The Australian Alpine Ascent (AAA) will be a gruelling 3km swim, 124km ride and a 28km run and is expected to see some of the worlds greatest endurance athletes descend on the New South Wales Snowy Mountains for the one day festival.
This is quickly becoming the benchmark endurance event in the Southern Hemisphere and will test even the toughest of competitors and those willing to take the challenge ‘into thin air’.
“This event will be up there with the likes of Norseman and has been designed to really test an individual. It’s not just about distance, it’s about altitude, it’s about unpredictable weather, it’s about hills – big hills, competitors will be running to the highest peak in Australia and it will be in vain if they don’t get there before dusk when the National Park come in and literally lock you out.”
“Logistically, this will be the biggest event we’ve organised and we are working really closely with all local authorities to ensure this is a great success.”
Due to the nature of the course and safety requirements, entries will be capped, with everyone vying for the ultimate ‘AAA Finisher’ status.
For all the suffering athletes are sure to endure, the course is nothing short of spectacular and will see athletes pass through some of the Snowy Mountains’ most picturesque locations including Dead Horse Gap, Charlotte Pass, Thredbo Village and one of the most famous landmarks in Australia, the peak of Mt Kosciuszko.
The course will begin with a 3km swim in Lake Jindabyne, before transitioning out of the water and onto the bike to commence the 128km ride, the first 16km of which will be a hill climb.
Riding to the famous Dead Horse Gap, ‘The Gate’ into the Murray River Valley, and then to Charlotte Pass, this ride has you climbing over 3200 vertical metres, and will finish at Perisher into the transition for the final leg.
Once you’re off the bike, the real challenge begins as you start the ascent to Australia’s highest peak. Participants will be winding their way through undulating snowy mountain roads visiting Perisher back to Charlotte Pass before beginning the most gruelling stretch – a 9km climb to the peak of Mt Kosciuszko. Once at the peak, competitors can take a moment to soak it all in before they make the final descent to the finish line at Charlotte Pass.
The swim will be held at the picturesque Lake Jindabyne and see you do 2 laps of a course between 2 islands: Lion and Cub island.
While it may be considered the tamer of the three legs, competitors shouldn't be complacent.
The challenge of altitude, weather and what's in store is enough to set the stage of a big event.
The ride starts at 900m altitude and the 124km bike leg will see you riding to the famous Dead Horse Gap, ‘The Gate’ into the Murray River Valley, and then to Charlotte Pass, this ride has you climbing over 3200 vertical metres, and will finish at Perisher Valley Ski Tube Terminal into the transition for the final leg.
Now the real challenge begins - the ascent to Australia’s highest peak. Participants will be winding their way through undulating snowy mountain roads visiting from Perisher to Charlotte Pass before beginning most gruelling stretch – a 9km climb to the peak of Mt Kosciuszko. Once at the peak, competitors can take a moment to soak it all in before they make the final descent to the finish line at Charlotte Pass.
The course is a test of sheer strength, fitness and at times courage, but the terrain can turn from beautiful to unseasonal blizzards in an instant. It is not for the faint hearted.
This course will take in some of the most spectacular sights in Australia and leave you as one of the few people in the world who can claim bragging rights to tackling the Australian Alpine Ascent – the most gruelling daylight challenge in the world.
View the complete AAA course via the Google interactive Map here.
AAA Course Profile
Why should I attempt the Australian Alpine Ascent?
Because you are an athlete who has done long course events in the past and really like to challenge yourself. You like riding and running the mountains. You like to be one of the first finishers of this amazingly tough event.
How far from Sydney is Jindabyne/Thredbo
It is about 4 and half hours from Sydney to Jindabyne by car, longer with traffic.
How far from Melbourne is Jindabyne/Thredbo
It is approximately 6 and half hours from Melbourne to Jindabyne by car, longer with traffic.
What is the water temperature in Lake Jindabyne in March?
The water in Lake Jindabyne in February can vary anywhere between 15 and 21 degrees Celsius
What is the field limit size for AAA?
The AAA event can only have 300 competitors in total.
What are the cut-off times for each leg of the AAA event?
The 3km swim cut-off will be 1 and a half hours. All participants need to be off the bike at Perisher by 3pm. All runners need to be at Charlotte Pass by 4.15pm.
How long do we have to complete the event?
11 hours from start of race. All athletes will be pulled off the course after this time.
What is an A finisher?
A finisher who is unable to make the run time cut off at Charlotte Pass (9hrs 15mins from start of race).
What is an AA finisher?
A finisher who is unable to make the run time cut off at Rawson Pass (10hrs 30min from start of race). Their run distance will be 27km. If they wish to they will be able to finish the 30km run without summiting, by doing a loop out and back towards Charlotte Pass. They must still exit the mountain via the Chairlift at Thredbo, or at Charlotte Pass.
What is an AAA finisher?
A finisher who beats these cut off times and finishes at Rawson Pass after reaching the summit of Mt Kosciuszko. A true legend!
What do we do with the car at Charlotte Pass?
One member of the support crew is dropped off at Charlotte Pass to accompany the athlete to the summit and back down again, and the other support crew can relax in their car at Charlotte Pass or join in on the atmospheric finish line!
How many handlers do we need?
You have a couple of options:
1) The competitor can have two support people, one to support them on the bike leg and collect their bike once the competitor is on the run leg, and then drive the support car around to Thredbo. The other support person accompanies the competitor on the run section between Charlotte Pass and Kosciuszko, and then back down to the finish line at Charlotte Pass where they will meet up with their other support person.
2) The competitor can have one support person, who rides a MTB to support the athlete on the run from Charlotte Pass to Kosciuszko and to the finish at Charlotte Pass.
