Touring Destinations – Dainer’s Gap
Dainers Gap is on the Kosciuszko Road above Sponars Inn about 8km before Perisher. There is a large carpark just before the top of the pass which is often used for overflow parking from Perisher during the peak season.
Dainers Gap often has better visibility than Perisher in bad weather, no crowds, and offers some interesting ski tours when the snow cover is good. Some of these are described below.
Plains of Heaven
Start on the western side of the Kosciuszko road at the top of the hill above Sponars Inn, ski up the large south facing snow slope through snowgums and open areas to the Plains of Heaven. Then a short climb through trees onto the ridge and Kerry View Hill, which is a good spot for lunch and has good views across to the Main Range. Ski along the ridge then descend the slopes before a gentle traverse back to the road. Best done in an anti-clockwise direction. An easy tour of about 4km.
Dainers Gap to Perisher
From Dainers Gap it is possible to follow the marked pole line along Thompsons Plain to Perisher. This can either be done as a long return ski tour, or as a car shuffle with cars left at Perisher and Dainers Gap. From the eastern side of the road at Dainers Gap follow the pole line up the hill for about 2km. Once the plateau is reached it is a long undulating ski following the marked poles across Thompsons Plain and Prussian Plain until the Perisher trails are reached at the far eastern end of the 10km trail. This tour provides good views of the Main Range and Perisher Range on a clear day. About 16km return.
On the eastern side of the road follow the pole line up the slope towards Thompsons Plain. When a small fence is reached after about 2km head southeast across a broad valley to the edge of the escarpment at Pretty Point for great views of the Crackenback Valley and Lake Jindabyne.
From here, head south-west following the edge of the trees then climb up to a saddle. From the saddle there are good views towards Perisher. From here, ski down the long slope, then gradually turn west and north and head towards the pole line. Once the pole line is reached, follow this north-east along Thompsons Plain then descend back to the road and the cars. About 8km return.
Rainbow Lake was built as the water supply for the old Kosciusko Hotel, now the Sponars Inn. The lake is nestled in a small valley surrounded by forested ridges, and is usually iced over during winter. From the carpark just below Dainers Gap it is a short one km ski to the lake, which is hidden by snowgums and a ridge. Once the lake is first glimpsed, ski down a short snowslope, then across the dam wall past a wooden jetty. This area has a marginal snow cover but when the snow is good there are some great areas to explore beyond the lake out towards the escarpment and towards Rennix Gap.