toilet (Australia’s highest toilet) fairly close to the summit itself. Also on the summit walk, there is an emergency hut.
- Time. MAKE SURE YOU HAVE THE TIME ON YOU. Make sure you have the time that is not your phone. Try to find minimal use of your phone for safety measures and assurance. I wore my watch. This will help when you have to decide what to do if it starts to get too late. For instance, on the way back. We took minimal breaks because it was starting to get dark and cold. We were tired, sore and (I) weak but we continued because we had to get home. We stayed at a place about 40mins away from the track so we had to consider that as well.
Conclusion – My Experience
The whole trip took me about 6.5 hours and on the way back took about 1.5 hours. I went into this trip with absolutely no preparation physically, emotionally or mentally. I didn’t train for it. I, in fact, was telling my Mum and almost anyone who would listen to me that I was going to stay at home or even at the place we were staying at. I mean I struggle getting out of bed so I knew that I was not going to be able to this walk. The night I packed for the whole weekend, I ended up packing for staying at the place and for the walk.
This trek was definitely hard. During the trip with all the uneven grounds and steep nature of the walk, I had so many other things that went wrong physically. This almost made me give up mentally but I persevered and literally walked holding hands with my parents. A few times, I slid down (the snow and snow on the rocks) and nearly fell off the edge of the paths (and nearly died). I am just grateful that I survived this trip and I am alive and breathing.
Once we came back to the place we stayed at, oxygen was the best thing ever. To be able to breathe properly, to be able to sit flat and not on a rock,. To be able to go to the toilet. To be able to say I reached the highest point in Australia.
I definitely want to do more walks but I just never thought I was physically able to. This walk meant so much to me and I feel that I have turned a leaf and started a new chapter.
Ready for 2020!!!!
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As always, thank you for being the Samosauce to my Garam Samosa!!!