Australian Alps Winter Advanced

Trek across the roof of Australia

Ski to the summit of Mt Koscuiszco and beyond.

This ski tour is a superb trip for anyone wanting to experience the joys of Australian ski-touring. It's also a great polar training program that covers the basics of a polar ski expedition.

  • Gateway Jindabyne, Australia
  • Distance 60km
  • Nights 6
  • Trek days 7
  • Daily Distance 8-9km of mountain terrain
  • Sled Weight 25kg
  • Temp. Range 0 to -15C
  • Challenge 4 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 1-6

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

Day 7

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 kitted up for a week in the Australian Alps. It's winter here, the mountains are full of snow, there's a chill in the air, so expect adventure.

Sleds prepared, a one-hour bus ride takes us to Dead Horse Gap on the spine of the Main Range where our adventure begins. A long climb up a spur lined with beautiful snowgums takes us 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 across this magical plateau that we venture.

Hauling sleds with our food and equipment we negotiate the terrain ahead - snow slopes, icy ridges, sastrugi, cornices, descents, and a climb of Australia's highest peak, Mt Koscuiszco (2228m). If the conditions suit we'll camp on the summit.

Throughout the trip we cover typical polar techniques such as sled hauling, trace configurations, ski equipment alternatives, clothing adaptation, tent pitching, food provisioning and diet. We also look at more specialised methods of roped-up sled hauling, simulated crevasse rescue and emergency shelters.

After a week of ski touring across Australia's roof we descend to a road where we are collected by bus and return to Jindabyne.


Australian alpine winter conditions can be tough, don't under-estimate them just because they are not polar. Wind, dampness and cold can combine to produce extremely challenging conditions. 

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 prior skiing/snowshoeing and preferably snowcamping experience

You need good quality winter outdoor equipment and footwear, 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

Greyhound and SnoExpress 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 Parks 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 Advanced

August 19 to 25, 2019 Availability: 6 places
per person ex-Jindabyne ($1700 if you are booked onto an Icetrek polar trip)
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