Following the recent announcement by the Victorian government that it would restructure ski resort management boards at four resorts, there has now been a call for expressions of interest for 13 positions across the boards responsible for managing Falls Creek, Mt Buller/ Mt Stirling and Mt Hotham.
As another wave of hot weather beats down on us, of course its time to think about winter. I don’t know about you, but I find that life is crazily busy, so if I don’t lock trips in they don’t happen.
Here are early details on two planned events for winter 2018.
As you may know, Hawkweeds are a highly invasive pest plant species which could cause major environmental damage in alpine and sub-alpine areas of Australia if not eradicated early.
For several years there have been summer field trips where volunteers join with Parks Victoria to identify and remove Hawkweed from the Bogong High Plains. They will be on again this summer and you can register now.
‘Ignition’ is the launch event for the summer mountain biking season at Falls Creek. It’s aim is to ‘celebrate all things MTB’.
It’s a huge event, with rides, a bus shuttle service, backcountry rides and skills workshops, music, food and local craft beer.
It will happen at Falls Creek over the weekend of November 18 and 19.
It books out, so make sure you get in soon if you’re planning to attend. Details here.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.