Mt Kosciuszko, May 2018. First attempt to the Summit.

Here I go again, heading up to Mt Kosciuszko as last May I had unsuccessfully tried to get to the Summit but snow had turned me back . Not only am I trying to hike to the Summit but also to see the amazing wildflowers I have heard so much about. Mt Kosciuszko National Park has an area of 6,900 square kilometers. My friend and I will be staying at the YHA Thredbo as our base. The Youth Hostel is in an idea position within the village and a short walk to the chairlift. The facilities are very good with large kitchen if you choose to cook, large lounge and dining with views up the Ski Run. You can choose a Dorm room or a room with private bathroom.

Winter, Mt Kosciuszko is all about the Snow and in Spring and Summer, the Wildflowers. Of course you can’t forget that you can hike to the top of Australia at the Summit of Mt Kosciuszko. Walking Trails are abound throughout the National Park graded from easy to hard. Hike for a few hours or you can hike multi days and camp.

Back to my excitement of heading to the Trails and the Wildflowers. We had heard that the weather might not quite be what we were hoping but whats a little rain between friends. Well, were we in for a shock. After arriving late afternoon the sun was out, birds were singing, daisies were swaying in the breeze, wine in hand and standing on the Balcony of the Hostel looking over the Ski Slopes, life is good.

I woke early and had a peep out of the window “What are these white flakes floating down from the sky”, “it’s Snowing”, with great excitement I called out to my friend waking her from her slumber. Did it snow, and snow and snow.

After a hearty breakfast we made our way to the chairlift and were informed it was -13 degrees at the summit. What tha! As all good prepared hikers  we were dressed appropriately.

We set out for the Summit and as we turned the corner of The Eagles Nest Cafe perched high above the chairlift, we felt sets of peering eyes looking down upon us. Faces appearing behind foggy window panes. We could almost feel the heat of the steamy cups of Hot Chocolate held between clenched hands.  We rounded the corner and a wave of fierce, hard snow hit us, the cold taking our breath away.  200 meters later we would realize there would be no summit at the moment.

We joined the peering eyes and hot chocolate set back at the Eagles Nest and waited for the weather to clear. After the weather cleared about an hour later off we went again. Striding into the misty snow we went, the wind whipping around us and in the Mountains thunder roared ” You aren’t climbing me today”. And so it was, no summit this time.

How as hikers do we deal with plans that have to be change unexpectedly, yes we are disappointed, wishing we could do what we set out to do. Do we sit and wallow in what could have been or do we see an opportunity to experience new adventures, see the sights with new eyes. Appreciate that the mountains dictate to us what they want us to see, feel and experience. So, I didn’t get to see the wildflowers in bloom, the blue sky and our beautiful blue rolling mountains disappearing into the distance. Nor hiking the trails along ridges and down to Rainbow lakes. But what I saw and experienced was an inner child who walked into the snow and laughed at the situation, screamed with joy as she toboggan down a slope. Threw snowballs even though her fingers were freezing. Walked around with my tongue sticking out catching icicles and smiling as they softly touched down. Experienced the friendliness of strangers from around the globe huddled around a fire and conversing on all matter of subjects. My heart skipping a beat when I saw the wild Brumbies  of who Banjo Patterson so eloquently described. Their dark silhouettes a striking contrast to the snowy landscape.

No, I didn’t see what I had planned but what I felt, saw and experienced was magical.  I may not have gone back again if I had succeeded in climbing to the Summit.  Now what a wonderful excuse for me  to return .

Special thanks to my Hiking Buddy Susan for allowing me to be me and to sharing my Adventures with such great humour.

My Guide book for the trip Take a Walk in Kosciuszko National Park – John & Lyn Daly as well as hiking maps from the Jindabyne Tourist Office. I also hired a PLB (personal location beacon) from

The view in the rear-vision mirror as we pass by Dead Horse Gap on our way home.