After my ride across Australia in 2012, I had some spare time.  As well as sightseeing and recovering from the ride, I headed for the Snowy mountains and Kosciusko, the highest peak in Australia.  By far the lowest of the 7 summits at 7,000 feet, it is not imposing, but this was mid-winter and the forecast was as bad as it could be.

Persuading a local guide to accompany me tested my negotiating skills, but eventually Jeff and I stepped into the gondola at the foot of Thredbo ski resort to head for the higher mountains on a very windy June day.  Once at the top of the ski lift, the full force of the gale hit us.  After struggling with our back-country skis, we found it hard to stand up, let alone make any progress towards the invisible and distant summit.  Easy to navigate, as the summit was directly into the raging wind, we made slow progress.  At the foot of the summit cone, we removed the skis and headed on foot, miraculously finding the summit marker and after taking wild-looking photos, we headed down.  In the wrong direction.

Disoriented by the maelstrom, we walked right through one of the summit cornices and slide down the lee side of the hill.  With the temperature around freezing and the snow almost rain, this was hypothermia territory.  With zero visibility, we headed down with the wind at our backs and finally made out the top of the ski lift.  Skiing down in pouring rain was not a great end to the adventure, but it was more than made up for by a couple of pints of Kosciusko draft beer in the lodge below.  The 5th and last of my 7 summits!