Height: 2,228 metres / 7,310 feet
OUR CLIMB …
Summit date: 7th March 2004
Kosciuszko (pronounced Kozzie-os-ko) is part of the Great Dividing range which runs along the borders of Vistoria and New South Wales.
Near its upper flanks it is open moorland but moving down toward the valleys takes you through a myriad of changing vegetation from the hardy snow-gums to thorny shrubs, eucalyptus and finally dense pines.
Whilst it is the highest peak in Australia and Dick Bass popularised it on the international scene when he climbed it in 1983 as one of the “Seven Summits”, it is not a difficult or high mountain and as one expedition company said – it is never likely to earn them any money. Despite this, as with any peak, its ability to surprise cannot be dismissed. Not only have skiers been caught out by avalanches and whiteout conditions but also 19 people were killed when a massive landslide destroyed part of Thredbo (the ski resort below Kosciuszko) in July 1997.
Whilst it is likely the Aboriginals have climbed Kosciusko for hundreds if not thousands of years, it wasn’t seen by white men until 1824. It earnt it’s name in 1940 from Sir Paul Edmond de Strzelecki (a Polish explorer) who believed the mountains shape was similar to the tomb of his fellow polish countryman (Tadeusz Kosciuszko), which rests in Krakow’s Wawel Cathedral.
Being part of the Kosciuszko National park there is careful management and control of the area to minimise the impact of large number of visitors that the mountain receives both in summer and winter.