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Kosciusko – meaning Mount Kosciusko (Australia’s highest mountain) and all The Snowy Mountains – has fascinated folk since its snows were first seen by the white man. When was that? Well, that – amongst many other things – this book sets out to tell. Before the author started to delve into Kosciusko’s early history and started to incorporate his findings in the ski articles he wrote for the Australian Ski Year Books, not too much was known on the subject. Now, here it is all set down as a feast for Kosciusko-lovers; indeed for any skiers, bushwalkers, historians, or people who just love mountains or like reading about the energy of nineteenth century pathfinders. These pathfinders or early trail-users of the eighteen-hundreds varied so much: from the Polish nobleman who first ascended and named Mount Kosciusko – Paul Edmund de Strzelecki – through graziers, naturalists, men of mark, geologists, surveyors, clerics, scientists, fishermen, poets, and painters – all captivated by the high country.
Many of these visitors left an indelible mark on the Kosciusko area – giving names, recording their adventures and their thoughts and their scientific findings – and generally imprinting the aura of nineteenth century Australia on their surroundings. It is impossible to know Kosciusko intimately without also knowing in detail what these first visitors did and saw.
Alan Andrews, with his intimate knowledge, and love, of these mountains, infused from fifty years of close acquaintance with them, carries you along with him – form the first sighting of the mountains to the days in the last decade of the nineteenth century when Mount Kosciusko was “piled” and the days of the first decade of the twentieth century when it was given a tin shed on its summit.