Enjoy Kosciuszko but respect the snow and conditions

The NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) reminds visitors to Kosciuszko National Park to take safety precautions before venturing into the backcountry this snow season.

Koscuiszko National Park Winter

NPWS Area Manager Anthony Evans said the recent snow fall and cold weather conditions have caused icy patches on some roads.

“Conditions in the Snowy Mountains are great for skiing at the moment with lots of recent snow fall, but heavy snow fall can cause unstable conditions on the steeper slopes along the Main Range,” Mr Evans said.

“Most of the snow has been brought by moderate to strong winds which has caused the formation of overhanging cornices on the lee side of mountains.

“We want to alert people to cornices around Mt Kosciuszko and Blue Lake. The safest place to enjoy the snow is in the less exposed areas below the tree line or on resort grounds and established cross country trails.

“We want visitors who are experienced and prepared to enjoy the backcountry, but carry the right equipment, which includes a Personal Locator Beacon, and follow all other precautions on the NPWS Alpine safety page.

“Personal Locator Beacons are available for loan at several locations in Kosciuszko National Park and Blue Mountains National Park.

“Some people may consider carrying an avalanche transponder, but everyone in the group needs to carry one and know how to use them in an emergency. Remember to also carry an avalanche probe and snow shovel, because without them, transponders are of no use. The most important thing is to be able to identify hazardous areas and avoid them, but also know how to use the equipment that you have.

“The best solution is to understand the risks, such as avoiding steep slopes greater than 30 degrees after heavy snow, and avoiding being near the top of a slope where cornices develop.

“Enjoy Kosciuszko National Park but ensure you are properly prepared and if you’re not an experienced ski tourer or mountaineer, hire an experienced backcountry guide for those adventures,” Mr Evans said.