Mountain Journal

Environment, news, culture from the Australian Alps



Lets Split – 2019 tours

Lets Split is again hosting splitboarding tours this winter. There will be 3 days trips and 2 overnight trips in 2019, both in Victoria and NSW.

Continue reading “Lets Split – 2019 tours”

Winter 2019 is go!

With continued snowfalls expected this week, we’re looking as if we will have a proper (settled) base across higher ranges and hence an early start to the ‘season’ (yes, ‘ski season’ is just a capitalist construct).

You’re probably planning trips. Here are a few resources that might help:

Continue reading “Winter 2019 is go!”

Backcountry festival program launch

The Victorian Backcountry Festival will happen at Hotham, over the weekend of Sept 7 and 8. The program has just been released and is available here.

So far the program has 27 tours and workshops, from beginner to advanced, covering snow shoeing, splitboarding, alpine touring, telemark, and cross country. There will be skillshares in fat bikes, snow and avalanche safety, navigation, snow camping, rescue and a film making workshop.

The program:

  • Start the weekend with a drink at the Snowline in Harrietville on Friday night
  • Meet at The General early on sat for a briefing and tours (there are currently 19 tours and workshops on offer)
  • Speaker’s program from midday at The General
  • Then head to the outdoor bar (1 km ski/ skin in) and then kick on at Blizzard brewery in Dinner Plain
  • Sunday is mostly longer tours (there are currently 8 tours planned for that day)
  • The weekend finishes off with an evening brought to you by Protect Our Winters, featuring great speakers and 2 films, at The Bird
  • Then Monday morning, the 3 day Feathertop camp out starts
  • Alpine Access Australia is offering 2 day AST 1 avalanche courses before, during and after the festival.

The program is here.

Please remember to buy tickets for the weekend if you haven’t already (it’s $10 a person for the weekend)

Backcountry festival program launch

The program for the 2nd Victorian backcountry festival will be released via the website next week.

People who have pre registered (you can register for $10 for the weekend here) will receive early notification of the program, and be able to sign up for tours, by the end of this week.

The program looks fantastic, with offerings from Hotham ski school, Traverse Hotham, LetsSplit, Melbourne Nordic Ski Club, Mountain Sports Collective, Bushwalking Search and Rescue,  and many individuals.

Continue reading “Backcountry festival program launch”

Backcountry events 2019

In all parts of the skiing and snowboarding world, interest in the backcountry – those areas outside the sections of resorts serviced by lifts – continues to grow.

While backcountry is still a ‘niche’ thing, advances in gear technology and a range of guided tours and safety courses are making it easier for resort skiers/ riders to travel out of bounds, and the backcountry community continues to grow.

Here are a few of the backcountry themed events and opportunities I’m aware are happening this winter.

Continue reading “Backcountry events 2019”

Featured post

Splitfest 2014

Splitfest – Australia’s backcountry boarding festival

4201417Now in it’s third year, the Splitfest DownUnder is THE gathering for anyone interested in trying out splitboarding or just meeting other people who are into backcountry boarding.

Details below and on the festival website.

The NSW Splitfest DownUnder will be held over the weekend of the 29th – 31st of August in the NSW main range.

You can register here.

Facebook page for the event here.

We will be holding the Friday night entertainment at the Banjo Paterson Inn Starting @ 6pm (1 Kosciuszko Road Jindabyne Snowy Mountains New South Wales 2627).

IMG_00000903There will be all the usual trimmings, T-Shirts, give a ways, raffles and loads of fun. Some of the prize categories include worst DIY job, most inventive Splitboard design etc. etc.

An official list will be out soon so stay tuned!

You have the option to stay in Jindabyne, camp in the National Park or my favorite camp on the peaks.

There will be rental gear available to those who need it. Jump on board and meet some new touring partners, the more the merrier!

This is a free event, there are no guides so you must be able to make your own terrain decisions.

Organised by FirstLight boards.

Best backcountry ski & board films

Image: Winter Dreaming/ Stephen Curtain
Image: Winter Dreaming/ Stephen Curtain

Snow/ skiing/ boarding films have long been a staple part of mountain life. And while I love snow porn as much as the next person, I never felt very interested in the high profile ‘heroes and helicopters’ style that has long dominated the mainstream films.

It was only a few years ago when I realised there was a sub genre that actually spoke to my reality: backcountry films.

I am not sure if this is a growth sector compared with the rest of the snow industry films, but its certainly prolific. Here are some brief reviews of a few of the best.

Splitfest at Mt Hotham

First Light Boards brought the splitboard festival to Victoria for the first time, with an event at Mt Hotham last weekend.

Things kicked off with a showing of the Backcountry film festival at The General on friday night.

On saturday morning a small but enthusiastic group meet at Mt Loch carpark before heading out to do some runs at Eagle Ridge, then had a long walk out to Mt Loch and Machinery Spur to check the runs.

To go on the mailing list for next year’s festivities, please check here.


Backcountry Demo Day in Thredbo

revGWilderness Sports presents first ever Backcountry Demo Day in Thredbo10th of July 2013

From Mountainwatch

This coming weekend Wilderness Sports will host the First EVER Backcountry Demo Day to be held in Australia @ Thredbo on Sunday July 14 from 9.00am. (Further details shortly and part of a series)

In partnership with Thredbo we will offer an opportunity to try out the latest equipment for free and talk with experienced industry people as well as Wilderness Sports Backcountry guides about enjoying the mountains safely and how to explore more of the rugged and unique Snowy Mountains.

This is a part of a series of Backcountry Events to be hosted by Wilderness Sports and partnering companies such as First Light Snowboards and Protect Our Winters in order to encourage and educate safe and responsibly travel in the backcountry.

The Event will feature Split Boards; Alpine Touring gear; Snowshoe and Telemark Equipment. Clinics as well as backcountry gear for safety and education.

Split Board Brands – Voile; Venture; Volkl;
Alpine Touring Brands – Kastle; Liberty; Black Diamond; PLUM; Scott;
Telemark Brands – 22 Designs; Rottefella; 75mm and NTN;
Snowshoe Brands – Crescent Moon; MSR;
Backcountry Accessories – Black Diamond; One Planet; Osprey

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