Cross Country Skiing


When skiing began in the Kosciuszko area in 1909 almost no one knew how to ski downhill other than schuss straight down. By contrast it was much easier to ski cross country on gently undulating ground and that is what most people did. This allowed a lot of skiers to undertake enjoyable tours and exploration with very primitive technique. From 1909 onwards, most of the races organised by the Kosciusko Alpine Club, the first club in the area, were of the cross country variety and this remained so until the 1930s when alpine races started to dominate.

A variety of articles on cross-country skiing
Results of cross-country races can be found on the Racing page
More articles on Cross Country Skiing can be found here

Cross Country Skiing Timeline

  • Ski Trails around the Hotel Kosciusko

    When skiing began at the Hotel Kosciusko in 1909, most people were beginners, and confined themselves to skiing close to the Hotel. There were a number of gentle runs available. 1. The Grand Slam.  2. The Vernon Course. 3A. The Kerry Course (above road). 3B. The Little Kerry Course (below the road). 4. The Kosciuszko...

  • First Winter Ascent of Mt Kosciuszko along the Kosciuszko Road

    Dr H. Schlink, Dr J. Cosgrove, Mr A.G.M. Pitt and Dr O. Paul (photographer) leave Betts Camp on the way to the summit of Mt Kosciuszko along the snow-covered Kosciuszko Road. The round trip, from the Hotel Kosciusko to the summit and return (34.5 m; 55.2 km), took 3 days with an overnight at Betts...

  • Kosciusko Alpine Club (KAC) inaugurates the Summit Badge and Summit Competition

    At the suggestion of Dr Herbert Schlink, KAC inaugurates the Summit Badge and Summit Competition. To win a Summit Badge men had to ski from the Hotel Kosciusko to the summit of Mt Kosciuszko and return in 10 hours, women in 12 hours. The fastest time during a season gained the Summit Trophy. The Summit...

  • The Route of the Summit Trophy Competition

    The route began at the Hotel Kosciusko (top right of map) and followed the Kosciuszko Road up to Charlotte Pass. From there some competitors continued along the road whilst the better runners took a diagonal run up the Snowy Valley to the summit of Mt Kosciuszko (bottom left of map) . After taking a photo...

  • The first Summit Record

    The first Summit record of 15 h, 15 min was set by Drs Schlink and Shorney, Percy Pearson and J. Jacobsen.

  • The Betts Camp Race

    In 1918 KAC introduced the Betts Camp Race to its race programme. Originally it went from the Hotel Kosciusko to Betts Camp and return, a total of 17 miles (27 km). Later it was run one-way (13.5 km), from Betts Camp to the Hotel.

  • Kosciusko Alpine Club (KAC) Inaugurates the Championship of Australia

    KAC inaugurates the Championship of Australia, an 8 km cross-country race. It may seem strange that a club should inaugurate a national championship. However, at that time there was no national skiing body and there were only two ski clubs in Australia, the Kiandra Snow Shoe Club (KSSC) and KAC. KSSC was only a small...

  • The Championship of Australia Course

    The race start was on the Kosciuszko Road at the foot of the Kerry Course and began by ascending the Kerry Course to the Percy Pearson Run, to the Gates of Heaven, the Plains of Heaven, to Dainer’s Gap, down the Kosciuszko Road and finishing at the bottom of the Little Kerry Course.

  • Drs Schlink and Fisher set summit record

    Drs Schlink and Fisher set summit record of 11 h, 12 min.

  • First Crossing from Kiandra to the Hotel Kosciusko

    Dr Herbert Schlink leads the first Kiandra to Kosciusko Crossing. L-R: Dr Herbert Schlink, Bill Hughes, Bill Gordon, Dr John Laidley and Dr Eric Fisher.

  • Kiandra tio Kosciusko

    This map shows the route taken by the Schlink group on their 1927 Kiandra to Kosciusko crossing. On day 1 they went from Kiandra via Happy Jacks River and the Doubtful River to Farm Ridge Hut. On day 2 from Farm Ridge Hut to Pounds Creek Hut via the eastern slope of Mt Jagungal, Tin...

  • George Aalberg instructs at the Hotel Kosciusko

    George Aalberg instructs at the Hotel Kosciusko and wins the first of 3 consecutive Australian Championships.

  • Reg Gelling and George Aalberg set summit record

    Reg Gelling and George Aalberg set summit record of 6 h, 9 min.

  • First Australian Cross-Country Championship run by Ski Council of NSW

    From the time that the Chalet opened at Charlotte Pass in 1930, all NSW Championships and every second Australian Championship was run there until 1957 when Thredbo opened and alpine events shifted there.  The Chalet had good terrain for alpine and nordic events and much better than that provided at the Hotel Kosciusko. The Australian...

  • The KAC Cross-Country Championship

    From 1930 onwards KAC ran all its races at Charlotte Pass amongst which was its Championship Cross-Country race. In 1970 this race became part of the Charlotte Pass Interclub competition and, from then onwards, has been known as the Charlotte Pass Open. This is now the longest running cross-country race in NSW.

