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. The round trip, from the Hotel Kosciusko to the summit of Mt Kosciuszko and return, took 3 days with an overnight at Betts Camp on the outward and inward...

  • 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.

  • KAC Inaugurates the Championship of Australia

    KAC Inaugurates the Championship of Australia, an 8 km cross-country race. This remained the only race for the Championship of Australia until 1930 when the Ski Council of NSW took over the running of the Championship and changed it to 4 events, Slalom, Downhill, Langlauf (Cross-Country) and Jump.

  • The Championship of Australia Course

    The Race began by ascending the Kerry Course to the Percy Pearson Run, to the Gates of Heaven, the Plains of Heaven, to Dainers Gap, down the Kosciuszko Road and f 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 provided at the Hotel Kosciusko. The Australian Cross-Country...

  • 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).

  • The First International Skiing Competition in Australia

    The First International Skiing Competition in Australia was held at Charlotte Pass between teams from Australia, New Zealand and the USA. Pictured is Dick Durrance, USA Captain. Durrance, who was the US Slalom and Downhill Champion, won the Slalom, the Jump, was second in the Downhill and second (by 2  seconds) in the Langlauf (Cross-country)....

  • Ken Breakspear sets summit record

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

  • Australian Cross-Country Championship course 1946

    The 1946 course 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.

  • Bruce Haslingden

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

  • 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 in the area Selwyn Quarry was chosen off the King’s Cross Road at the highest point of the Main Dividing Range. Hal...

  • 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,...

  • 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...

  • 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 Kilpinnen 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 Smiggins 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.

  • 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 Olympics.

  • 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 coming 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 (i). 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 practiced at Kiandra…


The Summit Trophy

The Summit Trophy In 1912 skiers were accommodated at the Hotel Kosciusko (now Sponars Hotel). 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 during the months of July and August in…