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Mountain Journal

Environment, news, culture from the Australian Alps

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backcountry

Introducing Alpine Access Australia

There have been some changes in the alpine guiding and avalanche training scene in Australia this winter. Well known operation Main Range Backcountry (MRBC) is no more, with two new businesses emerging: one is SnowSafety, run by Adam West. The other is Alpine Access Australia, operated by Dave and Pieta Herring.

Dave and Pieta continue to offer guided touring on the Main Range of the Snowy Mountains plus two day avalanche awareness courses. Alpine Access Australia is an accredited Avalanche Canada AST Provider. Avalanche Canada sets the global standard for providing avalanche awareness programs. Participants acquire new skills and knowledge to help them keep safe in the backcountry. They teach the Avalanche Canada Avalanche Skills Training Level 1 (AST1) Course, which aims to provide an entry-level decision-making framework for assessing avalanche risk. Courses include a day in the classroom and a day in the field. They cost $300.

For details on their tours, please check here.

For details on their AST courses please check here.

This winter they’re running courses both in NSW (Jindabyne area) and the Hotham area in Victoria.

For general information on AAA, please check here.

Melbourne backcountry film festival – May 9

May 9. 7pm – 9.30pm.

Co-hosted with RMIT Outdoors Club.

Storey Hall (RMIT), 342-344 Swanston St, Melbourne.

Suggested donation: $8 conc & students/ $15 waged. Tickets at the door. There will be plenty of room.

There will be a bar run by the RMIT Outdoors Club before the films start.

Facebook page here.

In addition to the BCFF program (featuring eight great filmscheck here for full details), we will be showing:

Mount Townsend 2209 – Australian Freeride Story (3 mins 53 sec)

Mt Townsend imageIn keeping with our tradition of showing an Australian backcountry film at the start of the program, this year we have a great short production about a late season mission in 2016 to ski Mt Townsend on the Main Range of the Snowy Mountains.

Film maker Lachlan Humphreys says

With the Australian ski season coming to the end, I joined Australian sisters and pro skiers, Anna and Nat Segal, for one last push for the hills. Filmed in October last year, Mount Townsend 2209 follows Anna and Nat as they spend five days camping and touring together under the peak of Mount Townsend, together with their American/Canadian skier friend, Holly Walker.

Continue reading “Melbourne backcountry film festival – May 9”

We’re looking for homegrown ski and boarding films

As part of the Backcountry Festival being held at Falls Creek this September, we will be hosting a showing of locally made backcountry skiing and riding films. If you’ve produced a short film (max 7 minutes) that you’d like to show to a crowd of snow enthusiasts, please get in touch.

They will be shown from 7 – 9.30pm on Saturday September 1, in the Falls Creek village.

 

We’re delighted to be able to show some work from film maker Stephen Curtain, who produced the classic Australian telemark film Winter Dreaming.

.There are no guidelines for submitting films, beyond the request to keep under the maximum length. We’re specifically looking for films made outside resorts, and at this point don’t have any splitboarding films. They don’t need to be professionally produced but need to be engaging and suitable for an all age audience. We would love to get films made by women.

The venue holds a maximum of 60 people so this will be a ticketed event. The backcountry film festival is a volunteer event and we do not have the ability to pay for films.

We would like to receive films by the end of May to allow us to advertise the full program for the evening before winter.

Please contact cam.walker@foe.org.au

[IMAGE: skier – Graham Hammond. Stephen Curtain collection]

Continue reading “We’re looking for homegrown ski and boarding films”

The Mountain Pygmy–possum

We have ‘adopted’ the Mountain Pygmy–possum as the symbol for the first Victorian backcountry festival.

Like our snowfields, this small, mouse-sized nocturnal marsupial is unique. And just as our alpine areas are threatened by climate change, the possum is now listed as being Critically Endangered because of a range of threats to the species survival.

As part of the festival, we will be raising funds for efforts to protect the possum.

For details on the festival program (being held at Falls Creek over the weekend of September 1 and 2) please check here.

And for information on the possum please check here.

Backcountry Film Festival in Sydney

The 2018 Sydney screening of the Backcountry Film Festival will happen on saturday April 21.

For the third year, the Sydney screening will be hosted by the NSW Nordic Ski Club.

Continue reading “Backcountry Film Festival in Sydney”

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.”

Featured post

‘Finding the Line’ launched

Finding the Line is a ski ‘film about fear, it’s paralyzing grip on humans and how it affects our decision-making’. It stars Australians Nat and Anna Segal. They were filming last winter on the western slopes of the Snowy Mountains as part of the production.

‘Fear. Unless you’re insane, it’s a very natural and necessary part of life in the mountains. Fear can keep us alive and finding a way to understand and either overcome or bow to our fears is where much of the adventure lies.’

The film is now finished. It is having a launch in Whistler this week (this has a great background to the film). Stay tuned for details on the Australian launch.

More info available here. This site will have details on screenings as they are organised.

You can watch the trailer here.

Image: GUY FATTAL PHOTO / FINDING THE LINE

Backcountry film festival lineup 2018

The backcountry film festival is going to be great this year. We will have shows in Melbourne (March or April) and Bright (July) and probably NSW.

There is a great line up of films (details here), eight in total, covering a range of continents and aspects of backcountry skiing/ riding and snow culture. Stay tuned for full details closer to winter.

Have you made an Australian backcountry film?

The Backcountry Film Festival (BCFF) is produced each year as a celebration of the human-powered experience and a gathering place for the backcountry snowsports community. The 2018 Melbourne showing for the Backcountry film festival will be held in March or April 2018.

Most years we also show a short Australian film. These have included:

  • The Hunt for White October, about a late season mission to Mt Loch
  • No Lift Lines Here, about a mid winter trip to The Bluff
  • Find Your Line, about snow boarding on the western slopes of the Snowy Mountains
  • OFF GRID, focusing on a backcountry trip to Mt Bogong

If you have a film you would like to be included with the BCFF this year, please get in touch.

Continue reading “Have you made an Australian backcountry film?”

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