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Mountain Journal

Environment, news, culture from the Australian Alps

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backcountry

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.

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Jeremy Jones at Mt Buller, July 23

GET HIGHER WITH JEREMY JONES

23 JUL 2017

Internationally renowned big mountain snowboarder Jeremy Jones is highly regarded for what he can do on a snowboard and now also for his important work leading the non-profit organisation “Protect Our Winters” (POW) championing awareness and action on climate change.

Jeremy is visiting Mt Buller and will present his award-winning snowboard film “Higher” on Sunday 23 July at 7.15pm.  He will also speak about his passion for protecting the mountains he loves and why ‘we need winter’.

 

Higher is the third in an inspiring trilogy of films that started with “Deeper” and “Further” and documents Jeremy taking on extreme snowboarding adventures deep, far and high into the mountains starting near his home in Squaw Valley, then Jackson Hole Wyoming, Alaska and Nepal.

Many snow films, including some he’s made earlier in his career, use helicopters to access the lines they ride and film.  In “Higher” Jeremy climbs each peak under his own steam working with his brother Todd and Steve at Teton Gravity Research to create the film.

***The night will book out quickly with tickets on sale at the Rip Curl store and Photo Shop at Mt Buller ***

Jeremy will take part in a Q&A and talk about his snowboarding career, his work with POW and his passion for riding which has seen him create his own snowboard range and spend time riding with his wife and children.  He is on holiday in Australia but accepted an invitation from his friend Tony Harrington to come and speak.  Jeremy is planning a ‘ride’ day in which he looks forward to exploring Mt Buller with local boarders and experiencing snowboarding amongst the snow gums.

Protect Our Winters began ten years ago. Since founding the organisation Jeremy has grown the awareness and action of POW to include a global network of over 130,000 supporters and engaging with 60 million + snowsports enthusiasts.  As Jeremy explains,

Though we can dress up for meetings, in the end we are pro athletes, dirtbags and diehards; for us, winter is not just a passion, but a way of life.  Right now, we have the luxury of worrying about how climate change might impact the outdoor industry. Right now, we get to help dictate the outcome rather than react to a foregone conclusion. If we sit on our hands for the next two decades, we won’t be worried about powder days, tourism or having fun. We’ll be worried about the stability of our environment, our jobs and our economy.”

 

Continue reading “Jeremy Jones at Mt Buller, July 23”

Big slide on Mt Bogong

After a slow start to the winter, we’re getting some serious top up to the base in the backcountry. Whenever you get sun affected snow covered by fresh, there is a chance you will get the potential for avalanche conditions to form on any steeper slopes at higher altitudes. This week there were reports of a ‘monster avalanche’ on Mt Bogong. What makes this concerning is the fact that (as Snowsense puts it) ‘from observations at Hotham and Falls, we had no indicator that Bogong was ready to let rip’.

This highlights the need to check conditions both before you head off and while you’re out in the mountains. Luckily there is a fantastic website to help with this: brought to you by the Mountain Sports Collective.

Continue reading “Big slide on Mt Bogong”

Backcountry film festival Sydney July 2017

NSW Nordic Ski Club presents the 2017 Winter Wildlands Alliance Backcountry Film Festival.

Following on from our screening last year, this year we are having an intimate screening of the Winter Wildlands, 2017, Backcountry Film Festival at the McMahons Point Community Hall, 165 Blues Point Rd, McMahons Point, on Wednesday 26, July. It is a public event open to everyone to celebrate all things snow and the human powered mountain experience.

Wednesday 26 July, 7.30pm, McMahons Point  Community Hall, McMahons Point/North Sydney

All welcome.

Continue reading “Backcountry film festival Sydney July 2017”

Time for that Tassie trip?

As some forecasters suggested early in the year, 2017 seems to be turning into a less than average and slightly erratic season. The ephemeral joy of winter snow seems even more fleeting than usual this year, with the lesson that you should get out and enjoy it wherever and however you can when it arrives.

The most recent fronts appear to have brought the most snow to the southern mountains of Tasmania, which also got me thinking about the ephemeral wonder of Tassie’s peaks after heavy snow.

Continue reading “Time for that Tassie trip?”

Avalanche AST1 & CRS Courses at Mt Hotham

With the continued interest in backcountry terrain in Australia, and a growing number of Australian skiers and riders heading out of bounds in NZ and the northern hemisphere, there are more opportunities to learn avalanche skills here.

Mountain Journal has previously advertised avalanche courses that are being held in NSW and Victoria this year by Main Range BackCountry.

Now Survive First Aid has teamed up with Dave Enright from Evergreen Outdoor Centre Hakuba to provide Avalanche AST1 & CRS Courses at Mt Hotham this winter.

Continue reading “Avalanche AST1 & CRS Courses at Mt Hotham”

In praise of the winter road trip

The snow roadtrip. Most snow and mountain obsessed Australians end up traveling overseas to explore and ride bigger mountains and deeper snow. And while the destination might be the mountains, the roadtrip to get there is sometimes equally essential to the experience.

Japan by van, the Powder Highway in BC, doing the circuit of the resorts from Park City to Cedar City in Utah are all standout trips. Last January I spent a month doing backcountry trips in central Colorado. The hut system is fantastic, the skiing was mind blowing, and the road trip, a big loop from Vail to Salida, to Crested Butte and Ouray and then north to Grand Junction and Aspen, was a huge part of the fun.

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SplitFest 2017

As far as I’m concerned, SplitFest – the Splitboarding festival – is the highlight of the winter backcountry calendar.

You get a great party in Jindabyne on the Friday night, a camp out up in the mountains at Island Bend with a big mob of fantastic people, and an outing with Adam West, who will share his knowledge of the backcountry, reading terrain and all things splitboarding.

Continue reading “SplitFest 2017”

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.”

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