Planning a snow trip..

Submitted: Sunday, Feb 08, 2009 at 10:06
ThreadID: 65795 Views:2420 Replies:4 FollowUps:5
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We are trying to plan our first trip down to the Jindabyne/ kosciusko National Park area, is there anyone who can help us, with the right time to go and any hints or tips, we'd like to go preferably in the June/July school holidays(qld), the kids would also like to see some snow, is this too early? Any advice will be taken on board..
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Reply By: Member - Mark E (VIC) - Sunday, Feb 08, 2009 at 11:44

Sunday, Feb 08, 2009 at 11:44

It would be helpful if you could inform us what you want to do..... some examples:

Snow Play with the kids?
Driving in snow?
Ski touring or yo-yo (downhill) skiing?
How much time do you want to spend in the area?

Also may need to know your planned accommodation. To camp anywhere near there you will need to be well equipped for cold and/or wet weather camping, which may include some snow. Even the caravan park in Jindabyne can be very cold and you would all need to be prepared for this. Alternatively some form of chalet accommodation etc...

In general: The area is a mecca for all snow activities and there is almost limitless possibilities. There is skiing for all levels from beginners to advance multi day cross country ski touring on the Main Range and the Jagungal Wilderness area.

June/July is early winter and depending upon the season there may be little or no snow that is easily accessible. This time of the year is also the coldest and the weather anywhere up in the mountains at that time of the year can be extreme, including white-outs. I would suggest spring time for first timers in the snow as you often get some better weather and generally better snow cover. You can even have some nice warm sunny days in the snow during spring.....lovely for skiing and not as difficult to manage, especially with kids.

There is quite a lot to consider when arranging such a trip and many on here will be more than willing to assist, but a little more info may be required.....


AnswerID: 348136

Follow Up By: rob w - Sunday, Feb 08, 2009 at 18:57

Sunday, Feb 08, 2009 at 18:57
Hi Mark,
We are planning on spending about 10 days down there..not a traditional ski trip, no skiing, just some driving in the snow and days playing in the snow for the kids.. from your reply, it seems that spring would be the better time, but we really just want to drive and play in it..would you still suggest spring?, as to accommodation, we will definetly be under the stars somewhere...preferably 3,4 or
Thanks Again
FollowupID: 616421

Follow Up By: Member - Mark E (VIC) - Sunday, Feb 08, 2009 at 21:53

Sunday, Feb 08, 2009 at 21:53
" under the stars somewhere..."

Good luck at that time of the year. The mountains up there are very wet and cold. Even camping in a tent will be cold.

I have spent a significant amount of time camping up there in winter as I used to do a LOT of cross-country ski touring and as such am well equipped to camp in cold, wet and snow conditions. In fact, I prefer camping in the snow as it is generally easier to stay dry, than when it is raining or sleeting.

It would be damn hard work with kids, trying to keep them warm and dry, but I would suggest having a look around Island Bend on the Snowy as a reasonable place to camp at that time of the year, though I was there on the coldest day ever recorded in Australia! The temp at Charlotte's Pass was -23C and -18c at Island bend. We had a bucket of water beside our tent an by the morning it was frozen SOLID. Not just a layer if ice on the top. I have an expedition rated sleeping bag that is of very high quality with a goretex shell (worth about $800) and I was JUST warm enough that night in a little hiking tent with just 2 of us. You will want some very good gear to be able to ENJOY camping up there at that time of the year.

My wife loves camping, but I wouldn't take her up there at that time of the year as I know she would struggle with the weather.

I can't help much with the snow driving stuff, but many of the tracks up there are either closed for the winter or the major roads are cleared by snow clearing machinery. I'm sure there are some tracks to drive on, but only those who live up that way or are very familiar with 4WDing in the area will be able to help you with this. Driving in the snow is generally a bit of a dead loss in my experience. Most of my snow driving has been in the Vic High country and this is usually restricted to the main access roads. Unless the snow is quite soft and relatively fresh, you wont get very far in deep snow.

Many 4WDers seem to have this obsession with driving up to the snow, getting bogged, snatch out backwards, trying again, getting 2-3m further, getting bogged again and on it goes....all on a road that will have a gate a little further up the road. I find this quite mindless, but each to their own.

It sounds like you just want a snow experience, so I would suggest you choose the spring holidays instead of the winter ones. There is simply more chance of getting a little good weather and temperatures are (generally slightly warmer and the 'bulk' of the snow has already fallen).

Hope I don't sound too negative for you, but trying to save you from an unpleasant trip. Though all that being said, if you think the family could cope with those conditions, it is a very beautiful place at that time of the year if you can get a view through the fog and snow storms.


FollowupID: 616465

Follow Up By: rob w - Sunday, Feb 08, 2009 at 22:26

Sunday, Feb 08, 2009 at 22:26
Thanks for your info, all of it has been taken onboard , " the under the stars " quote was a tounge in cheek remark, about staying in a 3, 4or 5 star resort/ cabin, I have no intention of camping anywhere there...Thanks again though, I think that Spring holidays will be the way we go.
All the best
FollowupID: 616474

Reply By: MEMBER - Darian (SA) - Sunday, Feb 08, 2009 at 12:11

Sunday, Feb 08, 2009 at 12:11
We went up to Jindabyne in the April school hols in about 05 - snowed the day we got there - plenty of play snow up around Charlotte's Pass - we wanted to walk to the summit but the whole area then closed for such activities - those top walks didn't open again till summer as I recall. There is a huge visitor info centre at Jindabyne - they could give you the good oil on the phone.
AnswerID: 348137

Follow Up By: rob w - Sunday, Feb 08, 2009 at 18:59

Sunday, Feb 08, 2009 at 18:59
Thanks for that...thats a good idea...will get on it this week.
FollowupID: 616422

Reply By: robertbruce - Sunday, Feb 08, 2009 at 14:31

Sunday, Feb 08, 2009 at 14:31
Between staying at a Resort/CV park and Pro-Extreme camping it, you wont save much, if any. If it is a family skiing holiday the resort is far better.... even an international resort compares with the aussie price's being the most exclusive...
If it is a tobogganing or cross-country holiday, then proX camping is a magnificant experience....dont camp too high tho', being snowed in is only romantic for about half-an-hour....
AnswerID: 348157

Follow Up By: rob w - Sunday, Feb 08, 2009 at 19:05

Sunday, Feb 08, 2009 at 19:05
Thanks for the advice...after camping in Mitchell in the middle of winter last year, I can assure you that there will be no camping this year in the
FollowupID: 616423

Reply By: Sigmund - Monday, Feb 09, 2009 at 16:38

Monday, Feb 09, 2009 at 16:38
All roads and tracks that are not snow-cleared, which will be most of them, will be closed at the start of season - Queen's Birthday weekend - or before if there are heavy falls. They are likely to stay closed til around October.


In my experience with kids in the snow, a day is enough play for them to get wet and tired.

But after that you could always book them in for a ski lesson, snow-shoe walk or similar.
AnswerID: 348336

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