Our main reason for traveling up to the Snow Mountains with my brother was to climb Mt Kosciuszko, the highest point in Australia.  Kozi is one of the Seven Summits, which are the highest points on each continent.  They are: Aconcagua in South America, Everest in Asia, Denali in North America, Kilimanjaro in Africa, Elbrus in Europe, Vinson in Antarctica, and Kosciuszko in Australia.  Most are well over 20,000 feet in elevation, Kozi is just over 7,000 feet.  Most of those feet you don't even have to climb, there's a chair lift at Thredbo ski resort that takes you most of the way up.  The rest of the way is a raised 12 km round trip walking path that makes for a nice leisurely hike in the summer.  But where's the challenge in that?  So we threw some snow shoes on and made the trek in the middle of winter instead.  We ended up hiring a guide to go with us, and he earned his keep by making sure we didn't cross over the frozen lake.

At the bottom of the chair lift
We road the chair lift up the mountain, put our snow shoes on, and headed up the mountain from there. We walked up for thirty minutes until we came to a viewing area where we could see the summit.  It didn't look that far away, but then again the distance and snow can be very deceptive.  The wind was blowing hard and it was pretty cold at first, but once we got going I was quickly shedding layers.

Heading up to the saddle

We got to the next saddle and had a clear view of the mountain in the distance.  At that point there were two ways up, the harder way to the left and the easier way up the spine of a hill to the right.  I was having issues with my snow shoes at that point so I made the executive decision to head to the right.  We moved further along and passed by a guy who had just come down from the top.  He said it took a couple hours to get up and ten minutes to get back down.  The tricky part about climbing the mountain was in good weather you'd zig zag at a gentle slope up the mountain on the path.  With the snow covering the track we instead snow shoed straight up.  This might have made the trip shorter but definitely made us work harder for the reward.

Me and Phil with Kozi on the right
It took about two hours total to reach the summit of the mountain.  It was windy, it was cold, and by that point my mouth was so numb that while I felt like I was smiling for the pictures they all look like I just came from the dentist's office instead.  I'm sure it doesn't even begin to compare to Aaron's bought of frost bite on Denali though.

Aaron enjoyed his celebratory beer at the top, and it was a neat experience to see him conquer his fourth of the seven summits.  I'm sure this one was by far the easiest, but even walking in his shoes for a couple hours gave me a much greater appreciation for his journeys up the other three mountains.  My family doesn't really talk, we hike, and to share an experience like this was very memorable.

Celebratory beers at the top
My first summit, Aaron's fourth
Numb smiles at the top
It really did take us 10 minutes to get back down the summit, and then our guide took us the long way back by way of a neat little hut built for emergency shelter.  We had lunch inside and then headed back down to the top of the chair lift.  It was a rather strange feeling riding the chair lift down, it felt like we were on a really slow moving roller coaster.

Standing in front of the hut


Popular posts from this blog

Anita & Bob's Big Fat Indian Wedding - Mehndi

Anita & Bob's Big Fat Indian Wedding - Sangeet

Sequoia Lake