The spirit of the trip – bagging high hills and geocaches

Tuesday-Wednesday 12-13 March: Kosciuszko Walk, Rams Head Range and Abbott Ridge -L/R. Starting from Thredbo, enjoy a chairlift ride to Top Station. Walk to Mt Koscuiszko, detouring via Rams Head and North Rams Head. Then north on the Main Range Track and footpad to Mt Townsend. Camp at Wilkinsons Creek. Walk out the next day, picking up any features we’ve missed. This is a geocaching trip for experienced walkers. Map: Perisher Valley. Leader: John Evans 0417 436 877 . Limit: 4. Transport: ∼$40 per person.

Further Information

I did some of these geocaches 3-9 Dec 18 but, like a donkey, didn’t collect clues located inside the cache containers’ lids.


Distance: 39.2km | Climb: 1800m | Time: 2 days | Grading: L/M-R; H(14)


Photographs are available, where you can start a large sized slideshow.


Waypoint and Track Files

Download the gpx file for this trip (if your browser does not automatically download the file, it will open the gpx file in a new window and you can then save it). To use in Google Earth, do File, Open… and select Gps or All files as the File Type.

Track Notes

Day 1

We met at my old folks home at 6am. Breakfasted up and all with cast iron bladders, we made Thredbo by 8.30am. Parked the car and went straight to buy lift tickets.

Wheels started to fall off – ticket office late opening, then news that the lift may start late due to high winds. We waited for a while, then decided to walk up Merritts Nature Trail. My GPSr didn’t have a cold start, it had a frigid one. Satellites not found until we reached Wombat Camp (so I had to add a bit to the recorded track). In addition, with the late start, we decided to do the Rams Head Range, rather than the long trip to Mt Townsend.

A huff and puff up at a good pace, reaching Eagles Nest just after 10am. Chairlift still not operating.

It was a mite breezy, the weather records showing 63kph gusting to 80kph and an apparent temperature of -5.5C. Layers and gloves on! The roar of the wind was our constant companion for the next 2 days, except when momentarily in the lee of a hill.

We walked the Kosciuszko Walk to Etheridge Gap, stopping for morning tea a little further on where there were rocks we could huddle behind. It was 11.10am and I thought there was time to go on to Rawson Pass before doubling back onto the Rams Head Range.

Stopped at Cootapatamba Lookout for Roger to do GC7FRZC Lake Cootapatamba – Kosciuszko National Park.

Lake Cootapatamba from the Kosciuszko Walk

Then on to GC5EK3A Aussie Peaks – Unnamed Peak I for Roger to log and for us to collect clue 5. Similarly for GC5EK3J Aussie Peaks – Australia’s Highest Dunny where we collected clue 2.

Now 11.30am. The wind was abating a bit, now 37/56 kph (but that was at Thredbo Top Station) but it was still roaring. Time to turn round.

We walked back to Etheridge Gap, which gives a nice, gentle ascent south onto the Rams Head Range. We visited GC5EK3K Aussie Peaks – Unnamed Peak IV for clue 7, then continued south to climb Rams Head North.

Heading south to Rams Head North

Rams Head North cairn from the southern summit

Mt Kosciuszko from Rams Head North

I mistakenly always first go to the southern knoll, where my companions pointed out the cairn on the higher northern knoll. So a scramble over there. Too windy to straddle the top boulder, but at least we touched the cairn.

Descending to round the feature to the south, we walked west to pick up the SW ridge to GC5EK37 Aussie Peaks – Rams Head for clue 6. Then SW to climb Rams Head.

Approaching Rams Head

My best ever selfie, taken on Rams Head

Now 2pm and we were heading for home, hoping that the chair lift had started. Walking east, we crossed a map-marked track. But there is nothing extant, the first touch just being a drainage line. A slightly more elegant descent to join the Kosciuszko Walk, a fraction south of previous times. On the iron track by 2.45pm. Reached Eagles Nest at 2.50pm. Last coffee orders taken at 3pm. The lift was operating!

Wide grins as we chaired down.

Got the car. Dropped Roger and Lauren to walk the Pipeline Track for the 7 caches there. I parked at the other end and walked in to meet them. Finished at last and dropped gear at our glamping lodge. Shower, tea at the Thredbo Pub, in bed 8pm. Asleep 8.01pm.

Day 2

Packed up and enjoyed a very generous continental breakfast at our lodge. Walked down to the car to drop our extra gear, then to buy lift tickets. Hooray, the chairs were being loaded on! Operates from 9am in Summer for walkers, so we were ready to walk from Eagles Nest at 9.15am.

We leaned into the wind and covered the 5.3km to the junction of Kosciuszko Summit Walk and the Main Range Track in 1hr 10mins.

On Kosciuszko Walk

At last a chance to log my first cache, GC5EK3B Aussie Peaks – Main Range Track and we collected clue 4. Lauren found it, as she did one yesterday (young eyes).

Signing on at GC5EK3B Aussie Peaks – Main Range Track

We headed along the Main Range Track and down the nearly 170 vertical meters to Muellers Pass. I overshot the Mt Townsend footpad turnoff, tib-min and not seeing the cairns. About turn and heading along the footpad to Mt Townsend.

Cairn marking turnoff onto Mt Townsend footpad from Main Range Track

1hr for the 2.5km to the balancing rock at the NE foot of Mt Townsend. The approach to the crest of the Abbott Ridge is magic!

Approaching Mt Townsend and the crest of the Abbott Ridge

A pause to collect information for the earth cache GC767EF Formation of the Australian Alps Earthcache. Then a scramble to the top and a log of GC5EK36 Aussie Peaks – Mt Townsend and collect clue 1.

Magnificent views!

Views from Mt Townsend to Alice Rawson Peak

Views from Mt Townsend south to Abbott Peak

Back down at the balancing rock Lauren climbed it. Too windy to sit astride, but she made it. Once she was down, my heart returned from my mouth.

Lauren atop the balancing rock

40mins to return to the Main Range Track, then a gruelling climb back up to the Kosci Summit Track.

Up to Mt Kosciuszko, teaming with school groups from Alfred Deakin High in Canberra and lots of others. We persevered and found GCNEFX Kosciuszko Tops. Then collected the information for GC1YH53 Mount Kosciuszko EarthCache and took the required photos.

Finally collected the summit information for GC5EK3N Aussie Peaks – Mt Kosciuszko. But it was 2.30pm, not enough time to walk to Seamans Hut for the next leg of this cache.

Etheridge Ridge from the Mount Kosciuszko summit track

So it was homeward bound, getting on the chairlift at 3.50pm.

It was too good an opportunity to miss, not to grab a few roadside caches on the way home. Somewhere during our trip we logged the final GZ of GC1R2XV Visit Thredbo (you won’t find the location on the map segments or in the gpx file).

Also GC7N4QR FLYING THE WAVE, GC62EZE Bredbo cemetery and GC6A0DH The Forgotten Crossing – Sydney Road.

Fabulous 2 days – company, caching, hills, scenery, glamping. Thanks Roger and Lauren!

Track Maps

Track day 1

Track Kosciuszko Walk and Rams Head Range day 1

Track day 2

Track Kosciuszko Walk and Mt Townsend day 2



3 walkers – Roger E (Marmaduke Rothschild), Lauren O, me (JohnnyBoyACT).