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Mountain Journal

Environment, news, culture from the Australian Alps

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cross country skiing

MSC kicks off the 2020 Backcountry Conditions Reports

Mountain Sports Collective is a membership based not-for-profit user group organisation for human powered alpine sports in Australia.

In winter it produces a regular ‘Backcountry Conditions Report’ covering three areas: North East VIC, the Central Alpine Ranges in VIC, and the Main Range in the Snowy Mountains. The reports cover alpine snow and weather conditions and travel and terrain advice. It is generally updated as conditions change significantly.

This winter MSC has set up a ‘community observation’ page that allows backcountry users to contribute information about conditions. You can add your observations here.

Now that proper winter conditions have finally kicked in, the Reports will be updated on a regular basis.

Please check the reports before heading into the backcountry.

 

You can support the efforts of MSC by becoming a member.

 

 

 

Backcountry 2020 – what’s the go?

With ski resorts announcing their plans for the season (and resorts having considerable control over access to many backcountry skiing and riding access points) we now have a sense of what winter will look like.

The key message is that if you’re planning to access backcountry via a resort you need to organise entry before you go. But there are many options outside resort areas.

Continue reading “Backcountry 2020 – what’s the go?”

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, see below]

For details on tours that have just been offered, please check here.

Continue reading “The ultimate backcountry festival guide”

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”

Winter 2019 is go!

With continued snowfalls expected this week, we’re looking as if we will have a proper (settled) base across higher ranges and hence an early start to the ‘season’ (yes, ‘ski season’ is just a capitalist construct).

You’re probably planning trips. Here are a few resources that might help:

Continue reading “Winter 2019 is go!”

Backcountry festival program launch

The Victorian Backcountry Festival will happen at Hotham, over the weekend of Sept 7 and 8. The program has just been released and is available here.

So far the program has 27 tours and workshops, from beginner to advanced, covering snow shoeing, splitboarding, alpine touring, telemark, and cross country. There will be skillshares in fat bikes, snow and avalanche safety, navigation, snow camping, rescue and a film making workshop.

The program:

  • Start the weekend with a drink at the Snowline in Harrietville on Friday night
  • Meet at The General early on sat for a briefing and tours (there are currently 19 tours and workshops on offer)
  • Speaker’s program from midday at The General
  • Then head to the outdoor bar (1 km ski/ skin in) and then kick on at Blizzard brewery in Dinner Plain
  • Sunday is mostly longer tours (there are currently 8 tours planned for that day)
  • The weekend finishes off with an evening brought to you by Protect Our Winters, featuring great speakers and 2 films, at The Bird
  • Then Monday morning, the 3 day Feathertop camp out starts
  • Alpine Access Australia is offering 2 day AST 1 avalanche courses before, during and after the festival.

The program is here.

Please remember to buy tickets for the weekend if you haven’t already (it’s $10 a person for the weekend)

The 2018 Victorian backcountry festival

Thanks to everyone who made the effort to come along to the inaugural Victorian backcountry festival (BCF). More than 200 people attended over the two days, with more than 20 sessions being held, including clinics, tours, skillshares, presentations, and a film festival.

BCF grew from the world telemark day celebrations that have been happening at Mt Hotham the last 5 years. After deciding to bring it to Falls Creek, the idea morphed into an ‘all things backcountry’ event which would aim to bring together some of the backcountry (BC) community and offer an opportunity for ‘first timers’ to get involved. We focused on many forms of human powered winter adventure – including cross country, snow shoeing, alpine touring, telemark and splitboarding.

Continue reading “The 2018 Victorian backcountry festival”

Kangaroo Hoppet 2018

The Kangaroo Hoppet is Australia’s International Ski Marathon. It will happen out of Falls Creek resort on saturday August 25.

There are three races:

The 7km Joey Hoppet course is a single anti-clockwise loop into Sun Valley.

The 21km Australian Birkebeiner is the Sun Valley loop followed by the anti-clockwise Heathy Spur loop.

The 42km Kangaroo Hoppet course is 24km lap consisting of the Sun Valley loop and the Heathy Spur loop with a diversion to the right at the Park drink station. the second lap (18km) consists of another Sun Valley loop then the Langfords loop and return along the Two Pauls track.

For full details (and to register) check here.

 

One month til the inaugural Australian backcountry festival!

Media release. August 1, 2018

Ski / Ride Hard. Do Good.

The Backcountry festival will happen at Falls Creek, over the weekend of September 1 and 2, 2018.

It aims to celebrate all things backcountry – telemark, split boarding, cross country, snow shoeing and alpine touring.

Festival organiser Cam Walker said “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 winter backcountry, you should be there. Beginners to advanced, all are welcome.

Continue reading “One month til the inaugural Australian backcountry festival!”

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