About the Trip
Operated by AWE’s partner Climbing The Seven Summits
Travel to Australia to learn alpine skills while also climbing one of the Seven Summits and getting to explore Sydney!
The Snowy Mountains in NSW Australia is one of the most unique alpine environments in the world. The landscape itself is defined by gumtrees, wildflowers and limestone gorges and is home to Australia’s largest mainland peak, Mt Kosciuszko. The topography of Kosciuszko National Park makes for rugged and challenging environment that is perfectly suited to learning technical alpine skills. The Australian Alpine Academy, operated by AWE’s partner Climbing The Seven Summits, focuses on teaching the fundamentals of mountaineering and backcountry travel to prepare for bigger, more technical objectives aboard.
About Mt Kosciuszko and the Alpine Academy
A winter ascent of Mt Kosciuszko represents is a unique way in which to achieve one of the Seven Summits. While the mountain itself requires no prior technical climbing experience, a winter ascent is by no means a walk in the park! This course requires a good level of physical fitness and some grit to achieve the summit.
In addition to attempting a summit on Mount Kosciuszko (and learning how to pronounce Kosci’s name properly!), the learnings of the Australian Alpine Academy cover:
- Alpine safety
- Expedition & snow camping (Site selection, tent set up, snow block walls, kitchen setup, camp hygiene)
- Mountaineering skills – Crampon technique, self-arrest training, climbing efficiency techniques
- Knots, hitches and rope craft
- Glacier travel with sleds
- Ice climbing (condition dependent)
- Snow anchors & running protection
Of course no Australian adventure would be complete without a visit to the Sydney Harbor, or the opportunity to have a Koala encounter. With CTSS’ ten-day itinerary, developed specifically for international visitors from beyond the shores of Australia, you’ll get it all.
No mountaineering experience is required. Participants must be in good physical condition. Previous hiking experience is required. Previous backpacking experience is highly recommended but not mandatory.
Trip duration: 10 days / 9 nights
Group size: 6-10 guests
All reservations require a $500 deposit at the time of signup; balance of expedition fees typically comes due in two installments 60 and 90 days prior to departure. Ask us about flexible payment plans to space out payments further.
All of our expeditions kick off with a welcome dinner on Day 1. Please plan to arrive at your destination by mid-afternoon of Day 1, with plenty of time to clear immigration and customs and/or check into your hotel prior to meeting your teammates for the welcome dinner, which typically starts around 7pm local time. If you are flying in for an international expedition, your flights should land no later than 3pm local time.
This is your itinerary for the Australian Alpine Academy, operated by AWE's partner Climbing The Seven Summits:
- Day 1: Arrive and transfer to Rydges Sydney Harbour
- Day 2: Sydney Harbor, Koala encounter, and Harbor Bridge climb
- Day 3: Travel day to the Snowy Mountains. Overnight at motel
- Day 4: Snowshoe to Base Camp. Intro to Expedition Camping, set up camp. Overnight at Base Camp
- Day 5: Snowshoe to Blue Lakes & Basic Mountaineering Skills Training (Crampons, self-arrest, knots, sleds). Overnight at Base Camp
- Day 6: Summit! Climb to the top of Australia Kosciuszko, return to camp. Overnight at Base Camp
- Day 7: Crevasse Rescue training. Break down Camp return to Guthega. Overnight at Motel
- Day 8: Coach Trip back to Sydney and back to Rydges Sydney Harbour
- Day 9: Today is about being pampered. Relaxation, massages & pedicures at the hotel; final team celebration dinner
- Day 10: Departure
The last official business for all of our adventures is the final team dinner on the expedition’s penultimate day. While your expedition fee includes a hotel stay after the final team dinner, you may make departure plans for any time after 12:01am on the indicated departure day, including red-eye departures.
All itineraries are subject to change based on weather, team condition, and local logistics.
You will receive a detailed packing list in your expedition handbook after reserving your spot on this expedition. Climbing The Seven Summits provide the team, cooking and emergency gear for this adventure including mountaineering tents and emergency communications; you are responsible for your personal climbing gear and attire including the following items:
- Mountaineering boots
- Snow shoes
- Ice axe & crampons
- Climbing helmet
- Climbing harness
- 3 locking & 7 non-locking carabiners
- Belay device
- Mechanical ascender
- Prusik cord
- 70l+ backpack
- 100l+ sled duffel
- 0 degree (F) sleeping bag
- Sleeping pad
- Trekking poles
- Expedition-weight down jacket
- Hardshell (GoreTex) jacket
A broad selection of rental gear is available through national brands such as REI or Kit Lender.
- Hotel accommodation in Sydney (4 stars, 4 nights) and motel accommodation pre/post alpine academy in the Snowy Mountains (2 nights), double occupancy
- Sydney activities (koala encounter, bridge climb, massage)
- All logistics & transport in country
- Experienced mountaineering guides
- 3x nights camping in Kosciuszko National Park
- Breakfasts & dinners during the climb
- Team gear including four-season tents (double occupancy) and technical gear (ropes, snow anchors, team medical kit etc)
- Emergency GPS tracking and communications
- Flights to/from Sydney
- Gratuities for expedition leader and guides
- All in-town/hotel meals; sodas & alcoholic beverages
- Personal climbing gear and attire, including boots, sleeping bags, ice axe, crampons
- Personal snacks (bars, trail mix, or beef jerky) for on-trail sustenance
- Medical, travel, and rescue insurance
- Personal medications
- Single supplement - contact us to discuss availability and pricing
- Expenses while on expedition that are above and beyond the normal scope of the trip such as medical treatment, evacuation, trip interruption, flight changes, alcohol, gifts for friends and family, alcohol, mini bar, specialty coffees, 3rd party wifi charges
- Expenses incurred due to events out of the control of AWE & CTSS such as delays or interruptions, political events, natural events of disasters, events outside of our control will not be covered by AWE or CTSS. These may include circumstances such as extra hotel nights due to delays and need to be covered by your insurance