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Other Mt Kosciuszko MTB videos

 

The Summit Track (Charlotte Pass - Rawson Pass)   (7.70km)

Mt KosciuszkoLast Update: 21/1/2013
Some trail names are made up, if there is a different name please let us know.

Video Uploaded: 10/1/2013

Difficulty - Easy
Slope - Moderate - Steep
Space - Open
Surface - Dirt - Loose rocks on dirt
Trail type - Graded Dirt Road

Notes:

There are a number of trails heading to Mt Kosciuszko however this is the only one trail where you are allowed to ride your bike.  "The Summit" trail head is at the end of the Kosciusko Rd (above Charlotte Pass ski resort), about 3/4s of the way around the end loop, just beyond the NPWS building.

The trail is a 7.7km graded fire road all the way to Rawson Pass.  At the time of riding the trail was in very good condition with little to no ruts, however the surface is quite loose.  While pretty consistently covered in small to medium loose rocks there are typically two clean lines along the trail.

The way out is almost entirely up hill with the exception of a casual 500m descent across a saddle at the head of the Snowy River (about 4kms into the ride).  The first 4km is not too steep, I rode it 2nd front and mid to low gears on the back. 

From the concrete bridges over the Snowy River you can spot Seamanís Hut at (what appears to be) the top of the hill, the road to the hut is where the climbing gets more brutal.  Steep and loose it really took the wind out of me and I had to have a break about 2/3rds up.  The big grass clearing was a great spot to take 5 and look out over the ranges.  From here I was in the granny gears until Seamanís.

From Seamanís the gradient eases for a short while before getting steep again for the final climb to Rawson Pass.

The climb from Kosciuszko Rd to Rawson Pass took me roughly 1 hour 10 minutes plus stops (3 of them).  Fit riders would do it in around 40 minutes for those who struggle climbing you may end up walking large sections on the way up.  The challenge is not so much physical as it is mental, as you approach each corner you hope for a flat bit but it is literally 7.2kms up hill and 500m down Ė no flat bits.  Very different to the first half of the Oaks Trail, as a comparison.

Watch my other video of the Charlotte Pass to Rawson Pass Return for some additional footage of the climb and a sountrack

DESCENDING

1 hour 10 minutes up .. 13 minutes and 11 seconds down!   I was going absolutely flat chat to get that descent time, I was hoping for a respectable 20 minutes and by Strava records 20 minutes is quick, 30-40 minutes would be a comfortable descent.

The one thing I havenít mentioned is the water bars, there are lots of them .. LOTS AND LOTS of them.  If you are planning on racing back then make sure you scope them out on the climb because some have a significant amount of loose gravel on one side or another and you might be there the day after the NPWS have dumped a fresh load of rocks.

All but a couple of corners have good vision which helps greatly during the descent as itís a shared trail and you will encounter lots of walkers, maybe even a NPWS vehicle.

The initial descent was a fast, pedal free, roller coaster that saw me reach a peak speed of 50km/h near Seamanís Hut.  The 500m climb from the Snowy River back up the other side was torture as I pushed hard trying not to lose too much time.  The final descent is not as steep so I powered along in top gear the whole way (trying to get a good time) but you could free wheel it.

I was so stoked to pick up my first (and probably last) Strava top 3 with a time of 15:15, however when I checked the video and stopwatch my time was 13:11 (faster than the top Strava time).  I didnít stop smiling all day.

REVIEW

As far as great mountain bike trails go the Summit Trail is not going to be anywhere near the best however I found the 7.7km climb a great challenge, not to mention the notch in my belt for riding to the highest point in Australia where you can take a bike - legally.  The descent however was AMAZING.  Riding flat chat for such a long way was so exhilarating; itís something I will never forget.

The Summit Trail is what it is Ė Open graded fire road, stacks of water bars, a long climb and fast descent.  Take the trail at face value but soak in the amazing views on the way up.

OR Ö

Sacred Ride promote summer Full Moon Rides.  A guided tour to the top of Mt Kosciuszko, drinks at the top then and descend under moonlight (no bike lights).  Everyone Iíve spoken to raves about it.

OTHER INFO 

Before heading out on the trail check with the NPWS on the trail status, there is a NPWS visitors centre in Jindabyne (next to Nuggets Crossing) or at the park gates at Sawpit Creek (along the Kosciuszko Rd).

NOTE: The flies are nasty.  You will see at the start of the video I veer off course a little that was me trying to get a biting horsefly off my sock (they prefer socks to landing on your skin?).

IMPORTANT: Being in an alpine region the weather can go from blisteringly hot to near freezing within a few hours (in early January I rode out at 9am and it was 9ļC, however on subsequent days it was already approaching 30ļC by 9am).  Check the forecast before heading out, carry additional clothing, have wind and sun protection and carry plenty of water.  There is no phone reception along this trail.

Blog articles that mention this trail

Comments:

This website is brought to you by MTB weekend warrior Aaron Markie.
There are plenty of great websites out there with a wealth of information about Mountain Bike Trails,
however in my experience its hard to get a good mix of info, maps, photos and videos of trails I've never ridden.
The idea of this website is to tie those 4 elements together and give you a more detailed look at the MTB Trails I ride.
If you have anything to add then let me know.