Kosciuszko National Park

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Kosciuszko National Park

Postby Drewhp » Tue 19 Nov, 2013 12:45 pm

Hi All,

My girlfriend and I want to do a 7-day walk through Kosciuszko national park from 21-28 December.

I'm finding lots of walks and tracks that are good one day tracks, but nothing that will help me plan stop points if I wanted to start around Jindabyne and camp along the way over the 7 days. We are experienced walkers but of medium experience with camping on the trail.

Can anybody recommend a good track or source of information I can use to plan a walking track that would be a full 7 days?

We are hoping to drop the car off at the start and finish in another destination (finding our way back via bus etc depending on where it is).

Would love any advice you have.

Thanks
Drew
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Re: Kosciuszko National Park

Postby stuart53 » Wed 20 Nov, 2013 12:32 pm

Try the middle section of the park around Mt Jagungal. If you get the SV Maps Kosciusko Alpine Area there's a decent guide to this area on the reverse side showing huts, trails, trailheads etc. There are a few trip ideas on the hikeoz.com site, but you can make up your own trip - you should be able to wander around for a week without retracing your tracks too much. If you're starting at Jindabyne you could go in at the Guthega trailhead and do a loop around Jagungal, exit the same way. I'm not sure I'd be expecting very many buses out at the trail head or indeed anywhere except the main Thredbo road. The park will probably be quiet until just before Christmas and then the hordes will arrive.
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Re: Kosciuszko National Park

Postby Travis22 » Wed 20 Nov, 2013 1:21 pm

Mt Jagungal is a great destination and you could easily spend 7 days doing a large loop out passed there then back - without backtracking and arrive back at the carpark / to your car as Stuart mentioned.

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Re: Kosciuszko National Park

Postby climberman » Wed 20 Nov, 2013 7:25 pm

Hi Drew,

I've been thinking about this this evening. The Snowy's isn't great for public transport supported point to point walking. You might be able to tee up a taxi, but it'd be exxy.

The Snowy's ARE however great for loops, where you could do lots of days and very minimal, or zero, covering of old ground.

An idea:

Dead Horse Gap - Rams Heads - Kozzi - side trip to Townsend - Northcote - Carruthers - side trip to Sentinel - Anton - Tate - Consett-Stephens Pass - Rolling Ground - Dicky Cooper Bogong - Vaentine Trail - Grey Mare - Jagungal - Valentine - Guthega - Perisher - Charlotte Pass - Rams Head/Crackenback Range - Dead Horse Gap.
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Re: Kosciuszko National Park

Postby Drewhp » Wed 20 Nov, 2013 7:35 pm

Climberman! That looks awesome!

We have most of our gear sorted but no maps at this stage, I will be purchasing all maps this week to plot out each day. I was also consideringthe cost of end to end and hadn't quite figured out how we would get back to the car (Except hitch hiking!).

Any recommendations on where to find the best maps to have with us and plot our trip?

I will be posting more info on here as we get further into the planning, as well as pictures from along the trail!

Looking forward to getting your feedback once plotted, the trip above looks like a great reference point to start from, and we get both mt kosciuszko and jagungal.
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Re: Kosciuszko National Park

Postby climberman » Wed 20 Nov, 2013 8:47 pm

The "Rooftop" Kosciuszko National Park map covers the whole lot, but is 1:50K. I'd probably get the relevant 1:25K maps for the above, which I think is likely to be five or six maps (?), from NSW LPI. I think they are better for walking.

Kalkite Mountain; Geehi Dam; Chimneys Ridge; Jagungal; Perisher Valley.

Most bushwalking shops will stock those ones. I know my local in Wollongong does (search for bushcraft equipment), call them and I'm sure they'd send them out. They are prolly not on their website but bushcraft have a lot of maps for many areas in stock. And lovely people to boot. I waste many lunchtimes there gawking and tyre kicking!

Have fun with the planning, good luck with the weather.
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Re: Kosciuszko National Park

Postby Mark F » Wed 20 Nov, 2013 8:50 pm

Change the route to Jagungal - Mawsons - Gungartin - Schlink - Guthega - Back Perisher - Perisher and you too can do the top 23 (all Australia's named 2K peaks) - just don't claim to be the first!

