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On Walkabout On: Mt. Crackenback, New South Wales

While my wife and I were staying at the Thredbo Alpine Hotel in Australia’s beautiful Snowy Mountains, one of the main things we wanted to do while visiting Thredbo was ride the gondola to the top of Mt. Crackenback that overlooks the beautiful Thredbo Valley. 

The gondola was incredibly easy to reach from the hotel because of a bridge that spanned the Thredbo River that run right in front of the hotel:

Just across the river was the Kosciuszko Express that takes people to the top of Mt. Crackenback:

This image here should give readers a pretty good idea of the topography around the Thredbo Ski Resort, the trails that traverse this area, and the two main gondola lines that can be seen in the center of the map that climb up the mountain during the warmer months:

Here is a map that shows the ski trails and gondolas that run even further up the mountain during the winter months that provides skiers with the long ski runs in the entire country:

The ride up on the gondola was actually quite a bit of fun at first:

On the way up the views of the Snowy Mountains were just tremendous:

However, soon we had no views as the gondola traveled into the thick clouds that had rolled in and engulfed the summit of Mt. Crackenback.  We were shivering and extremely cold from the falling snow as we reached the summit of the mountain:

On top of Mt. Crackenback there is a lodge that overlooks the Thredbo Valley complete with a lookout with telescopes:

However, we had no need for the look out due to the snow and cold.  My
wife and I immediately rushed into the lodge to get warm afte that cold
gondola ride.  Inside the lodge on top of Mt. Crackenback is what is considered the highest cafe in all of Australia at 1,930 meters:

The lodge was actually quite nice and decorated with beautifully photographed pictures of the Snowy Mountains.  My wife and I ordered something to eat and most importantly we drank a few cups of hot cappuccinos to warm up:

As we sat there drinking our coffee and eating our food in that warm cafe, it was hard to believe that we were 1,930 meters up a mountain in the midst of a massive blizzard with hurricane force winds just outside our window:

It is kind of cool when you think about it.  The nice young lady that worked up in the cafe, who was quite a looker by the way, came over and told us that the gondola had been shut down and we may have to be evacuated by vehicle if possible from the lodge.  If a vehicle couldn’t make it up to the lodge to evacuate us then we would just have to wait out the storm. 

There was about 15 people up in the lodge and after about 2 hours the storm outside began to die down and right outside the cafe window this beautiful rainbow appeared:

Seeing this break in the weather just about everyone emptied out of the cafe and rushed down to the gondola which had been turned back on because of the lull in the weather.  My wife I jumped on and we proceeded back down the mountain descending right into the rainbow we saw back at the cafe:

Due to the break in the clouds we had a much better time enjoying the views of the Thredbo Valley from the gondola on the way down compared to the way up.  Here is a view looking north up the valley towards where Jindabyne is located:

As we continued down the gondola it almost appeared as if we traveled around under the rainbow:

The ride down the mountain took it seemed about 15 minutes to get back to Thredbo and it was a really enjoyable ride especially with the break in the weather:

However, shortly after getting off the gondola we could see the clouds rolling back in to engulf the top of the mountain again:

The snow fell off and on the rest of the day on top of the mountains.  From the window of our hotel room my wife and I enjoyed the spectacular sunset views that the harsh weather and clouds provided on top of the Snowy Mountains:

That concluded our short trip to Thredbo and the next morning my wife I were scheduled to hit the road again and traverse the Alpine Way back to Victoria. 

Next Posting: The Tom Groggin Station

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