Charlotte Pass: a semi supported solo mission

Shit i have been lazy. I did this ride way back in November and I have only just now sat down to add it to the pages of this little blog. Anyway, the story went something like this. A few weeks before my mate had asked me to come on a road trip to Canberra with him and some mates to pick up a vintage trail bike he bought. Surprise surprise that a few days before we were meant to leave the others bailed. i guess they looked up ‘Canberra’ and rightly thought fuck to that. So to make this entertaining for me as well I conned Andy into dropping me off in Jindabyne on the way through, and then swinging by to pick me up. It was only a small detour of a  few hours so he obliged.

It was about 10 am when he dropped me off, and we estimated that I would have about 4 hours to get up and back. plenty of time. We parted ways and i began my ride up to the highest paved road in australia.

my begging and end point. On the shores of lake Jindabyne

my beginning and end point. On the shores of lake Jindabyne

pretty much all uphill.

pretty much all uphill.

This is fairly indicative of the view for the first part. Yellow lines, nice roads and gumtrees.

This is fairly indicative of the view for the first part. Yellow lines, nice roads and gumtrees.

The climb itself while long was not actually all that difficult. It is a fairly constant and manageable gradient for the first half and allows you to settle into a rhythm and knock off the k’s. it is a gorgeous part of the country though, so it is by no means boring. As you get to about 23 k’s in, the road flattens off a bit. In fact it flattens so much it goes downhill. From here on thats how it is, all the little gains made in altitude are mostly lost again by a downhill section soon after.

By the time I made it this far i was also pretty much out of water. If you are going to do this ride, the only place to really get a refill it at the tollbooth. I found no accessible water at any of the ski villages on the way up. Luckily for me though there was an event on the same day I was there, it was called sea to summit or something like that. Basically compeditors start in Eden on the coast, 250odd k’s away and race their way all the way to the top of Kosiosko, then back to Thredbo village. This all sounds like a suitably epic ride, and kinda a sweet challenge. Except these idiots were running it. All of it. When i told people i was only riding from Jindy they looked at me as if i was the laziest person on the road. It was good for me though, the support crew supplied me with a few bottles of water on the way up. Cheers lads!

yep, thats the road snaking it's way off into the distance.

yep, thats the road snaking it’s way off into the distance.

sometimes i rode on the wrong side of the road. YOLO

sometimes i rode on the wrong side of the road. YOLO

Thredbo village. No water.

Thredbo village. No water.

Holy shit it's snow in November!

Holy shit it’s snow in November!

Eventually you get to Charlotte Pass ski resort, the highest in Australia. From there it’s just a short few k’s to the end of the road. And it’s pretty fucking awesome.

An Italian bike at a ski resort seems fitting.

An Italian bike at a ski resort seems fitting.

The view from the top. There is a path off to the the left that leads to the summit of Mt. Kosiosko, but I was under time constraints and in road shoes. Kosiosko can be seen on the left near the tree.

The view from the top. There is a path off to the the left that leads to the summit of Mt. Kosiosko, but I was under time constraints and in road shoes. Kosiosko can be seen on the left behind the tree.

When you give your phone to someone to take your picture while riding, find a frail elderly person. you might still be able to catch them after you take your shoes off.

When you give your phone to someone to take your picture while riding, find a frail elderly person. you might still be able to catch them after you take your shoes off.

If you're a really good snowboarder this stretch of road would excite you. It is known as the Charlotte Pass road gap. Yep, from the rock on the left over the road. It is unbelievably massive in real life.

If you’re a really good snowboarder this stretch of road would excite you. It is known as the Charlotte Pass road gap. Yep, from the rock in the trees on the left over the road. It is unbelievably massive in real life.

The descent into Jindy is awesome and is a great reward after all that climbing. spectacular views of the lake too.

The descent into Jindy is awesome and is a great reward after all that climbing. spectacular views of the lake too.

After I took the obligatory pics at the top carpark i made my way back. Once you get past the top plateau the descent is great. The road is in top condition and is wide with an awesome shoulder. Just tuck it and enjoy the payback. Pulling into the meeting point back in town, Andy opened the door of the car when I was about 20 metres away. He had just pulled up, the timing could not have been more perfect. After a celebratory beer we commenced the drive home. what a day.

The bike even starts. (After some Aerostart)

The bike even starts. (After some Aerostart)

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