Maps - CMA 25,000 Jagungal, Geehi, Perisher Valley and a tiny bit of Chimney Ridge (misses South Ramshead - add Youngal and Tom Groggin to pick up a few western peaks around Koscuiszo). Chimney Ridge not needed if you go up the chairlift from Thredbo.

I should be wandering around that route about the same time.
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Re: Kosciuszko National Park

Postby Lophophaps » Fri 22 Nov, 2013 3:42 pm

Within reason, you can go pretty well anywhere in the area around Jagungal. There's heap of water, good sheltered spots, and good escape routes on a number of roads. I prefer the 1:50 000 maps as it means that you don't need as many maps and can get a better perspective of the days.

There's a rather spectacular route - now probably track - down the true left side of Valentine Falls. The crossing at the bottom may be wet, but I've always been dry. Then go to Grey Mare Hut, Jagungal or points north. Take care getting off Dicky Cooper Bogong. We went north for a bit and hit scrub. The best route that I have found is to leave packs a few hundred metres short of the summit, side-trip, then go east. As the ground drops away veer right, then curve left to the road.

Jagungal can be approached from the bend of the road to the SW of the summit, up steeply to the ridge then north. Or come in from the south, from the little ridge that hits the main bowl. This is brilliant walking country.
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Re: Kosciuszko National Park

Postby melinda » Sat 23 Nov, 2013 6:49 pm

Drew,
Climberman's route is highly recommended!
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Re: Kosciuszko National Park

Postby Drewhp » Sat 23 Nov, 2013 9:49 pm

Hi All,

Had a huge shopping spree today after lots of planning. I am basing our trip on the original plan outlined by climberman. Mark had some great tips on extending the return trip from Jugungal, we are marking this down the maps (which I have now stuck up on my walls and am marking out every little turn!) to see whether we can complete in the 7 days.

Breaking in the new hiking boots we bought for the trip and planning more and more. Went to the local paddy palin (and every other hiking shop we could find) and topped up our gear. All thats left now is to find one more pack as my girlfriends current pack is a day pack so need to upgrade!

Will post pictures and news as our planning progresses into December!

Thank you all again for your advice it gave me a great starting point in getting our planning into action.

Cheers,
Drew
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Re: Kosciuszko National Park

Postby Drewhp » Sun 24 Nov, 2013 3:09 pm

climberman wrote:
An idea:

Dead Horse Gap - Rams Heads - Kozzi - side trip to Townsend - Northcote - Carruthers - side trip to Sentinel - Anton - Tate - Consett-Stephens Pass - Rolling Ground - Dicky Cooper Bogong - Vaentine Trail - Grey Mare - Jagungal - Valentine - Guthega - Perisher - Charlotte Pass - Rams Head/Crackenback Range - Dead Horse Gap.


I'm plotting out my course on my maps( now pinned to my wall putting it all into perspective! Does anybody have more detail on what is the best path from valentine (I imagine valentine hut) to guthega. Had some great advice on alternative way back and mapping all out, just seems a long distance and trying to make a connection on which tracks to follow from one to the other. Maps don't spell that one out!
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Re: Kosciuszko National Park

Postby Mark F » Sun 24 Nov, 2013 3:45 pm

You need to be clear in that many people mean Munyang power station when they talk about Guthega. Guthega also refers to the ski area a few km south. These are linked by a road. You can follow the fire trails from Valentines, Schlink, Guthega (Munyang). Once down past Whites River hut don't continue on the main road but use either of the aquaduct tracks when descending from Schlink Pass. I prefer the northern one when ascending from Guthega (saves the really steep ascent out of Munyang) but often use the southern one when descending (rejoins road for the steep descent). The routes from Jagungal to Schlink (Pass or Hut) via Gungartin are basically snow grass country with a couple of light bands of low scrub descending off Jagungal - really no different from crossing the Rolling Grounds. I haven't gone from Jagunagal to Valentines in a relatively direct line for many years but remember it as being rather more scrubby than the routes off the eastern end of Jagungal.
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Re: Kosciuszko National Park

Postby Drewhp » Sun 24 Nov, 2013 6:55 pm

Aahh! That makes so much more sense!

