I can’t remember the last time I went X-Country Skiing but it must’ve been a few years. Jane and I used to do a fair bit but then I got back into climbing, had kids etc, but did want to get back out there and I figured that by the age of 14 Anton would be strong and fit enough to deal with the rigours of X-Country Skiing. I also invited Patrick and Vincent as they were also keen to do their first X-Country Ski trip.
I decided to head up Kozzy as it is relatively short for a first overnight trip and spring snow also allowed for longer daylight hours. Plus catching the Quad Chair meant we could avoid the long uphill slog like the one out at Munyang.
We did the usual Friday arvo drive from Sydney and camped at the Diggings - a very pleasant little campsite a few clicks before Thredbo.
Day 1: Thredbo to Seaman’s Hut via Kozzy
We woke around 7:00 and headed to Thredbo just after 9:00. After pfaffing around with parking, coffee, lift tickets and ablutions we didn’t actually get onto the quad chair until 10:30ish and finally to the top at 11:00. We decided to have a play on the T-bars up here for an hour or so and then finally decided to head off for Kozzy.
We got about half way to Kozzy when the clouds starting rolling as predicted by the weather forecast. Here’s our last glimpse of Kozzy before the clouds roll in.
As we went over the top of the ridgeline that you can see between Anton and Kozzy, we passed a beautifully setup Blue snow tent and it wasn’t long before we reached the exhaust vents at the saddle below Kozzy.
By this stage it was a nice whiteout, so navigation became a bit more interesting. Since we only wanted to head to the top of Kozzy for the view, so we dropped our packs at the vents and headed in general UP direction with an occasional compass check . We reached the top at around 4:00pm, took the obligatory tourist shots and then headed back to the saddle checking compass bearings regularly as its quite easy to drop off the wrong ridge in a whiteout.
We finally got back to the saddle, when drifting out of the whiteout we hear the faint word - “Hello?”.
We think **What The?**and sure enough a minute later two young guys materialise with nothing but day packs and ask “Would you guys happened to have a map on you?”, which soon led the additional query of “You haven’t seen a Blue Tent around here have you?”. Anyway, these two guys had wandered off from their Blue Tent, got lost, tried to find their way back, went down the wrong gully, retraced their steps only to then end up in a whiteout!!! Anyway, we soon sent them off in the right direction as they had luckily pitched their tent right next to the board walk which I believe runs most of the way from the Quad Chair to Kozzy. No wonder people die in the mountains!
By this stage it was getting late so we decided we’d better make a move towards Seaman’s Hut which we reached at around 5:15pm. There was another party of three in the Hut, and I think they were planning on sleeping the night in the Hut (you’re not meant to, it’s meant to be an emergency shelter only). There was a nice pile of firewood so we made the most of it, setup our stoves and had a well deserved coffee.
One of the guys must’ve been feeling guilty as when bedtime approached he decided to test out his new high tech sleeping bag and emergency shelter, which ended up being a space blanket that he wrapped around himself. He slept all night outside the Hut, but I can’t imagine it was comfortable with all the spindrift blowing under the space blanket and sleeping bag. These guys had a plethora of new lightweight equipment - Jetboil Stoves, Ultralight airmats etc, which made me think that I might need to look into replacing some of my 20 year old stuff.
Day 2: Seaman’s Hut to Thredbo via The Snowy River
We awoke at around 7:00am to find that it had snowed a teeny wheeny bit overnight and after a slow breakfast finally got moving at 9:30am and headed down towards the Snowy River. It was still whiteout conditions with the occasional light snow.
Here we are at the Snowy River about 15mins later which we soon had to cross.
Another hour or two got us back to the chairlift which we decided to take rather than doing the Blue run from the top as this would have been way too difficult for novice X-Country skiers. Everyone was pretty tired even though it was one of easier X-Country Ski trips you can do. Packs are heavy due to the additional warm clothes needed and heavier snow tents. Anton and Vincent found it particularly hard as they were also learning how to X-Country ski. Nothing like throwing them in the deep end!
I think we got back to cars not long after lunch which meant an easy drive back to Sydney.