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Mountain Journal

Environment, news, culture from the Australian Alps

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backcountry

Australia’s largest avalanche on record?

Mountain Sports Collective (MSC) is reporting a large avalanche on the Etheridge Ridge in the Main Range of the Snowy Mountains and other avalanche activity in the area, including Leatherbarrell Creek. A person was caught in the main slide and partially buried, but was uninjured. This highlights the need to be very mindful of conditions in the backcountry at present.

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Snow! Be careful out there.

It’s being billed as the best single snow event of the winter. Regardless of the title or hype, its certainly a fantastic dump across all the mountains of the mainland and Tasmania.

But it has also led to serious avalanche potential. Here is a summary of the current (AUG 9) Mountain Sports Collective backcountry conditions bulletin.

Continue reading “Snow! Be careful out there.”

Lets Split trip to Dead Horse Gap

Lets Split is a volunteer based initiative, designed to expand and strengthen the Australian Splitboard community.  We are a group of experienced SplitBoarders, who invite others to join us touring in the backcountry – hoping that the important skills needed for safe backcountry travel can pass into the younger generation of riders who are perhaps less experienced than us.

Here is a report from Lets Split founder Amine Yasmine on their recent trip to Dead Horse Gap in the Snowy Mountains.

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The ultimate backcountry festival guide

The second Victorian backcountry festival will happen at Mt Hotham over the weekend of September 7 and 8.

Here is a summary of what’s happening:

Highlights of the program

  • Meet at 8.30am on Saturday morning, upstairs at The General Store (just next to the Big D lift) for the festival opening.
  • Most tours start Saturday am.
  • Speaker’s program will run Upstairs at The General Store from 12 noon – 4pm. Great line up of speakers.
  • The outdoor bar will happen from 4 – 6pm on the Saturday, straight after the conclusion of the speakers program.
  • Kick on Saturday night at Blizzard Brewery at Dinner Plain.
  • Tours continue on Sunday.
  • Finish the weekend with a Protect Our Winters info night and films at The Bird in Hotham Central on sunday night.

[Full details are in the program]

Continue reading “The ultimate backcountry festival guide”

Featured post

Winter is back! Be careful out there.

Woo hoo! Winter is back! Finally, good conditions in the backcountry. But with heavy snowfalls that have accumulated on almost non existent base, and high winds moving snow around onto the leeward side of slopes, take care out there.

Mountain Sports Collective (MSC) reports that ‘the rate of accumulation, particularly on aspects lee to the north west is a problem. A considerable wind slab avalanche hazard exists as observed at both Falls Creek and Mt Hotham resorts and believed to be widespread particularly in the alpine (above 1650m)’.

These conditions exist across the Alps.

Check here for the MSC Backcountry conditions bulletins before heading out.

MSC says: ‘Conservative terrain choices are advised for travelers in the backcountry for the foreseeable future’.

 

‘You can’t be what you can’t see’

The backcountry scene still tends to be quite ‘bloke heavy’: a lot of the people involved in BC riding and skiing tend to be white males. While demographics are changing in the resorts, with a wider range of people visiting than in previous decades, this has also been noticeable in the backcountry community. There are lots of women and gender diverse people who are out there, and as with the festival last year, we want to provide a platform for a diversity of voices in the program for the VIC backcountry festival, which will happen at Mt Hotham over the weekend of September 7 and 8..

As former Olympic skier Katya Crema said last year: ‘You can’t be what you can’t see’. We have worked to ensure a range of voices, including women, are strongly represented in the program. Here are some highlights:

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Backcountry festival will be epic

The second Victorian backcountry festival will happen at Mt Hotham over the weekend of September 7 and 8. The program now has 28 sessions on offer. Most are free. They cover everything from cross country and tele skiing, split boarding, alpine touring, to avalanche safety, snow shoeing and fat tyre bikes.

Continue reading “Backcountry festival will be epic”

She Went Wild trip to Kosciuszko

She Went Wild intends to “inspire, educate and connect women to live adventurously in the outdoors” and does this through offering training and trips across many outdoor activities. They say “for too long, female adventurers have been underrepresented in the outdoors industry. She Went Wild journey started in an effort to overcome the barriers faced by women who want to spend more time out and about”.

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The MSC ‘Slay Safe’ backcountry academy

Mountain Sports Collective will be running a series of FREE Introduction to Advanced Backcountry sessions this season. These events are for participants who are eager to step beyond the patrol lines and learn the skills required to pursue extended ski touring (both skiing and split boarding). This is nominally everything you need to know to travel over a variety of alpine terrain (Skiing / Skinning and ALPINE Climbing) and overnight (the eDVANCED bit).

Continue reading “The MSC ‘Slay Safe’ backcountry academy”

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