Australian Alps 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 on Ice 4
  • Ski days 5
  • Daily Distance 4km
  • 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

August 14

Meet in Jindabyne 10am. Preparation and gear check. Drive to Dead Horse Gap in the afternoon and begin ski tour.

August 15-17

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

August 18

Return to Dead Horse Gap. Drive to Jindabyne.


  • Transportation from Jindabyne to start and from finish to Jindabyne
  • Expedition food and stove fuel
  • Icetrek guide
  • Use of specialist equipment including tents, snow tools, sleds 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 Main Range 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.


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

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

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

You need good quality winter outdoor equipment, check the equipment list

You must be at least 14 years old to participate


Icetrek Australia Polar Training Main Range Local


The nearest international airport to Jindabyne is Sydney. Canberra is a 55 minute flight from Sydney.


Greyhound run a winter bus service direct from 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.


We provide accommodation in Jindabyne the night before departure. This is a shared room with shared facilities. You will be sleeping in tents together so it's an early introduction to bunking-in. You can opt to book your own room however there is no refund on the shared room already booked.

Australia Map

Australian Alps Novice

August 14 to 18, 2017 Availability: 6
per person ex-Jindabyne ($1240 if you are booked onto an Icetrek trip)
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