In either of these scenarios, the support person MUST accompany the athlete off the mountain to Charlotte Pass.
How do the handlers support the athlete?
The handlers support the athlete by:
-Helping athlete set up in transition
-Clearing transition zone of athletes wet suit and equipment
-Feeding the athlete while on the bike leg between Thredbo and Perisher.
-Providing technical support to the athlete on the bike leg, between Thredbo and Perisher.
-Accompanying the athlete off the mountain to Charlotte Pass.
PLEASE NOTE: Handlers need to make sure that they exhibit PATIENCE when supporting their rider; they need to obey all road rules, they will need to travel behind a “pilot car” at all times on the road. Support vehicles need to not do any dangerous manoeuvres that could jeopardise the safety of any of the athletes on the road, or other road users.
How are the handlers identified?
The handlers are identified with AAA supporter lanyard and shirt, supplied by Elite Energy.
Can we enter the transition area?
Only one member of the support crew can enter transition to assist the setup and the clearing of the transition zone of the athletes’ equipment.
Are there any aid stations supplied
Yes, there are refill stations supplying water and electrolyte on the run leg of this triathlon. They will be located at Perisher, Kosciuszko Road, Charlotte Pass and Rawson Pass. There are also toilets at these locations.
What happens with the wet suits, bikes, and shoes at the transition areas?
They are collected by the handler, who is identified by their official handler lanyard and t shirt.
Can you swim in Lake Jindabyne before the event?
Yes, it is open to the public and anyone can swim in the lake. There is a marked zone in the lake in which you can swim, located at the end of Barry Way.
What happens if there is bad weather on the mountain?
If extreme weather conditions occur, the checkpoints at Charlotte Pass and Rawson Pass may be closed by National Parks and Wildlife. The athletes will have to finish at the closed checkpoint. Fog and snow are the most likely reasons to close the checkpoint.
Why can’t we pass Charlotte Pass after 4.30pm?
The 4.30pm cut-off is the arbitrary time decided to make sure that the competitor has time to make it to the summit of Kosciuszko, down to the finish line at Rawson Pass, and then back down off the mountain before conditions become dangerous.
What if I don’t make the cut-off time at Charlotte Pass, can I continue to run to 30km on the road?
Yes you can, the run will be along the road back to Perisher. All athletes will be pulled off the course at the 11 hour point.
Is there prize money?
We are not having a Pro Category; however, the first 3 males and females across the line will be awarded AMAZING TROPHIES.
Are there age group awards?
Each placegetter in each age group will be awarded the BIGGEST MEDAL in triathlon in Oz. The first 3 across the line will NOT be eligible for Age Group Awards.
What is included with our entry fee?
– Event T Shirt
-AAA, AA, and A finishers merchandise item (it is a surprise!)
– 2 x official support crew T shirts, Lanyard and Car stickers
– Age group prize podium winners will receive medals
– Valuable draw prizes
– Sponsors product
– An AMAZING race venue
– Chip timing and results on event day
– Safe and professionally managed event
– Incredible support from local charity groups – who receive a portion of the proceeds from this event
– Sanctioning, technical support and insurance through Triathlon NSW
– Aid stations on the run leg with water and energy drink
– Post race snacks and recovery nutrition, plus pool party at Thredbo
– Bragging rights and an amazing story to tell!
How do our supporters get to the finish line?
Supporters can get to the finish line by driving along Kosciuszko Road to Charlotte Pass. Parking will be made available for support and spectator vehicles.
What will be at the finish line?
Sponsor nutrition products, soup, water, electrolyte, Finish line flags, a table for finish paraphernalia, medical, and toilets.
What happens after the finish line?
After the finish line, the athlete must be accompanied by one handler, to their vehicle located at Charlotte Pass.
Will there be an awards ceremony?
After the event, there will be a post-race chill out at Rydges Horizons Jindabyne where the presentation will be held.
Where is the best place to get accommodation?
Rydges Horizon Resort Snowy Mountains (http://www.rydges.com/accommodation/snowy-mountains-nsw/rydges-horizons-snowy-mountains/welcome/ )
The Alpine Hotel in Thredbo (http://www.rydges.com/accommodation/snowy-mountains-nsw/thredbo-resort/welcome/)
Lake Crackenback Resort and Spa (http://www.lakecrackenback.com.au/)
These are all great accommodation options!
What will we need to carry with us after Charlotte Pass?
The competitor AND the support person will need to carry a backpack each past this point (the support person MUST JOIN them at Charlotte Pass), which will be checked to make sure that it contains the following:
– Food (2 energy bars or bananas)
– Drink (at least 1 litre each)
– Mobile Phone
– Dry and warm clothes including long pants and wind proof jacket
– Gloves and a woollen hat
After the event has finished, and we are off the mountain, how can we freshen up!?
Everyone is welcome back to the Rydges Horizons Jindabyne.
* Event T Shirt
* AAA, AA, and A finishers merchandise item (it is a surprise!)
* 2 x official support crew T shirts, Lanyard and Car stickers
* 1 x National Parks Pass
* 2 x Breakfast in Jindabyne
* New and improved course
* Age group prize podium winners will receive medals
* Valuable draw prizes
* Sponsors product
* An AMAZING race venue
* Chip timing and results on event day
* Safe and professionally managed event
* Incredible support from local charity groups – who receive a portion of the proceeds from this event
* Sanctioning, technical support and insurance through Triathlon NSW
* Aid stations on the run leg with water and energy drink
* Post race snacks and recovery nutrition, plus pool party at Thredbo
* Bragging rights and an amazing story to tell!