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Intro to Backcountry Guided Tour

Unfortunately, Hotham Backcountry Tours will not be operating this winter. Please check our Activities page for all other backcountry options.

Spend a full day with an introductory course to backcountry as part of a group tour for up to six people. Intro to Backcountry is best suited to those with a strong intermediate ability or above with a reasonable level of fitness. 

Spend the morning learning from one of our experienced guides about backcountry hardware equipment as well as rescue equipment. Then begin venturing towards the resort boundary for the guide to assess the group’s abilities. 

Much of the groups time will be spent around the Eagle Ridge area though other areas may be explored depending on conditions of the day.


Is there a minimum and maximum number of people per group?
Yes, for intro and return tours there must be at least three people in the group and a maximum of six people. For private tours there only needs to be one person and up to four people total. 

What if minimum numbers are not reach prior to the tour starting?
Hotham Ski and Ride School will do its best to have tours reach minimum numbers of three people per group. In the unfortunate situation the tour is not able to run, a member of Hotham Ski and Ride School will make contact the day prior. A refund will be issued or another suitable time will be discussed with the guest.  

Do I have to be an advanced skier or rider to participate?
You must be a strong intermediate skier or rider to participate in a safe and confident manner. A good indicator is if you're comfortable on all blue runs and most black runs at Hotham. Please note that the conditions can be variable and the terrain is not groomed so you may endure whiteout, wind, powder, crusty and icy conditions as well as trees and obstacles. 

Do I need to complete the Intro to Backcountry tour before participating in the Return to Backcountry tour?
Yes, unless you have completed Avalanche training prior. Guests who can demonstrate and prove completion of official training will be exempt from the mandatory Intro to Backcountry participation. 

How fit do I have to be?
We recommend a fairly good fitness level as it can be fairly challenging to hike some of the terrain. You will generally travel anywhere from 10-15kms a day and can hike a range of vertical gradients. 

What do I need to bring?
Please see the gear section for a list of equipment you must bring or hire. You need to dress for a full days skiing and carry/wear sufficient clothing to cater for extreme weather conditions. We suggest layering as it can get warm if it’s sunny. Don’t leave home without your goggles, helmet, good quality waterproof gloves and dress in layers. Make sure to have a substantial breakfast and bring lunch, snacks and plenty of water. Remember to bring a phone or camera and sun screen. 

Is lunch provided?
No, bring your own packed lunch, snacks and water. There will be nowhere for you to buy it on the tour so make sure you have enough supplies before the tour starts.

Who are the guides?
Your guides are some of Hotham’s most advanced Ski and Ride School instructors, all with backcountry safety certifications. They have extensive experience in backcountry touring and are professionally trained in first aid procedures in case of an accident or emergency.

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