- Written By: Sarah Gallagher
A couple of months ago, I discovered the infamous Aussie 10, a 3 day hike that ticked off Australia’s 10 highest summits (plus a few more). It required a fair bit of navigation and involved camping freely within the park.
A couple of months ago, I discovered the infamous Aussie 10, a 3 day hike that ticked off Australia’s 10 highest summits (plus a few more). It required a fair bit of navigation and involved camping freely within the park. It seemed like a good challenge and an awesome achievement. I managed to find two friends who were keen, and we set the date for December.
After work on Thursday, our group of 'Happy Hikers' began the drive down to Kosciusko National Park. We decided to break the trip up by spending Thursday night in Cooma so we could rise early on Friday to pick up a PLB and check into the Snowy Visitor Centre to register our trip.
We began our walk from Charlottes Pass, following the Main Range Track up until the Blue Lake. We then pulled out our map and compass, identified our first peak as Mt Twynam and headed up to the summit. Looking back, this was the hardest summit. Due to all the unexpected snow, we were unable to walk along the ridge line and instead, climbed straight up the base of the mountain. It was incredibly challenging and diminished our spirits for the remaining nine peaks. However, soon after summiting our second mountain, Carruther’s Peak, we realised that the rest of the peaks wouldn’t require as much elevation gain. Thank god, our spirits were high again.
That morning, we were exhausted. We hadn’t slept for 3 hours and we had one peak to go. Grateful that we had pushed to complete the last two the night before, in our drowsy state, we agreed to finish the last. Trying to climb the mountain on Etheridge Ridge was comical. As each gust of wind hit, we were blown sideways. We held onto each for balance and as soon as we reached the top, we turned around and headed back down. We had two hours of walking til we were back in the shelter of our car at Charlottes Pass.
Climbing Australia’s top 10 peaks was most certainly a challenge. The hiking was exhausting, long and difficult. The amount of snow on the trail was a constant reminder of how harsh an alpine region can be. Despite the lack of sleep, I thoroughly enjoyed the weekend. The challenge was extremely rewarding. The scenery was absolutely insane. At times, I could have thought I was trekking in Nepal. Despite the fact that these mountains were not above 2300m, the views and the wilderness surrounding Kosciusko National Park is beautiful. I will definitely be returning to do some more hiking in the park.
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