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Mountain Journal

Environment, news, culture from the Australian Alps

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cross country skiing

Hotham to Dinner Plain ski race

This year will mark 25 years for this race from The General at Mt Hotham to the Dinner Plain Hotel. Saturday August 6, starting at 11am.

It is billed as “an event for skiers of all ages and abilities, and you’re likely to see first year skiers lining up with Australian champions. While we encourage everyone to get involved, the event does require you to be able to ski the 12 kilometres without assistance within 2 hours or thereabouts and be able to cope with the wild conditions this mountain can often produce. Entry fees remain at $20 for adults and $5 for juniors, and as always if we get a good rollup then the excess funds can go into more bottles of wine as spot prizes!”

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Proposed Falls Creek Altitude Training Centre at Nordic Bowl

The Nordic Bowl, on the edge of the Falls Creek resort, has long been a play area for XC skiers and others to enjoy the snow.

The Falls Creek Resort Management (FCRM) proposes constructing a sporting oval and mixed use facility at the Nordic Bowl. An application for a planning permit has been submitted to the Minister for Planning Department of Environment Land and Water.

The following information comes from materials posted on the Backcountry Forum.

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Recruitment drive for Lake Mountain ski patrol

Lake Mountain Ski Patrol (LMSP) is gearing up for the 2016 winter season and has launched a recruitment drive for more volunteers to join its weekend team.

Volunteer patrollers need to be 18 years and older, and be fit, competent cross country skiers with a minimum Level 2 First Aid qualification.

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The Grasshopper prediction for winter 2016

It’s April: two months til winter… Which gets us all thinking about what type of season it will be.

Most Australian snow enthusiasts know about The Grasshopper, who writes snow forecasts for MountainWatch (‘resident meteorology sensei’ at MountainWatch).

The first prediction for 2016 has arrived.

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Snow Sense

As we all know, backcountry is the new black. The ski and boarding magazines are full of stories about the western faces of the Main Range, Bogong and Feathertop. And while there are lots of new outdoor enthusiasts who are getting a good all round experience of conditions and terrain, as well as sound BC skills, we have probably all seen the 20 something (mostly male) boarders who are fresh out of the resort and ready to shred, but lacking in BC experience. This is all great. But what it does mean is that we are finding ever more good resort riders and skiers getting out into backcountry areas and big terrain, without having done any apprenticeship in the mountains. What this means is more rescues, injuries and other incidents.

As recently noted on Mountain Journal, there is now a site that reports on snow conditions for backcountry users in the Snowy Mountains, called Snow Safety Australia.

There is also a site that covers conditions right across the mainland Alps, called Snow Sense.

Snow Sense is the mastermind of Simon Murray. It seeks to cover weather as well as snow conditions across three key regions: the Kosciusko area, north east Victoria and the Central Victorian Alps. Regular updates are made, called in by ski patrollers, generally after the dawn patrol. It is a fantastic resource for all backcountry skiers, riders and snow shoers who like to get out into the higher country.

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Snow Safety Australia

Anyone who backcountry skis or rides outside Australia will know about the need to be careful of avalanche risk. Many regions around the world with lots of backcountry or mountaineering terrain will have online or phone service avalanche information which can be consulted before heading out into the hills.

With our moderate sized mountains and lower avalanche risk, many Australians are not aware that there are actually dangers to be found in our backcountry.

Now we have our first avalanche/ conditions info service: Snow Safety Australia.

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Casey and Kat blitz women’s XC skiing

Lake Mountain ambassadors, Casey Wright and Kat Paul (profiled here), have blitzed women’s cross country skiing in Australia this season, claiming all the major titles between them.

Their clean sweep of the 2015 race calendar, against some fierce national and international competition, sets them up strongly for the World Championships in Romania in February. While Casey will not be competing, it makes Kat the hot Australasian favourite at the New Zealand Continental Cup from August 28 to 30.

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