Search

Mountain Journal

Environment, news, culture from the Australian Alps

Tag

snow safety

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”

Avalanche Warning upgraded to ‘High Danger’

UPDATE. WED August 8, 2018

MSC have issued a ‘High Danger’ warning.

They say:

“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.

Continue reading “Avalanche Warning upgraded to ‘High Danger’”

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!”

Avalanche Safety Training 2 Day & 4 Day Courses

Avalanche Training Australia in conjunction with Avalanche NZ is proud to offer accredited 2-day Avalanche Awareness and 4-day Backcountry Avalanche Avoidance courses during the 2018 Australian winter.

These will be held out of Falls Creek in north eastern Victoria.

Continue reading “Avalanche Safety Training 2 Day & 4 Day Courses”

The MSC backcountry advisory service is Go

The Mountain Sports Collective backcountry advisory service is operating again this winter.

Based on three key regions – Kosciusko national park in NSW, north east VIC and the central Victorian Alps – each advisory is updated as conditions change. They cover snow and weather conditions. If you’re heading out of resort and into the higher mountains its worth checking the conditions before you go.

You can find the advisory here.

Please consider becoming a member. This helps us to run the area reports.

Alpine Access Australia AST1 avalanche courses

Alpine Access Australia is an accredited Avalanche Canada AST Provider. We run AST1 courses in NSW and Victoria. 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. Yes, avalanches do happen in Australia, and AST1 is also essential if you and your friends venture into the side or backcountry when skiing or snowboarding overseas.

Our Avalanche Canada Accredited Instructors are David Herring and Luka Szczepanik.

They are offering AST 1 courses this winter in the Snowy Mountains, Mt Hotham and Mt Stirling.

Continue reading “Alpine Access Australia AST1 avalanche courses”

Introducing Alpine Access Australia

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.

Become a founding member of the Mountain Sports Collective

If you ski or ride in the backcountry, you’re probably already using the resources provided by Mountain Sports Collective (MSC). MSC was created by the amalgamation of the nation’s foremost alpine safety platforms Snowsafety.com.au and Snowsense.org. These sites offer an Alpine Travel Advisory, and issues information regarding alpine travel safety across all aspects of the prevailing conditions above snowline from 1 June – 31st October each year. Snowsafety and Snowsense have joined forces to create MSC not only with the goal of delivering a more streamlined and concise picture of the conditions in the mountains, in one single easy view, but we are now also a legal entity, established as a not-for-profit association.

MSC aims to be the voice for the human powered backcountry community in Australia. While there are similar organisations overseas (for instance the Winter Wildlands Alliance in the USA) there is no single voice for all forms of human powered winter backcountry adventurers here in Australia. There are a range of walking clubs, Nordic ski climbs, climbing organisations and so on. We feel that, with an ever growing number of people heading into the winter backcountry, the time is right for a group that can help co-ordinate and focus the voice of this diverse community.

Continue reading “Become a founding member of the Mountain Sports Collective”

Big slide on Mt Bogong

After a slow start to the winter, we’re getting some serious top up to the base in the backcountry. Whenever you get sun affected snow covered by fresh, there is a chance you will get the potential for avalanche conditions to form on any steeper slopes at higher altitudes. This week there were reports of a ‘monster avalanche’ on Mt Bogong. What makes this concerning is the fact that (as Snowsense puts it) ‘from observations at Hotham and Falls, we had no indicator that Bogong was ready to let rip’.

This highlights the need to check conditions both before you head off and while you’re out in the mountains. Luckily there is a fantastic website to help with this: brought to you by the Mountain Sports Collective.

Continue reading “Big slide on Mt Bogong”

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