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Summit Mount Kosciuszko

Listed under Easy Access Mountains in New South Wales, Australia.

  • Photo of Summit Mount Kosciuszko
  • Photo of Summit Mount Kosciuszko
  • Photo of Summit Mount Kosciuszko
  • Photo of Summit Mount Kosciuszko
  • Photo of Summit Mount Kosciuszko
  • Photo of Summit Mount Kosciuszko
Photo of Summit Mount Kosciuszko
Photo by flickr user MD111
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Firstly it’s pronounced Kozzy-OS-ko – you’ll definitely need to know how to say it so you can tell all your friends that you’ve climbed the tallest mountain in Australia in a matter of only a few hours. It’s not an ancient Aboriginal name as many people assume, the peak was named by a Polish born explorer, after a Polish Revolutionary hero. Australia is like that. We also swapped the names of the mountain’s other peak, Mt. Townsend, over when it was discovered that Townsend (now Kosciuzko) was taller so we didn't have to change the name on all the 'this is Australia's tallest mountain' documentation.

Kosciuszko is 2,228 metres high, but more of a mound shape than a towering, rocky peak, which is why it’s so easy to climb. You can drive up to Charlotte Pass or Thredbo, both ski towns and walk the nine or six and a half kilometres respectively, up to the summit from there. If you go via Thredbo it’s slightly steeper but you take a chair lift over the steepest section – supposedly for environmental reasons, not that we’re lazy. Both roads meet at Rawson’s Pass at 2,100 metres from where there’s a track to the summit. In winter the mountain and parts of the National Park that surrounds it are covered in snow and you can attempt a cross country skiing ascent.

Kosciuszko National Park is covered in greeny-grey bush and then scrub and plains as you get higher up. It’s really still country, especially if you venture up in a fog, and despite the fact that this dome ascent isn’t much of a challenge it’s a walk though beautiful Snowy Mountain country.

People get a bit upset about Kosciuzko’s inclusion as one of the ‘Seven Summits’, probably in part because almost anyone can climb it – Mt. Townsend’s rocky peak is quite a lot more challenging to conquer – but Kosciuszko is still the tallest and offers spectacular views of the surrounding empty country.

I’ve climbed quite a lot of mountains in Australia and this one is very easy going – I’ve even been up the top with my entire Year Eight class and our teachers and school principal. We walked up from Thredbo and there was snow on the top, but as far as I can remember everyone made it and I don’t think we were even required to wear more than trainers on our feet and clothes thick enough to keep us warm – lucky it didn’t end up like that fateful picnic at Hanging Rock and we were all lost on the rocks...though I think if we were someone would have come and rescued us pretty quickly.

Written by  Kat Mackintosh.

Comments, reviews and questions by other travellers

Climbing Kosciuszko in winter

Please let me know about climbing Kozzy in winter. If the trail is covered with snow, is it marked with snow poles? Climb (part of 7 Summits) is planned for mid-June 2010. What is likely snow accumulation at that time of the year?

We're Australians/US citizens. Very familiar with Colorado Rocky Mountains in winter.

Thanks for any help or suggestions.

1 Reply

I've climbed it in June and there was snow up to about your ankles just off the paths. However the snow up there is pretty varied, some years it's worse than others. There's tree cover up to a point, then the plains, which is where the snow is deepest but it's flat so pretty safe, then the peak is rocky. I think there are snow poles, but get in touch with the National Parks department if you're really concerned.

Considering I've climbed it with 80 other 13 and 14 year olds in a school group, in winter, you should be fine. It's supposed to be A LOT easier than the other six summits!

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