  • Australian Cross-Country Championship Course 1933

    The 1933 course was similar but not identical to the 1930 course. Slight variations of this course were used for many years. Two circuits were required, a total of 11 miles (18 km).

  • Australia selects its first Interdominion team to compete in New Zealand

    Australia selects its first Interdominion team to compete in New Zealand. L-R:  Dorothy Tickle, Derek Stogdale, Beth Davy, Tom Mitchell, Pat Farquharson, Olive Lamble,  Reg Gelling, Curly Annabel.  Stogdale and Mitchell were alpine skiers, Gelling and Annabel were cross-country skiers.

  • The First International Skiing Competition in Australia

    The first international skiing competition in Australia is held at Charlotte Pass between teams from Australia, New Zealand and the USA. Pictured are the USA Team L-R: David Bradley, Steve Bradley and Dick Durrance (USA Captain). Durrance, who was the US Slalom and Downhill Champion, won the Slalom and the Jump, was second in the...

  • Australian Championships 1938

    Due to the burning down of the Chalet at Charlotte Pass, the Slalom and Downhill (actually a Giant Slalom) of the 1938 Australian Championships were held on Mt Perisher. Due to a lack of snow the Langlauf (Cross-Country) was not held.

  • Ken Breakspear sets summit record

    Ken Breakspear sets summit record of 6h, 1.5 min.

  • The Australian Championships 1946

    The Australian Championships of 1946 are held at the Chalet, Charlotte Pass. The Slalom was held on the south eastern slope of the Foxhole (the Trapyard Course) and the Downhill on Mt Clarke The Interstate races were held in conjunction with the Championships. The NSW Team is shown L-R: Bill Day, Johnny Abbottsmith, George Day...

  • Australian Cross-Country Championship course 1946

    The 1946 course at the Chalet, Charlotte Pass was hailed as the best ever set, covered 11 miles and required only one circuit for completion. It followed a similar line to previous ones but was substantially lengthened.

  • Australian Championships 1947

    The Australian Championships, originally intended for Mt Hotham, are transferred to Charlotte Pass because of bad weather. The Slalom was held on the Foxhole (‘Trapyard’) and the Downhill on Mt Perisher. The Langlauf (Cross-country ) course was very similar to that first used in 1933.

  • Australian Championships 1950

    Both the Australian Championships and the Interstate Match are held at Charlotte Pass. The Slaloms for both competitions were held on the Foxhole (“Trapyard”) and the Downhills for both events were held from Mt Little Twynam down to the Snowy River.  The Langlaufs (Cross-country) were held on the 1933 course.

  • Bruce Haslingden

    In 1952, Bruce Haslingden (pictured) and Cedric Sloane were selected to be Australia’s first ever cross-country Olympians at the Oslo Winter Olympics.

  • Australian Championships 1953

    The Australian Championships are held at Charlotte Pass. The Slalom was again held on the Foxhole (‘Trapyard’) while, for the first time, the Downhill was run on the George Chisholm Course in the Thredbo Valley. The George Chisholm Course is reached from the Chalet by climbing the Foxhole (behind the Chalet) and crossing Wright’s Creek...

  • The Perisher Cup begins

    The Kosciusko Snow Revellers Club (KSRC) inaugurates the Perisher Cup for inter club competition initially in the Perisher Valley. Four clubs were involved in the first Cup, KSRC, Cooma, Telemark and University. Each club entered a four man team competing in three events,  Giant Slalom, Jump and Cross-country relay. Cooma Ski Club won the first...

  • Australian Championships 1954

    The Australian Championships are again held at Charlotte Pass. The Slalom was held on the Foxhole (‘Trapyard’) and the Downhill on the George Chisholm Course in the Thredbo Valley.  The Cross-country course was again similar to that of 1933.

  • Australian Cross-Country Championship Course 1957

    This course, while still at the Chalet, took a different route from the long established one.  This time it began at the top of Pulpit Rock, ran out towards the Snowy River, around the foot of Mt Clarke, back to Mt Guthrie and the Chalet and then a second circuit, a total of 11 miles...

  • NSW Cross-Country Championship Course

    In 1958, for the first time in almost 30 years, the NSW Cross-Country Championship moved away from the Charlotte Pass area and was hosted by Cabramurra Ski Club. As there was little snow at Cabramurra, Selwyn Quarry was chosen, the highest point at the northern end of the Main Range. Hal Nerdal (pictured) won from...

  • NSW Cross-Country Championship Course 1960

    NSW and Australian Championship races finally moved from Charlotte Pass in 1960 with the NSW races being held in Perisher Valley for the first time under the auspices of the Perisher Ski Association. The race was two circuits of Perisher Valley beginning at Cronulla Ski Lodge,  going towards Piper’s Gap, across the road through timber,...

  • Australian Winter Olympic Team at Squaw Valley 1960

    Australian Winter Olympic Team at Squaw Valley 1960. L-R: Christine Davy, Bill Day, Donald Maclurcan (Manager), Hal Nerdal, Peter Brockhoff, (Mr Bell, proprietor of Dawsons Ski Shop, which supplied the team with equipment and clothing), Dick Walpole.

