24 October, 2019 Sport & Outdoor Ed

Tobias and Annabelle share their Kosi to the Coast adventure

Kosi to the Coast is a 20-day expedition which sees students travel from near Perisher Alpine Resort in New South Wales, to the summit of Mount Kosciuszko, descending to the Snowy River where they then travel by raft and canoe to the coast at Marlo.

At the end of Term 3, three groups of Year 11 students embarked on the Kosi to the Coast journey, where they faced many challenges, built enduring friendships and created lifelong memories.

Year 11 students Tobias and Annabelle, both members of Group 1, wrote the below reflection about their unforgettable Kosi to the Coast adventure.

Kosi to the Coast was truly an amazing adventure, a once in a lifetime opportunity that built our resilience and inner strength. We finished the journey as individuals ready to tackle anything life will throw at us, and with a deeper understanding and appreciation for what really matters. We are proud to say that we walked, hiked, rafted and paddled from the highest point in Australia, all the way down to the mouth of the Snowy River. This was a momentous journey, which was unforgettable for so many reasons.

While this extraordinary experience had its highs, sometimes the epic lows seemed to stand out as being the major highlights. Walking through a blizzard in our endeavour to reach the summit of Mount Kosciusko was, in most people’s view, the highlight of the trip. We were absolute troopers as we battled the storm, drenched through and depleted after a physically exhausting snow battle, we reached a second shelter to take refuge. Only to find out it was completely snowed in, with only a roof peeking through. Our attempt to dig the shelter out was unsuccessful and the elements were too strong for us to proceed any further. Forced to retreat back to Seaman’s Hut, the entirety of Groups 1 and 2 bunkered in together and shared a very memorable, cold and squishy night. While it was disappointing not to reach the summit, no one would change a thing about this section of our trip. Anyone can say they walked to the top of a hill, but very few people can say they survived a blizzard!

Each group of students participating in the Kosi to the Coast Expedition documented their journeys, watch the video created by Group 1 below. 

Another day that stood out to us was what came to be known as the ‘1.00am Day’. Due to unforeseen events, our group lost a day and had to make up that distance over the remaining two days of the hiking section of the trip. It came to the last day, and we had roughly 25 kilometres remaining. This started with a long section of bushwalking, which included an extremely steep descent, roughly 500m decline over the span of one kilometre! This was very slow going and meant that when we arrived at our lunch location we still had a lot of ground to cover. The group dug deep and vowed that we would make it to camp that night and were not going to pull up stumps early. The afternoon passed, the sunset came and went, and we were walking in the dark. People were challenged both mentally and physically, but the promise of no hiking the next day seemed to spur everyone on. We reached camp just after 1.00am. Exhilarated was an understatement and the joy of being greeted by premade chicken roles and chocolate cake was incomparable.

Difficult times such as the blizzard and the ‘1.00am Day’ were aspects of the trip that tested us as a group and as individuals. But we kept on proceeding to overcome challenge after challenge, test after test until we reached the end of our expedition. Every obstacle we completed made running into the water at Marlo that little bit sweeter. Kosi was not only about self-growth, but also about appreciation for the natural world and group interaction. The support and optimism that was displayed was unbelievable. We created bonds so strong that nothing seemed to be able to break them. It is a trip that we would jump to do again in a heartbeat. We recommend anyone considering undertaking this epic adventure to just do it!

By Tobias and Annabelle 

We are incredibly proud of the students who rose to the challenge and completed Kosi to the Coast this year. We are also thankful to the St Michael’s and Outdoor Education Group staff who undertook the journey with our students, without their guidance, expertise and support this outstanding program would not be possible.

In 2020, we will be celebrating 30 years since Kosi to the Coast was first introduced at St Michael’s and we are looking forward to sharing three decades of Kosi to the Coast memories.