How could we say ‘no’ to a week in the Snowy Mountains during summer? The answer is that “you can’t”. And with that in mind we had early Christmas celebrations with both of our families, packed up the car, threw the mountain bikes on the roof and hit the road.
We arrived in Perisher on a Saturday late in the evening, and drove around trying to find the Cooma Ski Lodge. Google had pin pointed it’s location but we couldn’t see a building in that spot. We drove up and down the street and I happened to see a light turn on in the spot were the lodge was supposed to be, it must have been hidden from the road. We rounded the bend and drove up the driveway, there it was!
After some hugs with our friends, and a quick unpack of the car, we settled down for a quiet drop of red. Although, we were all quite tired and headed for bed pretty soon after. There would be lots of time to catch up during the week.
On Sunday when we finally dragged ourselves out of bed we headed for the shops at Jindabyne to load up on supplies for the week. And of course to grab a (real) coffee and breakfast. We eventually got back to the lodge at midday and thought it was time for lunch, of course. After lunch we checked out some local maps and decided to go for a ride towards the Snowy Hydro plant. The ride would be about 20km out and back with quite a few hills, and boy where there some hills!
On Monday we organised to meet our friends at 9 am at Thredbo so we could then join them for the final section of their ride to Lake Crackenback. We got their early and found a cafe for another (real) coffee. Our friends met us at the Cafe and we were soon on our way down the trails along the Snowy River. This ride was beautiful and not too much hard work at all, we had fun flying down the hills, round the bends and cranking those pedals up the small dirt hills. Unfortunately for Roger he broke his chain about 5km into the ride, but trusty Alina had a spare in her kit and we were soon back riding again. We had been back riding again for bout 3km when Roger got a flat tyre, not his luckiest day. But it did make for some bear hugs, huge laughs and seeing way too much of Tom’s ass (ha, ha). The scenery was beautiful and we eventually arrived at Lake Crackenback to meet the rest of the crew. We scoffed down pies and ginger beer and BobPa, our honorary chauffeur for the week (also Alina’s Dad), gave us a lift back to our car in Thredbo. Pablo also came along for the trip, as we had decided to run/walk back to Charlottes Pass, and he was going to drive our car back to the Ski Lodge for us.
After a quick change of clothing at Thredo and filling up our hydration packs with water and food, we were soon on our way up the hilly slope that is Thredbo. Pablo joined us for this first section and it was bloody hard work. Pablo made it look easy, while I trudged up at a slow, consistent pace leaning on my poles a lot. I kept stopping to look back and enjoy the view and it was such a gorgeous day. We somehow lost the trail a few times but we just kept heading towards the top and eventually used one of the MTB Trails to make our way to the main building, that way we could reconnect with the trail to Mount Kosciuszko. Pablo had already headed back down the hill to the car at this point, but we kept hiking and moving as fast as our tired legs would let us. I felt great. We passed lots of families and groups of walkers and even a few campers, an eventually we got the highest point of Australia, Mount Kosciuszko. Surprisingly there was only a family of 4 at the top, much quieter than any other time I had visited Kosci, well…. aside from with a runner at the wee hours of night/morning at the Coast2Kosci race. We got some food in, took some photos and it was really windy so we didn’t stay long. Roger and I cruised back down towards Charlotte’s Pass, passing Seaman’s Hut and down towards the Snowy River. It was mostly downhill, but we walked some and ran some, using people in front of us to catch (we’re not competitive at all). At Charlotte’s we messaged Pablo to come and pick us up but got no response, so we messaged BobPa who was more than happy to come and collect us to talked us back to the lodge. We were pooped, but slowly made our way walking back down the hill and, in what felt like no time at all, BobPa appeared and picked up our smelly, weary bodies. What a great day!
On Tuesday we had another sleep in and then decided to drive to Thredbo and hit the Dead Horse Gap Trail. This Trail starts at the top of Thredbo, runs across the mountain and then back down towards the river. At the bottom it follows the river back towards the main part of Thredbo. We did not hike up to the Thredbo today, we decided to take the Chairlift, much easier, and we also decided to stop for a quiet snack at the Eagleview Hotel to fuel for our 10km run/hike (ha, ha). We had hot chips and ginger beer, so good. Eventually we got moving and headed towards the trail, it was another beautiful day, a sky full of blue and flowers covering the sides of the trail. The views were amazing as we winded back down the mountain, passing only a few other hikers that day. Lots of dead trees, a bit of mud and quite a few rock stairs. We got the bottom easily and I could feel some rumblings in my tummy (oh, no!), but thought I’d be okay to make it the rest of the way to Thredbo. The trail was winding along beside the Snowy River at the bottom, and was absolutely beautiful. We rolled along walking and running, taking in the scenery and how lucky we were to be there. As we got closer to Thredbo my stomach churned more and more, I eventually had to leave Roger behind and make a run for the toilet in Thredbo, and I made it jut in time. To much information? ha ha
Wednesday we had organised to do a group hike with Alina, Tom, Archie (with a broken arm), and Pablo. So we set out for a 20km walk from Charlotte’s Pass past the Lakes walk, up onto Mt Kosciuszko and back down to finish at Thredbo. It was a beautiful day and I wished it could have lasted forever…. well, that is until poor Roger took a nasty stack on the metal grid pavement as we approached the top of Thredbo. An x-ray taken at the bottom of the slope (courtesy of the MTB park medical team) showed that he had broken his pinky finger, ouch!).
On Thursday we had a rest day and Roger visited the Doctor in Jindabyne to get his fingers, hands and legs checked after his big fall the day before. The doctor thought he might need surgery for his finger, but for now we just had to tape it in a splint-like form attached it to the finger next to it and rest.
Thursday night we were all chatting over dinner and we decided that a few of us would do a 50km MTB, getting up at the crack of dawn and ending up at Lake Crackenback. So we set our alarms early and headed off to bed for a good sleep.
The alarm went off early on Friday morning and I got myself ready for our day out. I kissed Roger goodbye and we headed out to greet the sunrise. It was another magical day and spent in the best of company, thanks Al.
Our last day of holidays was spent cleaning and packing up ready to go home. One by one we all headed out the door leaving the good times and great friends until our next adventure.
What a great summer!!