Back in the 1960’s a bold plan was put into place to build a chairlift from the Alpine Way up to Charlotte Pass and the chalet. It had a rough history and the ruins of the failed lift are scattered across the mountains. You can read about if here –> Chairlift INFO
To hike to the old ruins is not all that difficult and any keen hiker can find their way with relative ease. The trail begins from the Charlotte Pass carpark, at the end of Kosciusko Road in the National Park. Look for this sign to get you started…
A big point to note is that in the Alpine areas you need to be prepared for all possible weather at ANY time of the year. It’s not uncommon for it to snow even in the middle of summer. Storms can gather up rather quickly and the wind can at times be rather bothersome. So don’t say I didn’t warn you! Always take warm clothes, extra food and water and a small shelter. The best time of the year for this hike is ideally late summer once the marsh lands have dried off from all the winter snow melt. A winter hike is also fantastic but you need a lot more equipment.
The walk starts off by hiking the ridgeline across the top of Charlotte Pass Ski Resort and passing by the tops of the ski lifts up towards Mt Stilwell.
A short deviation up to the trig point at Mt Stilwell is worth the stunning views of the Australian Main Range.
From Mt Stilwell, the easiest way to find your way is to look to the east and spot the cross country ski trail marker poles and follow them through the valley. To begin with, the trail is not easy to spot, but once you leave the saddle of Mt Stilwell it becomes more apparent.
Follow the poles around and across Trapyard Creek.
Continuing over the creek, more marker poles are present that will lead you all the way to the old Mid Station lift and restaurant ruins. If you hunt around you will find all sorts of wonderful old machinery parts, old cables, lift huts and any number of parts that have been left in place. For some extra exploration you can follow the lift line towards the Thredbo Valley and find the old lift and power huts and sheave trains still lying in the bush.
Depending on how far down the lift line you go, a moderate return hike can take between 3.5-6 hrs. Be sure to keep your eyes open for the local flora and fauna and be careful where you step. Some of the plant life up here takes decades and even centuries to grow!
The Alpine areas are absolutely stunning and summertime is a great time to explore them.
Get out there. Enjoy the mountains and Stay Alfresco.
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