Big Day Out: Thredbo Village to Kosciuszko Split Board

snow action team 22.08.2021

Lockdown Lotto, a nightmare for some, not too bad for others, especially if you’re fit and keen like our snowboard guru Peter Wunder who has been making some epic day trip missions from Thredbo to Kosciuszko.

Sure, heading out to Kozi from the top of Thredbo is not such a huge stretch, but add in the 672m vertical you don’t get using the lifts normally and you are almost tripling the required uplift!

Which is no drama for Pete, who was already toned up from 59 days ripping Thredbo and surrounds pre-lockdown.

Launching off the Kozi cornice
The cornice gets massive in a good year: Pete launching it in 2000 © Peter Wunder archive

We left the base of Kosi chair at 8.30am. I was on my Jones Solution split board.

We walked straight up the Supertrail in Thredbo. It was still firm at that time of the morning which made walking easy until we got to the steep sections.

After a few slides backwards we decided to divert up the Village Trail, to pop us out onto the Supertrail above Kareela Hutte.

If it’s soft you can walk straight up the whole way. We headed up Conrod Straight and turned off towards Basin T-bar and the hardest part of the walk was over.

It can take one to two hours to get to this point depending on your fitness.

Skinning up Ramshead with Mount Kosciuszko in the background
Heading for home, Kozi in background © Peter Wunder

It became a light uphill gradient walk along the summer metal grate path, which is covered in snow during winter but has guide poles for winter walks. This leads us straight to the base of Mt Kosciuszko.

We stopped for lunch here at the base where the wind is always milder, rather than wait for lunch at the top. It also works well to have a good rest before the last steep last section up the face to the top of Mount Kosciuszko.

The face of Mount Kosciuszko was a 15 to 30 minute walk up and we were met with amazing 360 degree views. It’s often very windy at the top and it’s crazy the amount of times I see people trying to stay warm while struggling to unwrap their lunch in the howling gale on the summit.

Slashing a powder line of Mount Kosciuszko
Despite recent rain there is was plenty of sweet windblown to be found © Peter Wunder

For the way down we headed to the far end of Kosi cornice towards Leather Barrel. There are two lines I take depending on conditions: either right of the cornice, which is very steep, it usually is a vertical drop-off that could be 30cm or up to 5 meters.

Or the second option, which we took on this day, from the very end of the cornice, which has a natural quarter pipe running for about 1.5 km to the red overnight hut, Cootapatamba Hut, sitting below Lake Cootapatamba.

Red hut at Lake Cootapatamba
The flash red hut at Cootapatamba © Peter Wunder

This line had perfect windblown powder all the way down which was very welcome as everywhere else was icy from the recent rain.

The line towards Leatherbarrel from the southern end of the Kozi cornice © Peter Wunder

The walk out was straight up what felt like a never ending hill with a moderate to steep gradient but it brought us to a high point from which we could snowboard all the way back into Thredbo Resort.

On days when we’re keen for a little more, we walk further up to Ramshead then drop down to Bogong Creek, which always has epic snow. It’s only a short hike out from there and you’re right above Dead Horse Gap car park where we leave a car so we can get back to Thredbo Village.

This is a great day out and totals 25 to 30 kilometers of walking. You’ll sleep well and your Instagram account will look great.

Ditto that! Hopefully the ACT has the COVID under control there early in September and we can get back out to join Pete on some of these missions. There is plenty of snow left for “second season” even if we don’t get a lot more from here on in.

Of course if and when the lifts re-open, Thredbo to Kosciuszko is a lot easier. The uninitiated can take guided trips out there too, check details on Thredbo’s site here.

For the fit and capable, a bit shorter mission with some awesome terrain options would be Twin Valleys, as on the link below, or just Dead Horse of course as outlined by PEte above.