All cosy on Kosie!

Where do mountains get their names? You’d think from people who have been around for years and years right? Well it’s rarely the case. Pretty much half way between Sydney and Melbourne, about 3 hours away from Canberra, are the Snowy Mountains. It’s the only place in Australia where you can go skiing in winter and escape the worst of the heat in the summer. For thousands of years, the Snowy Mountains were visited by Aboriginal people. They call its highest ‘peak’ Jagungal, meaning ‘table top mountain’, which describes the area quite well. But on the 15th of February 1840, Paul Edmond Strzelecki, a Polish explorer, made it to the summit and decided to call this mountain Kosciuszko as it reminded him of a hill in Krakow where another Polish man named Kosciuszko was buried. The name got adopted and Mount Kosciuszko actually is the highest ‘peak’ of Australia, despite its modest 2228 masl. As you may know, Australians love to shorten words. You won’t hear ‘Tasmania’ but ‘Tassie’, ‘Australian’ but ‘aussie’, ‘barbecue’ but ‘barbie’, thus Kosciuszko is usually refered to as ‘Kosie’ by locals.

A few years ago, I decided to boycott new year’s eve parties as they usually suck and I rarely get to be around my loved ones anyway. I then decided to dedicate the last and first day of each year doing what I actually love doing (better late then never) and that makes me feel good about myself: climbing whatever peak is around me. After Costa Rica and France, Australia was a natural choice since I just spent 2014 in Sydney.

Being the highest summit in Australia, Kosciuszko is considered part of the 7 summits. But as it looks more like a gentle hill and is by far the easiest of the 7 summits to get to, Puncak Jaya in the Papua province of Indonesia steals its fame with its proper 4884masl.

We took a bus to Canberra (a strange deserted city at that time of the year) then hitchhiked to Charlotte’s pass where we camped the first night. I’ll be honest, we took it super easy and we did in 3 days the walk people usually do in a day so we spent more time relaxing and reading than challenging ourselves. I think that’s the good thing about the Snowy Mountains. The day after, we took our time, made coffee and walked to the Blue Lake, hiked towards Kosciuszko, slept at its foot, had wine and cheese for dinner on New year’s eve. We went to sleep way before midnight so we could get up early enough (4.30 am, you read it right) to walk up to admire the first sunrise of the year on top of Australia. It was truly magical…

Happy New Year 2015! I hope you get whatever makes you happy.

We are now about to leave for new adventures in New Zealand and I’m overexcited to visit those landscapes I’ve been dreaming of visiting as long as I can remember…

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Surrounding landscape, large valley and gentle hills

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Ages ago, those mountains were shaped by glaciers

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My favorite part of camping, waking completely alone in the middle of nowhere…

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…and have a delicious coffee!

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4.30 am, leaving the tent…

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Here comes the sun on Mount Kosciuszko

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At that precise moment I was the highest person in Australia! You can’t see but I always get very emotional…

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Matt and me in the sunrise light…It wasn’t really cold but super windy up there.

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The summit of Kosciuszko is so unimpressive you need a sign to make sure it’s the right hill…

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Tasmanian encounter with… a possom!

Parce que le ridicule ne tue point, même quand on s’entend faire des commentaires débiles dans une vidéo. Bon c’était quand même hyper drôle sur le coup.

Normalement il faut les chasser, mais l’occasion était trop bonne pour moi comme pour lui, obviously. Bref!

Les possoms sont communs en Australie, même en ville (y’en a un qui vit dans le grenier et qui me réveille de temps en temps en pleine nuit lorsqu’il sort se balader sur les toits)

Ils mangent un peu de tout et surtout ce qu’ils ne sont pas sensés trouver dans la nature, d’où leur passion pour les poubelles citadines et les campeurs. Quand on mange devant sa tente, on peut s’attendre à les voir débarquer de nulle part à tout instant.

Un possom, ça ressemble à ça (désolée pour les photos pourries prises de nuit avec mon tel):

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Le fourbe!

Ils ont des griffes qui leur permettent d’être de supers grimpeurs:

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Brushtailed possom qu’on pourrait traduire par “possom à la queue touffue”? je crois…

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suspendu par les pattes arrières, trop facile!