The Mountain Safety Collective (MSC) is a voice for the backcountry community. It organises training and other events, produces wonderful maps, merchandise, and the backcountry conditions report through winter.
It is run by a group of diehard backcountry enthusiasts. Lately it has been introducing its committee. This is taken from a recent MSC newsletter and is an introduction to the wonderful Narelle Watters, who lives in north eastern Victoria, at the base of Mt Feathertop.
I have been with MSC from the start and been serving as Treasurer on the Committee. How did I get there?
I grew up on a crop farm near Wunghnu that is as flat as a pancake. All my youth I have been chasing hills and mountains. As soon as I could I started bushwalking and rock climbing. For many years I lived the corporate life in Melbourne mixed with adventures all over the world. I doodled with skiing and snowboarding over the years but knew there was something else out there. On a work trip to Oregon US I saw some of my friends and colleagues ski touring and I knew ‘this is it’.
As luck would have it, later in the year, at the Natimuk Frinj I met the person who was going to show me how. On our first overnight ski tour we went up to Mount Feathertop in ‘07. The next year we bought some land at the base of Feathertop in Smoko and started building our house . Many ski touring trips happened along the way. Most memorable 2 weeks in Manali Himachal Pradesh India and a 4 week skitour from Innsbruck Austria towards the Swiss border. Plus trips to Hokkaido, Honshu, New Zealand and countless in the Hotham backcountry.
In 2016 I cut ties with Melbourne and moved up to Smoko. All the while ski touring I wanted to further my knowledge of the dangers I was getting myself into. I have learnt a lot and done my AST1. I want to give back to the community so that others can learn and access the back country safely.
In July 2017 we inaugurated MSC and I have been Treasurer since.