  • NSW and Australian Cross-Country Championships

    Perisher Valley begins its long run as the premium cross-country area in NSW and was used as the site of the NSW and Australian Championships. The NSW Championship course (7.5 km)  started at the ‘Man’ and proceeded to Piper’s Gap on the eastern side, then following the easterly side of the ridge to Prussian Flats...

  • Charlotte Pass Interclub competition begins

    Charlotte Pass Interclub competition begins initially involving Kosciusko Alpine Club, Southern Alps Ski Club and the Chalet Social Ski Club.

  • The First Paddy Pallin Classic

    The First Paddy Pallin Classic ran from Round Mountain to Perisher Valley (60 km). The competitors took 7.5 h and all finished simultaneously in Perisher due to appalling weather. They were Ross Martin, Otto Pinkas, Kore Grunnsund, Robbie Kilpinen and Charlie Derrick. Bob Maddison had to withdraw at White’s River due to cramps.

  • The Second Paddy Pallin Classic

    The organisers realised that the course for the first race had been too dangerous and shortened the second race to 45 km. It began at the Valley Inn (now Perisher Manor)  and went to the Chalet, to the Thredbo Top Station, returned to the Chalet and Perisher, to Smiggin Holes and back to the Valley...

  • Ross Martin sets summit record

    Ross Martin sets summit record of 4 h, 55 min going from Perisher Valley to the Hotel Kosciusko, back to the Summit of Mt Kosciuszko and returning to Perisher Valley.

  • Kore Grunnsund

    Kore Grunnsund joins the Perisher Ski School as its first ever cross-country instructor.

  • Fourth Paddy Pallin Cross-Country Classic

    By 1968, the race had assumed its long term format  that it would retain until 1983.  The 30 km race began at the Valley Inn (Perisher Manor), went to the Chalet via the Porcupine Trail, returned to Perisher via the road, proceeded to Smiggins via the 5 km Trail and returned to the Valley Inn...

  • Ross Martin

    Ross Martin is Australia’s sole nordic representative at the Grenoble Winter Olympics.

  • Geoff Nott and Rex Cox start Charlotte Pass Race Carnival

    Geoff Nott and Rex Cox start Charlotte Pass Race Carnival which consisted of a Slalom, Giant Slalom, Downhill, Cross-Country, Jump, KAC Open 10 km Cross-Country and the Stilwell Downhill. The carnival continued annually until 2004 before relocating firstly to Perisher and later to Thredbo.

  • The KAC Martini and Rossi Cross Country Classic

    In 1972, at the suggestion of Ross Martin, the Kosciusko Alpine Club (KAC) institutes the KAC Martini and Rossi Cross Country Classic race between Perisher Valley and the Chalet at Charlotte Pass. Ross Martin wins the first four races.

  • Perisher Cross-Country Trails

    The original 5 km trail at Perisher was established by Kore Grunnsund and Otto Pinkas in 1966. In the early years the trails were maintained by the skiers themselves. In 1974 the NSW Ski Association bought its first skidoo and track setter and employed Robbie Kilpinnen to operate them. Kore Grunnsund was employed to maintain...

  • Sverre Kaaten Nordic Centre opens

    The NSW Ski Association opens the Sverre Kaaten Nordic Centre. The NSW Department of Sport and Recreation supplies half of the money for the centre. The centre was damaged by heavy snow in 1981 and was partly rebuilt. It was officially opened in 1982 with Sverre Kaaten in attendance.

  • Boonoona Open

    City Tatts Ski Club (Boonoona) inaugurates the Boonoona Open.  The race had previously been the Club Championship but, in 1983, the Club turned it into an open race which it has remained ever since.

  • David Hislop sets summit record

    David Hislop sets summit record of 4 h, 23 min.

  • Interclub Night relays

    The Interclub Night Relays began at Blue Cow in 1987 and remained there for two years before going to Perisher.

  • Snowy Mountains Classic begins

    Snowsports ACT took over what was formerly the Paddy Pallin Classic which now continues as the Snowy Mountains Classic. The replacement race is a freestyle event and competitors can choose their distance from 2.5 km, 7.5 km, 15 km or 30 km.

  • Nordic Shelter renovated.

    The Sverre Kaaten Nordic Shelter is renovated.


Cross Country Skiing in NSW

By Peter Southwell-Keely As many will know, recreational skiing in NSW began in 1861 as a by-product of the short-lived Kiandra gold rush (1). The fortunes of Kiandra waxed and waned and, for almost 50 years thereafter, it was the site of the only snow sports in Australia. The type of skiing practised at Kiandra…


The Summit Trophy

The Summit Trophy In 1912 skiers were accommodated at the Hotel Kosciusko (now Sponars Chalet). Sir Herbert Schlink, a member of the Kosciusko Alpine Club (KAC), which had been formed in 1909, proposed that a Summit Badge or certificate be awarded to any member reaching the summit of Mt Kosciuszko during the months of July…