Traverse Hotham is offering cross country (XC) and snow shoe tours at Mt Hotham. The aim is to make both these activities accessible to a new generation of people by offering tours of the trail network, scenic snowshoe walks and introductory lessons in XC skiing.
Hotham has a great network of XC trails but many visitors to the mountain are unaware of them. These are largely centred on the Wire Plain area including the unique Brabralung Trail right through to Dinner Plain and can be accessed via XC trail from Davenport Village or via the village bus network.
Glen Clark is the person behind the idea:
“I suppose I came to XC skiing via a non-conventional route – being originally from Queensland a long way back, I didn’t discover snow until living overseas in my twenties. Initially I took up snowboarding, which I still love today. It was mainly my love of hiking and nature which encouraged me to give XC skiing a go via a recreational XC ski touring club – starting out with daytrips to Lake Mountain, I was hooked in no time. These days I’m officially based in Tassie but split my year mostly between winters at Hotham and Nozawa Onsen, Japan.
He explains the original vision for Traverse Hotham:
“Hotham has a wonderful range of well-maintained XC ski trails with varied and interesting touring options to suit all ability levels – but it’s a secret too well kept. Too few visitors are aware of Hotham’s extensive network of groomed XC ski trails, let alone the joys of gently gliding through snowgum forest away from the crowds. Of course those in the know get a lot of enjoyment out of the trails, but anecdotally the barriers to first time participation in XC skiing at Hotham have long been too high and an impediment to getting more people out there”.
The following is the main body text from traversehotham.com.au and summarises what’s on offer:
Traverse Hotham is dedicated to introducing more people to the joys of cross country (XC) skiing and snowshoeing in our magnificent alpine environment.
Beginner XC ski lessons follow a tour teaching methodology – subject to skier ability and snow conditions, the aim is to learn basic and/or improved XC ski techniques while discovering some of the scenic groomed trails Hotham Alpine Resort has to offer. Perhaps skiing isn’t for you? Snowshoe tours are an easy way to get out among the snowgums and appreciate the beauty of our high country away from the crowds.
Scheduled XC lessons operate Wednesdays and Saturdays – we offer separate ‘Intro to XC’ for those coming over from downhill skiing or who may have tried XC before and ‘Absolute Beginner’ for those who may have never been on skis before at all. Late afternoon ‘Sunset Snowshoe’ tours also operate twice a week on and around Mt Higginbotham, a natural alpine oasis with magnificent views within the midst of Hotham.
Bespoke XC and snowshoe tours covering various levels of ability and areas around Hotham may also be booked by arrangement, subject to availability.
You can hire all the gear you need (with a 25% discount) via Hoys and you can even swap your down hill hire skis for XC for a small fee.
You can find out more, and book for tours via the TraverseHotham website.
You can follow them on facebook here.