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Environment, news, culture from the Australian Alps

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cross country skiing

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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Timely drive for ski patrol volunteers

With the arctic blast that is currently hitting the alps and (hopefully) heralding the approach of winter,  Lake Mountain Ski Patrol (LMSP) has launched a timely drive for volunteer patrollers for the 2018 snow season.

The patrol is looking for people who can cross country ski, have basic first aid training, love to work outdoors and are keen to join the weekend roster for volunteers over the winter.

Continue reading “Timely drive for ski patrol volunteers”

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.”

Windy Corner becomes Falls Creek Cross Country

Many people will know the Windy Corner day shelter/ café/ ski hire shop above the top car park at Falls Creek. It is the ‘skiing arm’ of the YMCA operated Howmans Gap Alpine Centre, located just down the road, literally at the gateway of the resort. Both Howmans Gap and Windy Corner have undergone some major changes this season as part of an ambitious campaign to be more accessible to people, families and groups and to lift the profile of cross country skiing/ alpine recreation to people of all ages and ability levels. They are seeking to encourage a greater diversity of people to visit the resort, and also act as the base for Disabled Wintersport Australia. As part of this process the Windy Corner facility has been renamed as Falls Creek Cross Country.

This seems like a great initiative to broaden the appeal and accessibility of resorts. It seems to be working, with ski rental having increased by 300% this season. The following comes from Sandra Bucovaz.

Continue reading “Windy Corner becomes Falls Creek Cross Country”

Cross country skiing at Falls Creek

Just a reminder that the YMCA offers a great service for people interested in getting involved in cross country skiing. They are based in the XC building at Windy Corner (at the top end of the Falls Creek village).

Apart from offering a shelter for skiers, it has a cafe, and ski hire services.

It also offers

  • Group and private ski lessons. clinics twice daily and daily video analysis
  • Moonlight and dawn skis (weather depending)
  • Day long snowshoe and ski tours to the backcountry

Full details available here.

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.”

BackcountryHuts.net

Many backcountry huts in the Australian Alps are either intended only for emergency use or are fairly uninviting places to stay (in contrast with many of the ones in high visitation areas of the Tasmanian high country). But the best ones can be fantastic spots for a winter camp when the conditions outside aren’t great.

The best resource I know for locating huts in the mountains is Backcountry Huts. You can search by area or state and find a huge number of buildings, from the ruinous to the fabulous.

Continue reading “BackcountryHuts.net”

Lake Mountain seeking ski patrollers

Recruiting volunteer ski patrollers

With the 2017 ski season fast approaching (hopefully), Lake Mountain Ski Patrol (LMSP) is recruiting volunteers to join the weekend patrol team.

Ski patrol is a great way of volunteering and helping others, as well as spending time and being active in a fantastic environment.

Continue reading “Lake Mountain seeking ski patrollers”

Backcountry film festival – Melbourne, May 30

As the Alps gets another blast of pre winter snow, I’m happy to be able to tell you that we have a date for this year’s backcountry film festival program in Melbourne!

The BC festival is the annual mini film festival that covers human powered winter adventure.

The Melbourne show will be held on Tuesday May 30.

Continue reading “Backcountry film festival – Melbourne, May 30”

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