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 (near Dead Horse Gap) in the afternoon and ski/snowshoe to campsite. Afternoon trek, ski instruction, camp.
Breakfast. Ski/snowshoe tour. Return to Cascade car park. Drive to Jindabyne.
This equipment is returned to Icetrek after the training (see equipment list).
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 drive takes us to Cascades carpark on the spine of the Snowy Mountains where our overnight adventure begins. The sleds carry most of our equipment and light bulky items go into our backpacks. For an overnight adventure the weight is very low and manageable for almost anyone. 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 remaining afternoon to practice skiing on the gentle slopes or we go for a ski/snowshoe tour up to the treeline.
No previous ski or snowshoeing required.
In the morning we undertake another ski/snowshoe tour through the trees, descending to Cascade Car Park and return to Jindabyne in the afternoon.
THINGS TO KNOW
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 adequate health and fitness to match the trip program
You need good quality winter outdoor equipment and boots, 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.
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. 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 9.30am 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:
We do not provide any accommodation in Jindabyne.
Once you have signed onto the trip you will receive an Australian Alps Trip Information Booklet which has full details of how to plan for your trip.
What will be the temperature during the trip?
The temperature will be anywhere from 0 to -15C, 32 to 5F
Where do we meet?
We will meet at the Parc Cafe in Jindabyne at 9.30am. See the Getting There tab for details.
Can I leave bags in Jindabyne?
You can either arrange to leave bags at your hotel, in your car if you have driven or we will find room in our vehicle. But please don't com with excessive bags and equipment.
How heavy will my sled be?
You sled will weigh around 25 to 30kg / 55 to 66lb.
What type of sleds do we use?
We use Northern Sled Works Siglin Pulks made from slippery HDPE plastic and we use purpose-built conduit bar hauling traces.
What if I am not a skier?
Skiing experience is preferable but not mandatory. We will spend time teaching you and you can also opt to be on snowshoes. We carry both skis and snowshoes.
How do we go downhill with sleds?
We usually change to snowshoes and the bar traces stop the sleds from overtaking us, they simply track in our steps. On steeper ground we unclip and reverse the bars which gives excellent stability and control.
How long do we ski every day on the trip?
It varies depending on the group, terrain and weather. Usually we ski between 5 to 6 hours per day not including breaks.
What is the Guide to Client ratio?
What type of tents do we use?
We use Hilleberg Keron 3 or 4-person tents for two people. There is plenty of room to get comfortable but small enough to warm up quickly once you are inside. You are responsible for setting up, managing and taking down your tent.
What will we eat on the expedition?
You can find our menu here
Who cooks the meals and melts the snow for water?
You do! This is a normal part of winter trip life. We train you in how to use the gas stove efficiently and carefully.
What if there is an emergency and how will we communicate with the outside world?
We carry a number of communications and emergency devices including an Iridium handheld phone, iPhone and PLB (Personal Locator Beacon). Our trip plans are logged with the Icetrek office and with NSW Parks.
Is there mobile reception?
We will have mobile reception for some of the trip but it isn't reliable so don't make any promises to be in touch with family and friends. There is reception on the summit of Mt Kosciuszco and we often post from the to Facebook from here.
Feel free to submit your own questions.