The exciting Festival celebrates all things backcountry – from human powered winter sports including cross country skiing, snow shoeing, telemark and alpine touring to split boarding. It’s a grassroots, volunteer-run festival for the whole backcountry community.
Supported by Hotham, the Festival is a fantastic opportunity for resort riders and skiers to be introduced to backcountry. So far the program has 27 tours and workshops, from beginner to advanced, covering snow shoeing, splitboarding, alpine touring, telemark, and cross country. Destinations include Dargo Bowl, Mt Loch and Machinery Spur, The Razorback and the Workshop Chutes.
There will be skillshares in fat bikes, snow and avalanche safety, navigation, snow camping, rescue and a film making workshop.
- Meet at The General early on saturday for a briefing from Bill Barker, head of Hotham ski patrol and then head off on the tours (there are currently 19 tours and workshops on offer)
- There is a speaker’s program from midday at The General Store, featuring everything from the Mountain Pygmy Possum, a ski tour across Antarctica, avalanche hotspots around Hotham, and Olympic skier Katya Crema talking about her transition from free skiing to the backcountry. Hotham legend Buff Farnell will reveal his secret sidecountry locations around the mountain
- Then head to the outdoor bar, hosted by Bright Brewery (which is 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, from mellow beginner trips to full day outings)
- 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 for people who want to test new skills.
Alpine Access Australia is offering 2 day AST 1 avalanche courses before, during and after the festival.
Most of the sessions are offered for free. Mount Hotham Skiing Company and Traverse Hotham also have backcountry tours and lessons available as part of the program.
There is a $10 registration fee for the weekend. All the details are on the festival website.
Let the adventure continue.
VISIT FESTIVAL WEBSITE