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Mountain Journal

Environment, news, culture from the Australian Alps

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backcountry

Make the season last

Its always a delight to have snow in October.

There’s so much snow out there still. As Bruce Easton from Wilderness Sports noted today, there’s still plenty of snow on the Main Range and ‘it’s not going anywhere’ quickly (his shop in Jindabyne is still open for ski hire). It’s the same in the High Country of Victoria.

I’m planning to get out into it this weekend. I hope you are too. I’d love to see your photos from your late season trips. Please post pics on the MJ facebook page or email to cam.walker@foe.org.au

Have fun out there.

Skiing The Slot at Mt Field

Recent heavy snowfalls briefly created perfect conditions in the Tasmanian mountains for touring and some serious descents. One classic line with potential is a steep gully in Mt Field National Park called The Slot.

It was briefly in condition, and Ben Armstrong was out there to ski it.

These photos come from Ben via the Australian Backcountry facebook group.

Continue reading “Skiing The Slot at Mt Field”

Have you seen avalanches in the mountains this winter?

This map, of the north eastern mountains of Victoria, shows all the known significant slides that have occurred so far in 2017, with the categories of each. Mountain Sports Collective would love to know if there are any others that you may have come across in your travels this winter?

As a guide: C2 would bury a car, C3 would bury a bus. It’s probably the C1 (just big enough to bury a person, the small slides we are missing).

If you’ve got photos please post them through a report on the MSC website, and please location tag them with a date You can also just add a description on the Snowsense Instagram account.

MSC would also like to know about slides outside this area – elsewhere in Victoria or in NSW.

This information will be used to review the reporting standards that MSC is using. Thanks for your help.

Become a founding member of the Mountain Sports Collective

If you ski or ride in the backcountry, you’re probably already using the resources provided by Mountain Sports Collective (MSC). MSC was created by the amalgamation of the nation’s foremost alpine safety platforms Snowsafety.com.au and Snowsense.org. These sites offer an Alpine Travel Advisory, and issues information regarding alpine travel safety across all aspects of the prevailing conditions above snowline from 1 June – 31st October each year. Snowsafety and Snowsense have joined forces to create MSC not only with the goal of delivering a more streamlined and concise picture of the conditions in the mountains, in one single easy view, but we are now also a legal entity, established as a not-for-profit association.

MSC aims to be the voice for the human powered backcountry community in Australia. While there are similar organisations overseas (for instance the Winter Wildlands Alliance in the USA) there is no single voice for all forms of human powered winter backcountry adventurers here in Australia. There are a range of walking clubs, Nordic ski climbs, climbing organisations and so on. We feel that, with an ever growing number of people heading into the winter backcountry, the time is right for a group that can help co-ordinate and focus the voice of this diverse community.

Continue reading “Become a founding member of the Mountain Sports Collective”

Winter road trip bliss

What’s winter without a decent road trip? As I wrote earlier this year, I reckon the ultimate Australian winter snow road trip is the journey between the Snowy Mountains and the Victorian Alps via the Alpine Way.

There are lots of ways to cross the Alps or link up different mountains. But the Alpine Way has a special appeal I think, as it brings you under the western face of the Snowy Mountains, surely the most impressive alpine views on mainland Australia.

Continue reading “Winter road trip bliss”

Backcountry film festival showing September 12

The BCFF is produced each year by the Winter Wildlands Alliance as a celebration of the human-powered experience and a gathering place for the backcountry snowsports community.

We are offering one more showing of the festival in Melbourne for 2017.

Tuesday 12 September.

This year’s Winter Wildlands Alliance festival features eleven films. For full details on these, please check here. PLEASE NOTE that these are the same films that were shown in May at Melbourne University.

There will be two shows – one at 7pm and one at 9pm.

Venue: Longplay Bar and Cinema

318 St Georges Rd, Fitzroy North.

Tickets $15

Because it’s a licensed venue, please no children.

Funds raised will go to Mountain Sports Collective.

This is a small venue so we are asking people to let us know they’re coming so we can put a ticket aside. Please email Team Snowsense, saying which of the sessions you will be at.
snowsensepatrol1@gmail.com

OR: leave a note in the Snowsense facebook page under the film festival event and we will reserve you a ticket.

Another slide at Bogong, skier caught

There has been another significant avalanche on Mt Bogong, with a skier being caught in the slide and carried around 80 metres. They are OK.

The following comes from Mountain Safety Collective/ SnowSense.

Continue reading “Another slide at Bogong, skier caught”

Backcountry Film Festival at Harrietville

CELEBRATING THE WINTER HUMAN-POWERED EXPERIENCE
The Backcountry Film Festival is produced each year by Winter Wildlands Alliance as a celebration of the human-powered experience and a gathering place for the backcountry snowsports community. Winter Wildlands Alliance is a nonprofit organization working at the national level to inspire and educate the backcountry community to protect and care for their winter landscapes. Funds raised at each screening stay in the local community to support human-powered recreation and conservation efforts, winter education and avalanche/safety programs and to raise awareness of winter management issues.

For a full listing of the films in the festival please check here.
Thursday August 31

Harrietville Community Hall
210 Great Alpine Rd, Harrietville, Victoria 3741

Starts at 6.30pm.
Fundraising event by Mountain Sports Collective & Harrietville Community Hall
Soup and Drinks available
Entry: $10 Adults / $20 Family

Facebook page for the event here.

Whiteroom offers Avalanche courses in Australia

With more and more Australian skiers and riders getting into the backcountry, both here and overseas, there is an ever growing awareness about the need to have good skills to stay safe in unmanaged terrain. This includes the ability to assess and avoid avalanche risk, and to carry out rescues.

There are now a number of businesses running avalanche courses, including the Jindabyne-based Main Range Backcountry and a new operator at Mt Buller called Mountain Safe. (See below for details).

There are also international instructors coming out here to offer courses. This includes Whiteroom, who are a company that offers guided ski and snowboard tours, ski and snowboard holidays, mountain guiding, instructional tours, and group travel in Japan, New Zealand and North America.

This comes from Ronan Maguire, who is running the Whiteroom courses in Australia. Ronan has done eleven seasons at Mt Hutt as well several in America, Canada and Japan.

Continue reading “Whiteroom offers Avalanche courses in Australia”

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