Meet 8.30am in Jindabyne at the Parc Café situated in the National Parks Visitor Centre, next to the bus terminal. Gear check and go! Drive to Cascade car park (near Dead Horse Gap) or Guthega and do a day trip into the backcountry, your choice of skis or snowshoes. Return to Jindabyne by 5.30pm.
This equipment is returned to Icetrek after the training (see equipment list).
We meet in Jindabyne in the morning then head up to Thredbo and beyond.
A 45-minute drive takes us to Cascade carpark on the spine of the Snowy Mountains where our day trip begins. The climb up Bogong spur is long but incredibly rewarding as we trek above the treeline and onto the Ramshead plateau, a spectacular alpine wilderness well above the ski resorts. From here we see Mt Kosciuszco and if the weather and progress allows we will make an ascent of Australia's highest mountain. We can return via a different route to spice things up a bit but needless to say, the descent back down to the car is the big reward.
You can decide whether you prefer to be on skis or snowshoes for the duration. If you have never skied then we advise you to be on snowshoes, if you are a competent skier than you can opt for skis. We provide both but may bring your own backcountry, AT or telemark equipment. We can provide skins if you don't have them.
Depending on weather we may also drive to Guthega and trek out to Blue Lake.
No previous ski or snowshoeing required.
THINGS TO KNOW
For anyone staying at Thredbo, we can pick you up in the carpark. All participants will carry their own food and basic equipment in a backpack
All participants must have adequate health and fitness to match the trip program
You need good quality winter outdoor clothing and boots, check the equipment list
You must be at least 14 years old to participate
The nearest international airport to Jindabyne is Sydney. Canberra is a 55 minute flight from Sydney. There are small airports in Jindabyne and in Cooma.
Snow Alliance run a private shuttle service from Canberra to Jindabyne
From Melbourne the shortest way to Jindabyne is via Khancoban, which is on the west side of the range. However you need to check with NSW roads or National Park to make sure the road is open. It is sometimes closed after heavy snowfalls. Parks fees are payable if entering the national park.
There are a couple of free car parks where you may leave your car during the trip.
We meet at 8.30am so you may need to arrive in Jindabyne the night before as the buses do not arrive until the afternoon. Some places to stay:
We do not provide any accommodation in Jindabyne.
For those staying in Thredbo we will meet at the 5-Minute Unload area as indicated on the map below.
Once you have signed onto the trip you will receive an Australian Alps Trip Information Booklet which has full details of how to plan for your trip.
What will be the temperature during the trip?
The temperature will be anywhere from 0 to -15C, 32 to 5F
Where do we meet?
We will meet at the Parc Cafe in Jindabyne at 9.30am. See the Getting There tab for details.
Can I leave bags in Jindabyne?
You can either arrange to leave bags at your hotel, in your car if you have driven or we will find room in our vehicle. But please don't com with excessive bags and equipment.
How heavy will my sled be?
You sled will weigh around 25 to 30kg / 55 to 66lb.
What type of sleds do we use?
We use Northern Sled Works Siglin Pulks made from slippery HDPE plastic and we use purpose-built conduit bar hauling traces.
What if I am not a skier?
Skiing experience is preferable but not mandatory. We will spend time teaching you and you can also opt to be on snowshoes. We carry both skis and snowshoes.
How do we go downhill with sleds?
We usually change to snowshoes and the bar traces stop the sleds from overtaking us, they simply track in our steps. On steeper ground we unclip and reverse the bars which gives excellent stability and control.
How long do we ski every day on the trip?
It varies depending on the group, terrain and weather. Usually we ski between 5 to 6 hours per day not including breaks.
What is the Guide to Client ratio?
What type of tents do we use?
We use Hilleberg Keron 3 or 4-person tents for two people. There is plenty of room to get comfortable but small enough to warm up quickly once you are inside. You are responsible for setting up, managing and taking down your tent.
What will we eat on the expedition?
You can find our menu here
Who cooks the meals and melts the snow for water?
You do! This is a normal part of winter trip life. We train you in how to use the gas stove efficiently and carefully.
What if there is an emergency and how will we communicate with the outside world?
We carry a number of communications and emergency devices including an Iridium handheld phone, iPhone and PLB (Personal Locator Beacon). Our trip plans are logged with the Icetrek office and with NSW Parks.
Is there mobile reception?
We will have mobile reception for some of the trip but it isn't reliable so don't make any promises to be in touch with family and friends. There is reception on the summit of Mt Kosciuszco and we often post from the to Facebook from here.
Feel free to submit your own questions.