Charlottes Pass

Charlotte Pass Village has commercial and club accommodation available. (see photo) Access is by oversnow transport from Perisher Valley. Contact CPV  1800 026 369 for details. Details of accommodation  from links on the Charlotte pass snow-cam site or  www.charlottepass.com.au    There are no XC hire skis at Charlotte Pass.
It is possible to ski in from Perisher along the Kosciuszko Rd or the Porcupine trail or  from Thredbo for experienced skiers only. Experienced skiers with accommodation in Charlotte Pass can do a variety of day trips on the main range including Kosciuszko, Townsend, Twynam, Watsons Crags and Tate and the four glacial lakes. 
Beginners will find easy skiing in the area between the Chalet and Sugarloaf and on extensive flat areas of Johnnies Plains but should be accompanied by an experienced person as weather conditions can produce a whiteout with limited visibility at any time. More experienced skiers can make day trips to Illawong, Paralyser, Guthries Ridge and the Rams Head Range. The peaks of Clarke, Northcote, Lee and Carruthers offer steep and long telemark slopes within easy distance and the downhill slopes at Charlotte Pass provide good telemark skiing areas without any crowds. In good snow conditions skating is enjoyable  on Johnnies Plain and the upper sections of Spencers and Trapyard Creek. In bad weather sheltered areas can be found in the trees in Spencers Creek, Wrights Creek and Trapyard Creek. There is a pole line from the Chalet to Spencers Creek, and the pole lined Stillwell loop to the old chair restaurant site and Wrights Creek starts near the bottom station of the chairlift. This trail is very exposed in strong winds. In good seasons there are snow bridges across the Snowy River at Foremanís Crossing and most of the river upstream. During the thaw or after rain the Snowy River is deep and fast flowing and be impossible to cross. Charlotte Pass (reached by oversnow) is a convenient point of departure for parties that are camping on the main range. Camping is not permitted in the catchment areas of Blue Lake, Albina, Club or Cootapatamba lakes.   

Note that the Stilwell Trail, the Kosciuszko Rd to Seamans Hut and Rawsons Pass, and the pole lines to Perisher are the only marked trails in the area. Poles may be missing or snow covered. A temporary orange pole line may be in place in winter leading from Snowy Bridge to the top station at Thredbo. Weather conditions can change rapidly and the area can be exposed to high winds. Skiers without adequate experience and equipment should not ski out of sight of a pole line. 

The ONLY access to the Thredbo Valley is down the groomed Thredbo slopes or on the chairlift. The valley can be seen from many spots on the Rams Head Range but there is NO way down as the area is steep, the trees are too close for skiing and the undergrowth too dense to walk through.                    

The Stillwell Trail

The marked trail starts near the Charlotte Pass Chairlift and follows a winding track through old snowgums to a saddle beside Mt Stillwell. In clear weather you can make your own way to the saddle to pick up the pole line. The trail heads left across the head of Wrights Ck and crosses a saddle next to ruins of the restaurant that was the middle station on a chairlift that ran for one season from the Thredbo River to the Chalet. In strong NW winds this saddle is very exposed but on a good day it is possible to follow the line of the chairlift and get views into the Thredbo Valley. From the saddle the trail continues on a gentle downhill, left in a circle and drops into Wrights Creek where it is possible to make gentle traverses or take a steeper descent. After a level section following the creek the final 200 metres is moderately steep and narrow through the trees. The trail then joins the Porcupine trail to the Chalet, turn left and climb slightly above the sewerage works and you are back at Charlotte Pass. Except in icy conditions or bad weather this trip is suitable for any skier who can traverse, turn and stop. Beginners should allow about 3 hours. The trail can be skied in the opposite direction starting from Stillwell Lodge and following the road past the lodges. The run downhill from Mt Stillwell is not suitable for beginners.

Wrights Creek

The valley of Wrights Creek offers a large area of easy skiing. It can be entered by the pole line or on either side of the creek as the trees are fairly open. Follow the creek after it leaves the pole line and you will come to a waterfall that tumbles down from a higher level of the valley. The area is usually more sheltered in windy weather. By continuing up the pole line and over the saddle brings you to open undulating slopes. Experienced skiers may head east to access two tributaries of Trapyard Creek or SE to ski down a ridge to an open area before turning left to look into the open Trapyard Valley. It is also possible to climb from Wrights Creek to most parts of the ridge and ski down into Trapyard Creek. This should only be done in clear weather as there are cornices on parts of the ridge and no pole lines.

Trapyard  

There is a large open and undulating area on top of the Rams Head ridge that is located south of the Trapyard trail. (Caution: There are no marked trails. Take a map and a compass.) It provides pleasant touring skiing through open trees and it is high enough at 1900m to have good snow and good views in all directions. Although it is on top of the ridge it is usually sheltered in strong NW winds. To access the area ski up Trapyard Creek to a large snowgum in the saddle that is visible all the way from Johnnies Plain. From the saddle turn east and climb a medium slope, heading for a large rock on the skyline. From there it is only a short distance further on to the top. One can ski for about 1km east and descend up to 100m vertical to the south in many places to find hidden valleys and views into the Thredbo Valley from Thredbo to Lake Crackenback. The Trapyard trail can be reached through open trees or a ridge followed down towards Betts Creek is more challenging.

Spencers Creek

(Caution: There are no marked trails.) Spencers Creek is a funnel for the NW winds which howl up the valley. As a result of this the snow cover can be a bit thin in the open and skiing into the wind quite uncomfortable. There is usually good snow cover and shelter in the trees above the valley. The lower western slopes of the valley are best avoided in some places but can be skied easily by keeping near the 1800 m contour. (Note that the NSWSA map shows this as 1700 m in error). On the eastern slopes the trees are closer together and the terrain is more difficult. When heading north it is necessary to progressively descend and return to the creek when the terrain ahead gets steep with dense trees. It is actually easier to find your way through the trees when heading to the south. There are some good open areas from near the junction of Spencers Creek and the Snowy River and towards Illawong Lodge and the suspension bridge over the Snowy is a must for the faint-hearted. Return the same way or cross Spencers Creek and follow the Snowy upstream to Charlotte Pass.

Mt  Stillwell

(Caution: The only marked trail is from the village to the saddle east of Stillwell.) Mt Stillwell is the starting point for open easy touring towards the top of the Thredbo chairlifts. There is a pleasant run from the top of Stillwell down to Foremans Hut chimney, then climb back to Charlotte Pass. There is a good telemark slope from the top of Little Stillwell down to Wrights Creek.

Mt Guthrie

(Caution: There are no marked trails.) A nice easy run for the first afternoon out is to start at Charlotte Pass and traverse around to the saddle or the trig and back home. For a day trip, ski from the trig  down the ridge to the junction of Spencers Creek with the Snowy River. The top of the ridge is made impassable with rocks and trees so detour to the west where necessary. It is possible to ski from the top of Guthrie for a tree run down to the Snowy. Good snow can often be found on a steep slope into Spencers Creek from a point NE from the trig and on all the steep eastern slopes of the ridge.