Mark where are you located? What dates are you planning on being on the trail? Will have to meet up and share a meal!
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Re: Kosciuszko National Park

Postby PiniPowPow » Sun 24 Nov, 2013 7:03 pm

Sounds like fantastic plans, Drew and Mark. I should be in the area over most of those dates so if you need a hand with a car shuffle let me know.

Also, I prefer the rooftop maps, has lots of good info on there.

http://www.abcmaps.com.au/images/knpfaweb.jpg
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Re: Kosciuszko National Park

Postby icefest » Sun 24 Nov, 2013 8:02 pm

What's the plan if it starts blowing a gale and snowing? What will you do if you have 3 days of complete fog?
Try to plan some escape routes and set conditions that, if met, would make you consider aborting.

I'm assuming your girlfriend has done few longer hikes (only having a day pack) so it might pay to have an easier back up route as well.

I hope you enjoy the trip! Take some nice photos :D
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Re: Kosciuszko National Park

Postby Drewhp » Sun 24 Nov, 2013 8:36 pm

Hi Icefest!

Thanks for the advice. I think the gear we are packing will be able to support us in a range of conditions (including very low temps). Our planning is well underway and the right way out from each point is something we are working on as we haven't walked in this national park before (I won't pretend to have everything covered but still working on this!).

Do you have any suggestions for safety precautions we could take that I may not otherwise think of? Keen to take any help I can get from those with much more experience!
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Re: Kosciuszko National Park

Postby icefest » Sun 24 Nov, 2013 10:59 pm

Have a look at this thread for another couple planning something similar. http://forums.ski.com.au/xf/threads/mai ... mas.63187/

I agree with telemark phat on his/her second point - if the forecast looks bad call it off; you won't enjoy it and your gear might not cope. Blizzards can occur even in summer.
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Re: Kosciuszko National Park

Postby Drewhp » Wed 27 Nov, 2013 7:56 pm

Thanks ice fest. That was a good read and we have put together a list of conditions which will make us turn around and call it off.

So I am mapping each day out. When I look on my maps there is a " local government boundary" on track for most of the way to jugungal. Does anybody know whether this is marked or whether we will need to use gps to navigate between points? Just want to ensure we are ready! Writing up day by day plan which I will post later this week / the weekend for any tips/criticisms.

Such great amount of knowledge here your advice is really appreciated!!!
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Re: Kosciuszko National Park

Postby Mark F » Wed 27 Nov, 2013 9:48 pm

Most cadastral boundaries are not marked on the ground other than perhaps State boundaries. Many follow ridges and the ridge the one you mention is following is the Great Dividing Range.

Be aware that to avoid starting in bad weather on the higher portions of the route around Koscuiszko you can always start at Munyang or Perisher/Charlottes Pass and/or do it in reverse. This can allow you to take advantage of huts in the northern part of the route (Whites River, Schlink, Valentines, Mawsons etc) to minimise having to camp in extreme conditions. Personally I have camped in a blizzard near the top of Townsend on Boxing Day in the 80's and on another trip (2009?) had 30cm of snow fall on 20/21 December holed up in Grey Mare hut.
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Re: Kosciuszko National Park

Postby climberman » Thu 28 Nov, 2013 4:57 am

drew, one small thing is that if you leave the car at DHG or Thredbo, you'll need to pay a fee, per day. I don't know if they check Munyang.
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Re: Kosciuszko National Park

Postby Lophophaps » Thu 28 Nov, 2013 5:40 am

Think about planning a heap of side-trips, more than you can do. Then as circumstances change you can do a side-trip without much ado. There's campsites on or close to the summits of Rams Heads, Townsend, Tate, Dicky Cooper Bogong, Jagungal and Gungartan.

