5.30am sunrise on Seamans Hut and the Etheridge Ridge

Saturday-Sunday 18-19 November 2023: Seamans Hut – M/M. This is an alpine walk from the top of the quad express chairlift to Seamans Hut via the summit of Kosciusko. We follow the main summit trail via Rawson Pass to the summit then down the Charlotte Pass Road to Seamans Hut. We camp next to Seamans Hut and return the next day via the Snowy River Valley with some off-track walking back to the top of the chairlift.


From Garmin Connect (MAP66i) – Distance: 13.18+9.90=23.08km | Climb: 470+110=580vm (Elev Corrections Enabled) | Descent: 370vm+765=1135vm (Elev Corrections Enabled) | Time: 2 days | Grading: M/E; M(8).


View photographs here.

gpx file

Download the gpx file here.

Track Map

Here’s where we went. I whimped out on the visit to Cootapatamba Hut and went to Etheridge Ridge instead. Rejoined the others at Lake Cootapatamba.

Track Seamans Hut

Trip Report

I was last in this area on 12-13 Mar 19.

Absolutely delightful to be picked up from my front door. Our drivers had a warm up walk back from the overnight parking area to where they dropped us. The place was hopping, it being the opening weekend of the walking and MBT seasons. I’d pre-purchased a lift ticket on the internet ($49 for a one day old fella Scenic Lift Pass + $5 for a MyThredbo Card). Lovely 15 minute ride up to Eagles Nest.

Walking by 11.40am.

On the Kosciuszko Walk on a blue sky day

We reached to Kosciuszko Lookout at what our leader described as a leisurely pace.

Kosciuszko Lookout

But with 12kg on my aging back I knew I couldn’t keep up off-track, so I negotiated a release. I waved bye-bye to my companions as they headed west across the N flank of Rams Head North and down to Cootapatamba Hut. I continued on the steel track with the day trippers.

I whimp out along Kosciuszko Walk

The Kosciuszko Walk to Rawson Pass now has no steps, no doubt to allow powered emergency vehicle access. I wonder if my dear wife would enjoy the trip in her electric wheelchair?

Crossed the start of the Snowy River.

Start of the mighty Snowy River

To the right were views down into the Snowy River valley which we were to traverse the next day.

View NE over the headwaters of the Snowy River

Near Rawson Pass I headed up to the first 2180m knoll of the Etheridge Ridge. Views opened up down to Lake Cootapatamba.

Lake Cootapatamba and Mt Kosciuszko from the climb to the Etheridge Ridge

This knoll and the view from it is a favourite of mine.

Mt Kosciuszko from the Etheridge Ridge

I sat there for quite a while. I watched a party of four ascend from Rawson Pass and had a chat with one of them. Turned out to be one of the doctors who treated me in hospital a couple of years ago. He modestly said he was “one of the team” – I probably owe my life to him.

I wandered down to Rawson Pass, then on down towards Lake Cootapatamba to meet the others.

Walking down to Lake Cootapatamba

We met up on the Swampy Plain River just below the lake and walked up to its shore.

Lake Cootapatamba

A few flowers about, no doubt more to come in later weeks at this higher altitude.

White alpine ranunculus (buttercups), id thanks to Barrie R

We walked up the west side of the lake.

Walking the W edge of Lake Cootapatamba

Dropping our packs at Rawson Pass, we headed up the track to the top.

View N from the Kosciuszko Summit Track

Across the persistent drift across the track where the Main Range Track joins.

The drift across the Kosciuszko Summit Track

A lot of track work.

Track work

Obligatory photos at the top, back down. Main Rawson Pass toilets closed for maintenance, portable ones in place.

Down the Summit Walk road towards Charlotte Pass, we picked up water from a stream running off the Etheridge Ridge. Allan has never seen it dry. Down to Seamans Hut (the first to camp this evening), arriving at 4.50pm.

The breeze had started to rise which made (for me) setting up my tent a little more of a challenge. Eventually settled on a spot right by Hut wall. Soup, tea, chat. A very fancy, sympathetically stone constructed toilet. To bed to ease my well exercised body with that heady mix of Christian music and rock and roll. Recharged devices, inReach texted to my dear wife.

The wind came up.

All abodes were a little noisy. Here’s my tent heaving during the night – just 20 seconds of sound.

Too good not to be blown out of bed for the early morning light.

5.30am sunrise at Seamans Hut (and toilet)

I was hoping for breakfast in bed, but no joy and the hut provided a calm dining room.

My wind flapping tent

Away at a very relaxed 9am, across the road and down to the SE.

With 20-20 hindsight, perhaps better camping below Seamans Hut out of the wind

What followed was an absolutely delightful saunter south across the Snowy River valley.

Down into the Snowy River valley

There are plenty more photos in the album. Great walking through the alpine meadows and waterways.

Walking the Snowy River valley

Our leader set a kind pace with a couple of lengthy stops to take in the views.

Allan leads us through the Snowy River valley

A lot of our route paralleled an old ski route on the other side of the river, indicated by old ski poles. Allan said a few poles near the Charlotte Pass Road and where it joins the iron track have been removed to discourage heavy traffic use.

Snowy River with old snow poles in distance defining a disused route

We crossed the Snowy River to the true right side.

Crossing the Snowy River above a little cascade

We spotted three deer up in the rocks, so headed there out of the wind for our second break of the morning.

3 deer in the rocks where we had a break

Around the high point and up a bit and we were back on the steel walkway of the Kosciuszko Walk.

Old bridge foundations I hadn’t noticed on the way in.

Old bridge foundations where the Kosciuszko Walk crosses Merritts Creek

Back at top station things were quiet and still. I wonder why?

A bit breezy

So there was nothing to do but walk down Merritts Nature Trail, combining it with bits of the service road.

Merritts Nature Track signage

A 550vm descent, making yesterday’s lift ticket worth every cent of its cost. I don’t think I could walk up Merritts again with an overnight bag.

Of course, the chairlift had restarted by the time we reached the bottom. But Thredbo was eerily quiet with most of the MBT riders gone due to no lifts being advertised in the morning.

Lunch by the Thredbo River.

A snooze for me a lot of the way home.

A fabulous trip, thank you Allan and companions!


5 walkers – Allan D (leader), Stephen J, Charity M, Daniel P, me.


The AllTrails map is here, where you can pan and zoom.

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