The second Victorian backcountry festival will happen at Mt Hotham over the weekend of September 7 and 8. The program now has 28 sessions on offer. Most are free. They cover everything from cross country and tele skiing, split boarding, alpine touring, to avalanche safety, snow shoeing and fat tyre bikes.

We have an extended speakers session this year, covering practical things like boots and split boarding basics, some big picture issues like climate change and winter sports, and lots of backcountry eye candy from people like Hotham legend Buff Farnell, who will share images of some of his favourite spots on and around the hill. Saturday afternoon at The General. Details here.

And we have four social gatherings, including a ski in outdoor bar in a gorgeous location.

If you can make it a three day weekend, we’re pushing the festival out to the limits: there is an info night and mini film festival on the Sunday night at The Bird organised for Protect Our Winters. It features some great speakers, including Bill Barker, head of Hotham ski patrol. Details here.

There are still avalanche courses available (2 day courses, offering the Canadian curriculum, AST1 being delivered by Alpine Access Australia). Details here.

There is room on the three day trip to Feathertop (Sept 9 – 11). If you’ve ever looked across at that gorgeous mountain and thought about skiing/ riding out there, this may be your year! Details here.

We also have an ‘on ski’ film-making workshop with Steve Curtain, who made the legendary Australian backcountry film Winter Dreaming. Protect Our Winters (POW) Australia seeks your 30-second story on what protecting winter means to you in a film-making workshop ski tour ‘out the back’ and Steve will show you how to make it. This will happen on the Saturday. Details here.

We did time the festival to be in the ‘shoulder’ season so accommodation will be a little bit cheaper. It would be wise to book something in. Ideas here.

Please remember to register for the festival. It is $10/ person for the weekend. Please register here.