Big Hike 26   Leave a comment

Saturday, 11 April, 2015

The 26th in the edition of Phil’s Big Hike series saw a record number of hikers turn up for an attempt on the Main Range Trail from Charlottes Pass in the Koscuizco National Park. I love this hike (I’ve done it three times previously) and it never fails to impress me with both the scenery it offers from all around the route and the the improved level of fitness I seem to have every time I do it. The last time I was up here was only a few weeks ago, as the final part of my training for the CBR100, when I skipped around the 22km in a shade over six hours. 

There was a bit of confusion first thing this morning as to who was picking up who, but finally it was sorted that Glenn and I were driving up and meeting the James, Nick and Patrick at the breakfast stop in the alpine town of Jindabyne, then the five of us squeezing into one car to drive into the Koscuizco National Park ($16 charge per car, tight bastards I know, but every penny counts!). Also joining us today was Phil, who organises these Big Hikes, Tony, Sankalp (new to our little gang), and Simon with his son David.

Earlier in the week there had been a massive amount of snow fall in the region, but today’s forecast was for clear skies and little wind, with a maximum temperature of 9C. prefect for hiking. However, when we arrived at Charlotte Pass the wind was howling at around 45kpm and we started the hike wondering what we had let ourselves in for. Obviously with a circular route, there are two ways you can tackle it, clockwise and anti-clockwise and before we started there was a huge debate as to which was the best route to take. 

Finally after a vote was taken we were on our way on the clockwise route (not my choice!) and we made good time up to Seaman’s hut, in which we took a well-earned rest. By the time we emerged the wind had died down and the assault on the summit was done in very pleasure weather and at the top we were rewarded with some fantastic views of the surrounding NSW and Victoria countryside laid out below us. On the way around the ridge-line we bumped into an abandoned campsite where apparently earlier in the week, during the snowstorm, a group of hikers had to be rescued after a couple of their tents had failed in the wind. 

Lunch was taken a spot overlooking Lake Albina, one of the best views in NSW OMHO, before we tackled the climb up to Mt. Carruthers where young David began to feel the pace. From the summit you can trace the route all the way back down to the Snowy River, with the emphasise on the down and this meant a pleasurable hike down to Blue Lake, where we resisted the urge to take a dip in the icy looking water and onto the banks of the river.

Fortunately, the melting snows hadn’t caused the river to swell to much and we managed to cross it using the large rocks and boulders spanning its width without too much trouble. I would have been well pissed, if we were forced to turn back because the river was impassable! We took another rest on the far side, not wanting to look up at the fearsome climb up out of the valley back to Charlottes Pass that awaited us. The last time I took this route round, this climb took me 45 minutes to complete, but with a big push and no stops, I was done in under 15 minutes. By the time the last of the group made it back to the start point, I made it that the hike was completed in just over 6 hours 30 minutes.

Great day out with the boys, especially with Sankalp, Glenn and David completing their first Main Range Hike. Well done everybody!

Posted April 11, 2015 by yermandownunder in Observations, Out and about, Travels

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