Consider having short days with at least one half day of planned sloth. This sloth day can be moved as circumstances vary. Having a menu of campsites is good as it allows days to be shortened or lengthened as needs dictate. But this is not crucial - there's heaps of campsites.

From Mawsons Hut it's possible to go south over the Kerries to Gungartan, then south and west to Schlink Pass. There's a track at first. The Rolling Ground can be interesting in poor conditions. There is or was a 4WD track down to Whites River, but I always go on to Dicky Cooper and Schlink Pass. Picking up the route from South Rams Head to Dead Horse Gap may be interesting. As I have found, dropping bread crumbs does not work for navigation.

Water is readily available, but some care should be made near huts and especially the tourist walks on the Main Range. There will be hordes on the Main Range tourist tracks.
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Re: Kosciuszko National Park

Postby Drewhp » Thu 28 Nov, 2013 5:49 am

I was wanting to leave it in secure parking near thredbo somewhere so it's safe. Aware we will have to pay.

mark- thank you. In writing up the days I will prepare an order going each way and see what works out better once the detailed picture is drawn up. I've been watching the weather and we are still getting snow there now so we are planning with this in mind. In walking the ridges, is it clear which path to follow or will I be navigating based upon our position ?
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Re: Kosciuszko National Park

Postby Mark F » Thu 28 Nov, 2013 6:48 am

I have seen a ranger checking cars at Munyang for Park entry passes. He left a couple of unpleasant surprises for those without.

You do need to keep track of where you are. Navigation isn't difficult in good conditions but can be awkward when visibility is restricted. As a minimum check your location with gps and map whenever you stop and try to work out your route going forward - look around and try to match what you see to the map.
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Re: Kosciuszko National Park

Postby Drewhp » Thu 28 Nov, 2013 8:19 am

Mark I can't thank you enough for your advice - same goes for all!

will be heading on the evening of the 6th December to Guthega power station and staying overnight and walking along the trail until Sunday the 8th to ensure we are familiar with this part of the track. I will be buying an annual pass as I think we will explore the park throughout the summer. I was less concerned about the ranger and more concerned about things going missing!

I have plotted out all stops and all tracks on a map including recording all GPS points. I have planned a few quick trips out to the nearest paved road to be able to hopefully flag down a car if things go wrong! Our clothes/equipment can sustain us in either snow or heat now after a few slight modifications to the pack list and watching for weight. We are taking 8 days worth of food (largely dehydrated stuff) and importantly have written a list of what circumstances will be it for us to turn around and know when to say no.

My only concern on the walk is navigating between carruthers peak and the valentine trail as I can't find any track on any of my maps, but understand from Mark that this is where we follow the ridge and provided we stick to our GPS as a locator we should be ok.

Am I forgetting anything major?
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Re: Kosciuszko National Park

Postby Lophophaps » Thu 28 Nov, 2013 9:43 am

It's a long way from the middle area to a paved road. Consider going to focal points and lines, such as huts and tracks. This is where you have a higher chance of finding people.

GPSs are fine - until the break. You should have a mirror compass and know how to use it. Also, after a while you should get a feel for the terrain and pick routes and distant objects. I like the idea of a predetermined turnback point. However, you may find that this will not apply as circumstances change. Despite the heavier packs, consider having the harder longer days at the start. This means that if something comes amiss towards the end you have less time and distance to go to get out.

There's a major track from Charlotte pass - Carruthers. Kosciuszko - Chairlift. From the saddle east of Carruthers there's a good track to Twynum. Drop packs a short distance from the summit of Twynum, then go down a series of switchbacks. In the valley the track comes and goes a bit, but you should find it.

Approaching Tate the track splits and splits and splits. The best route, mainly a track from memory, that I have found is to stay on the top until level with Consett Stephen Pass. Then dive east and up the other side. There is no track across the Rolling Ground. Just stay high. At the broad saddle at 231814 contour up and north to Dicky Cooper. The saddle has a few large blocks on the south side.

