Before talking about Mt Kosciusko, I will provide a small back story. Banjo Patterson is an Aussie famous for one of his poems written in 1890, “The Man from Snowy River”, which is about a valuable colt (young male horse) that escapes to live with the brumbies (Australian wild horses). Patterson goes on to explain the wild chase that ensues. When the brumbies are driven down a steep hill by the horde of men on horseback, only one man has the courage to continue in pursuit, earning him the title of “The Man from Snowy River”.
‘As a horse-obsessed kid, I grew up reading a series of brumby stories written by an Australian authoress named Elyne Mitchell. Mitchell was my equivalent of Banjo Patterson, and it is fitting that one of her books is based on the legend of the Man from Snowy River, aptly named “The Colt from Snowy River”.
‘I visited Mt Kosciusko as part of a school camp in the autumn of ’06. We stayed in a few cabins in Jindabyne and spent some time eating damper (a simple dough toasted over a camp fire) with golden syrup drizzled on top. We also did stuff like high ropes and a flying fox.
‘One day, we were driven to Thredbo, from which we rode a chairlift up to the top of Mt Kosciusko, where we were bombarded with snowballs by a group from another visiting school. Brushing our annoyance aside, we made the fairly easy trek up to the summit.
‘It was my first time seeing (and floundering) in snow! The weather was surprisingly warm and before long we made it up to the summit. Gazing at the surroundings in person, it was there that I could finally imagine the stories from my childhood taking form and coming to life. I could imagine the bushmen on horseback staying at their homesteads, boiling tea in their billy cans and mustering cattle. It was there that names of landmarks in the Snowy Mountains such as the Snowy River, Charlotte Pass and Lake Cootapatamba took on a new meaning.
It was all so very Australian.