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Mountain Journal

Environment, news, culture from the Australian Alps

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Falls Creek

7 peaks ride

Its October, so its ‘officially’ road riding season. While there are endless riding opportunities across the entire Australian Alps, the ‘iconic’ series of rides in Victoria is called the 7 Peaks Ride.  It’s designed as an ‘at-your-own pace’ cycling challenge which runs from October to April.

The rides take you to the top of the seven Victorian Alpine Resorts, each one ranging from 6 to 40 kilometres in length.

The idea is that you register online and track each ride using the 7 Rides app. You can find out more and register here. Of course you can get out there and do the rides. Either way its epic, with a total distance of just over 450 kilometres.

Winter road trip bliss

What’s winter without a decent road trip? As I wrote earlier this year, I reckon the ultimate Australian winter snow road trip is the journey between the Snowy Mountains and the Victorian Alps via the Alpine Way.

There are lots of ways to cross the Alps or link up different mountains. But the Alpine Way has a special appeal I think, as it brings you under the western face of the Snowy Mountains, surely the most impressive alpine views on mainland Australia.

Continue reading “Winter road trip bliss”

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.

Peaks Challenge – 12 March 2017

The Peaks Challenge is a huge event. It is a marathon road riding event, with around 2,000 cyclists, and covers a huge amount of country: the main challenge is a 235 kilometre loop, that is often described as being “comparable to a Tour de France mountain stage”. It does an enormous loop around Falls Creek, and has three major climbs to Tawonga Gap, Mount Hotham and Falls Creek.

If you’re not a rider, but planning to be in the area, its worth checking for details on road closures over the weekend.

Full details on the event are available here.

The ‘Falls to Hotham Alpine Crossing’ upgrade

The Falls to Hotham Alpine Crossing is described as “a mid-distance hiking experience through the unique and captivating Australian alpine environment”. There are plans to re-route it to make it a 56 kilometre trip and a Draft Master Plan has been released. Public comment is welcome before December 19.

Parks Victoria says “the walk will be supplemented with high quality accommodation options and interpretation that enable a range of visitors to fully immerse themselves in the beauty and stories of Victoria’s High Country”.

Continue reading “The ‘Falls to Hotham Alpine Crossing’ upgrade”

Summer Hawkweed Surveys

Many Mountain Journal readers will know that Hawkweed is a highly invasive plant species which can cause major environmental damage in alpine and sub-alpine areas of Australia if not eradicated early. Parks Victoria organises a series of Hawkweed surveys on the Bogong High Plains each year. If you love the Victorian Alps, the surveys are a great way to do something practical to support the ecological integrity of the mountains.

The following information comes from Parks Victoria:

Continue reading “Summer Hawkweed Surveys”

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.

Continue reading “Proposed Falls Creek Altitude Training Centre at Nordic Bowl”

The Bigfoot Snow Trail

The Bigfoot Snow Trail is described as:

“A unique and spectacular event offering both a SnowMarathon and a SnowSprint event in Victoria’s beautiful Falls Creek Resort. Enjoy the magic of winter as you make your way across the high plains, exploring solo or with friends. This one of a kind event takes runners on an extraordinary journey, visiting historical huts and witnessing some of Australia’s highest peaks under snow. The views will give you that feeling of awe, the feeling that you are on top of the world”.

Continue reading “The Bigfoot Snow Trail”

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