The old 4WD track to Whites River is at 237798, more or less, near a clump of trees.
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Re: Kosciuszko National Park

Postby north-north-west » Sat 30 Nov, 2013 10:24 am

climberman wrote:drew, one small thing is that if you leave the car at DHG or Thredbo, you'll need to pay a fee, per day. I don't know if they check Munyang.

They do. Also Geehi, Tom Groggin, etc etc etc.
Of course, that circuit can also be accessed from the Round Mtn carpark, and they don't check that area. Or Kiandra, Cabramurra, Long Plain, blah blah blah. Which is weird, but who expects a bureaucracy to make sense?
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Re: Kosciuszko National Park

Postby rcaffin » Sat 30 Nov, 2013 9:22 pm

Check local (school) buses from Jindy to Thredbo. Not advertised widely.
Note also that the Ski Tube runs all the year: you can park at the bottom OUTside the Park (no fee).
You can take the Porcupine Track from Perisher to Charlottes.
There is an old 4WD track from Blue Lake to Tate, but it's not on the topos because NPWS asked them not to.
There is a fair track down from The Rolling Grounds to Schlink Pass - I think someone else gave a GR for it.
The track from Valentines Hut down the Falls is solid but maybe a bit scrubby.
Coming S from Jag to Kerries is open country. Go over Bluff Tarn to Mawsons, or
cut across to the Great Divide past Cesjacks and take the old 4WD track there to the Bulls & Mawsons.
The old track from Mawsons up onto the Kerries can be vague these days. It goes up the small valley West of Mawsons.
Getting down from the Kerries to the Schlnk Hilton (hut) - no track go down the gully from Gungarten pass and the right bank.
The aquaduct track from Schlink is much better than the road down to Munyang. It's the first left at a bend - obvious.
If you walk up from Guthega to Blue Cow you should be able to take the Ski Tube back down (check services).

Weather: you may get everything from very hot to sleet&hail. Don't camp in wind funnels: Main Range storms are notorious.
Water: lots around.
Scenery: oh yeah!
Maps & Compass: YEAH! GPS? I never bother.

Cheers
Last edited by rcaffin on Sun 01 Dec, 2013 11:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Kosciuszko National Park

Postby Lophophaps » Sun 01 Dec, 2013 7:46 am

rcaffin wrote:There is an old 4WD track from Blue Lake to Tate, but it's not on the topos because NPWS asked them not to. ... The old track from Mawsons up onto the Kerries can be vague these days. It goes up the small valley N of Mawsons.
Maps & Compass: YEAH! GPS? I never bother.Cheers



Interesting. My maps are quite old and show most of the 4WD tracks that are now closed or overgrown. Did you not mean south of Mawsons? This track used to go on the true left bank of the little creek, then petered out at about 257893 on the flat ground. In fine weather it's not hard: up and south. If I can navigate in trackless Tassie on a 1:100 I see little need for a GPS.
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Re: Kosciuszko National Park

Postby Solohike74 » Sun 01 Dec, 2013 11:25 am

To the OP, are crocs (footwear) in your kit, there are some decent creek & river crossings in the Jagungal Wilderness, the Valentine River one is about 6-9m across and at least half a metre deep - more if there's been plenty of rain.
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Re: Kosciuszko National Park

Postby rcaffin » Sun 01 Dec, 2013 11:37 am

The old track from Mawsons up onto the Kerries can be vague these days. It goes up the small valley N of Mawsons.
Interesting. My maps are quite old and show most of the 4WD tracks that are now closed or overgrown. Did you not mean south of Mawsons? This track used to go on the true left bank of the little creek, then petered out at about 257893 on the flat ground.

Neither North nor South of Mawsons: it is actually WEST of Mawsons by about 100 - 200 m. Sorry about that - we tend to navigate across most of that area these days from memory!

Crossing the Valentine:
Below Valentine Falls we usually rock-hop across with dry feet. It's a shade more precarious when the boulders are all covered in snow.
Heading for Mawsons: cross at Big Bend on very nice flat boulders. The valley just N of Big Bend is a nice open descent route.
Valentine Fire Trail crossing: wet feet, so take your shoes off and paddle.

Cheers
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