Australian Alps Winter Novice

Learn winter travel and camping skills

An introduction to snow travel and camping

This introductory course covers the basics of cross country ski and/or snowshoe touring. We trek onto the Main Range, camp high and cover everything you need to enter the wonderful world of winter adventuring.

  • Gateway Jindabyne, Australia
  • Distance 20km
  • Nights 4
  • Trek days 5
  • Daily Distance 4km of undulating terrain
  • Sled Weight 20kg
  • Temp. Range -5 to -15C
  • Challenge 3 What's this?
  • Conditions Dampness, dark nights. Blue skies to blizzards.
  • Challenges Long climbs and descents, undulating traverses, dampness

Trip Itinerary

Day 1

Meet 10am in Jindabyne at the Parc Café situated in the National Parks Visitor Centre, next to the bus terminal. Preparation and gear check. Drive to Cascade car park (Dead Horse Gap in the afternoon and begin trip.

Days 2-4

Combined ski/snowshoe tour, polar training and instructional sessions as we ski north across the Australian Alps, including ascent of Mt. Koscuiszco.

Day 5

Return to Cascade car park. Drive to Jindabyne.


  • Transportation from Jindabyne to start and from finish to Jindabyne
  • Entry to National Park
  • Expedition food and stove fuel
  • Icetrek guide
  • Use of specialist equipment including: 
    • Skis, bindings, skins, ski poles, snowshoes
    • Sled, hauling bars and waterproof sled bag
    • Tents, snow tools and stoves. 

This equipment is returned to Icetrek after the training (see equipment list).


  • Accommodation and meals in Jindabyne
  • Additional costs (accommodation, meals etc.) due to changes beyond our control ie. weather delays
  • Insurance

We meet in Jindabyne on the east side of the Australian Alps. Here we make final preparations to ensure you are prepared for your introduction to winter adventures.

A 45-minute takes us to Cascades carpark on the spine of the Snowy Mountains where our adventure begins. The sleds carry most of our equipment and light bulky items go into our backpacks. The start is a steep climb up Bogong spur but we camp after 90 minutes on flat snow amongst the beautiful snowgums. Here you learn how to select a campsite, the safety features of a winter tent, how to prepare for high winds and heavy snowfall, the importance of winter sleeping gear and how to maximise their benefit. We also use the afternoon to practice skiing on the gentle slopes.

The next day we continue our climb up the spur until we are above the tree-line where we see one of Australia's great treasures - the Snowy Mountains. A narrow ridge adorned with granite tors widens to rolling hills flanked either side by steep slopes and it's here that we experience the magic of the Australian Alps, and its challenges. Over the next few days we ski, snowshoe, climb, descend, camp, explore, and continue to cover all the typical techniques used on winter treks in the snow. If the conditions allow we climb Mt Kosciuszco, Australia's highest peak, and marvel at the incredible views.

We take an alternative route back to Bogong spur where we spend our final night before descending to Dead Horse Gap where we are collected by bus and return to Jindabyne.


The days are quite short so expect a lot of tent time. We are often camped by 5pm, finished dinner by 8pm and wake around 7am the following morning. These trips are a great opportunity to catch up on sleep!

All participants will carry their own food and equipment, in a sled and in a backpack

All participants must have adequate health and fitness to match the trip program

You need good quality winter outdoor equipment 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.

Bus Transfers

GreyhoundSnoExpress and Murrays run winter bus services direct from Canberra/Canberra Airport to Jindabyne.

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 10am on the day of departure into the mountains so you may need to arrive in Jindabyne the night before as the buses do not arrive until the afternoon. Some places to stay:

Lake Jindabyne Hotel

Jindabyne Holiday Park

Alpine Gables

Banjo Patterson Inn

Troldhaugen Lodge

Rydges Horizons Hotel

We do not provide any accommodation in Jindabyne. 

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Australian Alps Winter Novice

August 12 to 16, 2019 Availability: 6 places
per person ex-Jindabyne ($1500 if you are booked onto an Icetrek polar trip)
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