Mountain Sports Collective (MSC) is reporting a large avalanche on the Etheridge Ridge in the Main Range of the Snowy Mountains and other avalanche activity in the area, including Leatherbarrell Creek. A person was caught in the main slide and partially buried, but was uninjured. This highlights the need to be very mindful of conditions in the backcountry at present.
Since November 3, a group has been walking the 560 km from Sydney to the summit of Mt Kosciuszko, to highlight the damage being caused by feral horses. The walk is nearing its end! Join the walkers on the final day – 9th December (or the 8th depending on weather forecast) – from Charlottes Pass or Thredbo to celebrate the end of the walk and add your voice to the call to reclaim Kosci from feral horses.
Antony von Chrismar describes a mission to the Main Range with long time friend Lach to ride big lines on the western face. “The stoke was high … a rare treat it was to slay such perfect stable powder on a complex Aussie mountain face.”
Lets Split is an interesting development in the Australian backcountry scene. They offer trips in NSW and Victoria for people to experience split boarding. They describe their trips as being different to guided tours: ‘rather they are an opportunity for like minded folk to come and experience Splitboarding, with people who are experienced on that terrain’.
Here is a report from their final trip for the 2018 season.
Lets Split is a recent development in the Australian backcountry scene. They have just started to offer trips in NSW and Victoria for people to experience split boarding. They describe their trips as being different to guided tours: ‘rather they are an opportunity for like minded folk to come and experience Splitboarding, with people who are experienced on that terrain’.
The following report on their recent trip in the Snowy Mountains comes from Amine Yasmine.
UPDATE. WED August 8, 2018
MSC have issued a ‘High Danger’ warning.
“The current conditions on the range are about as bad as we have seen in the four year span of running the program. Equal to the various ‘Blizzards of OZ’ in 17 and the various other events of triggered slides swept riders and buried them, and as of the time of writing there have been no incidents. We aren’t out of the woods yet, and that’s the real cut and thrust of this message. This event will linger for the next 48hrs+ so hold the charge, and urge the rest of your immediate pow chasing mates to heed the warning until the snow has settled.”
Additionally, Mt Stirling ski patrol has closed Stanley Bowl:
‘Traditionally Stanley Bowl is considered safe from avalanches. But the conditions we have observed which include a cornice with a large fracture through it are severe enough for us to feel the need to close it’.
Bill Barker from Mt Hotham patrol says:
There is ‘considerable avalanche danger in the back-country again today. There was several reports of skier triggered avalanches yesterday, and the weak layer that produced these still exists today but it is now buried deeper in the snowpack which will result in larger avalanches if it releases today.
The NSW ‘Splitfest DownUnder’ will be held on the weekend of the 24-26th of August in the Main Range of the Snowy Mountains.
It’s always a great event – meet some great crew, camp out at Island Bend up in the Park, and join a tour on the Saturday that leaves from the Guthega resort. Splitfest is organised by Adam West. You can Register here.
The weekend kicks off on Friday night at the Jindabyne Bowling Club in the downstairs room starting @ 6pm.
Full details on what’s going on and what to bring can be found here.
There have been some changes in the alpine guiding and avalanche training scene in Australia this winter. Well known operation Main Range Backcountry (MRBC) is no more, with two new businesses emerging: one is SnowSafety, run by Adam West. The other is Alpine Access Australia, operated by Dave and Pieta Herring.
Dave and Pieta continue to offer guided touring on the Main Range of the Snowy Mountains plus two day avalanche awareness courses. Alpine Access Australia is an accredited Avalanche Canada AST Provider. Avalanche Canada sets the global standard for providing avalanche awareness programs. Participants acquire new skills and knowledge to help them keep safe in the backcountry. They teach the Avalanche Canada Avalanche Skills Training Level 1 (AST1) Course, which aims to provide an entry-level decision-making framework for assessing avalanche risk. Courses include a day in the classroom and a day in the field. They cost $300.
For details on their tours, please check here.
For details on their AST courses please check here.
This winter they’re running courses both in NSW (Jindabyne area) and the Hotham area in Victoria.
For general information on AAA, please check here.
The walk up Mt Kosciuszko is not challenging. It is a pleasant hike from the Charlottes Pass Road or a harder climb up from Thredbo village. Many people take the easy way out and catch the Kosciusko Express chairlift from Thredbo, which means you miss most of the elevation gain of the walk. From there it’s a wonderful stroll through alpine landscape to the summit. The very last bit of the walk passes through boulderfields. The views are incredible.
Thredbo is offering guided hikes every Saturday from 4/11/17 until 28/4/18. If you haven’t been out on the Main Range before, this is a good way to get familiar with the terrain.