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Mountain Journal

Environment, news, culture from the Australian Alps

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alpine touring (AT)

The 2018 Victorian backcountry festival

Thanks to everyone who made the effort to come along to the inaugural Victorian backcountry festival (BCF). More than 200 people attended over the two days, with more than 20 sessions being held, including clinics, tours, skillshares, presentations, and a film festival.

BCF grew from the world telemark day celebrations that have been happening at Mt Hotham the last 5 years. After deciding to bring it to Falls Creek, the idea morphed into an ‘all things backcountry’ event which would aim to bring together some of the backcountry (BC) community and offer an opportunity for ‘first timers’ to get involved. We focused on many forms of human powered winter adventure – including cross country, snow shoeing, alpine touring, telemark and splitboarding.

Continue reading “The 2018 Victorian backcountry festival”

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One month til the inaugural Australian backcountry festival!

Media release. August 1, 2018

Ski / Ride Hard. Do Good.

The Backcountry festival will happen at Falls Creek, over the weekend of September 1 and 2, 2018.

It aims to celebrate all things backcountry – telemark, split boarding, cross country, snow shoeing and alpine touring.

Festival organiser Cam Walker said “our vision is to host a grass-roots gathering at Falls Creek for backcountry skiers and riders of all abilities.  If you’re interested in any form of human powered adventure in the winter backcountry, you should be there. Beginners to advanced, all are welcome.

Continue reading “One month til the inaugural Australian backcountry festival!”

Australia’s first backcountry festival

The Backcountry festival will happen at Falls Creek, over the weekend of September 1 and 2, 2018.

It aims to celebrate all things backcountry – tele, split boarding, cross country, snow shoeing and alpine touring.

Our vision is to host a grass-roots gathering at Falls Creek for backcountry skiers and riders of all abilities.  If you’re interested in any form of human powered adventure in the backcountry, you should be there. Beginners to advanced, all are welcome.

We now have a fantastic program for the festival. Thanks to the generosity of the folks at Falls Creek Cross Country, we have some great telemark clinics and snow shoe tours, which are being offered for free.

A range of people have also offered to lead tours or offer skills workshops, like navigation skills and snow camping 101.

There will be demo skis available for hire, an outdoor bar in the afternoon, and a mini film festival featuring Australian made backcountry films and some great speakers in the evening.

Sunday will see the world telemark day gathering, with skiing both in and out of the resort as an option.

The program is available here.

What now?

Please invite your mates and spread the word. Facebook page available here.

Please register. This is free and makes planning easier if we know numbers. People who have registered will have first option on getting tickets to the film festival.

Start to build some stoke. If posting pics through winter, please feel free to tag us #VICbackcountryfestival

We know of one person who is planning to walk and snow shoe to the festival from Walhalla (!!). Where are you coming from?

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Australian backcountry festival. September 1.

This winter we will be co-hosting a backcountry gathering.

It has grown out of the World Telemark Day gatherings that have been happening at Mt Hotham in north eastern Victoria each September.

This year we have moved to Falls Creek resort and broadened the focus to cover all forms of human and gravity powered backcountry travel, including telemark skiing, split boarding, cross country, snow shoeing and alpine touring.

Continue reading “Australian backcountry festival. September 1.”

Stay safe out there.

We have snow! Time to get out in the mountains.

A big part of having a successful trip (and not having to rely on the emergency Spam and VB in the hut) is to research the weather and conditions.

Continue reading “Stay safe out there.”

The backcountry – know before you go

The absolute majority of skiers and boarders enjoy their sport in resorts. Yet the continued interest in ‘side country’ and backcountry skiing and riding continues. While here in Australia, the backcountry (BC) does seem busier, it’s hard to tell if more people who mostly ski or ride in  resorts are spending some time in the side country, or whether it’s mostly people who are new to the sport who are venturing into the backcountry. It’s probably a mix of the two.

Either way, it does pose an issue. If people who are not familiar with ‘un managed’ winter environments are getting out of resorts under their own power, are they likely to get themselves into trouble in the backcountry? How can we help people to be ready for the conditions and terrain they might find?

Continue reading “The backcountry – know before you go”

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