With the announcement from the Victorian government that the current lockdown will be extended beyond thursday September 2, the organising committee have made the difficult decision to cancel the 2021 Backcountry Festival at Mount Hotham. Given the extended COVID-19 restrictions, we have no option but to cancel.
We have set the dates for next year – September 2, 3 and 4, back at Mt Hotham.
We are, of course, deeply disappointed to have to make this decision. A huge amount of effort goes into planning events like this and it has been especially hard with a constantly changing situation with lockdowns. Many businesses and individuals have come on board to back the event and we thank the Mt Hotham community for the support and good will they have offered the festival.
As part of the 4th Victorian Backcountry Festival, we once again have a speakers program. As with other festivals, the program covers a range of mountain-related topics and great line up of presenters.
The program is being hosted by The General and Jack Frost, in Hotham village. It is being held over two days, the saturday and sunday.
The festival will run over three days: September 3, 4 and 5, 2021.
The Backcountry Film Festival is a pre-winter tradition in Melbourne, with screenings happening each autumn. Other towns and cities sometimes also host the festival. Sadly, in 2020 the festival couldn’t go ahead as a screening because of the COVID-9 lockdown. Hopefully we will be back to ‘business as usual’ in 2021!
The program is put together by the Winter Wildlands Alliance, who say: ‘We believe in the power of humans and their spirit. Our mission is to manifest that power in communities through stories of activists, adventurers, and the outdoors to inspire and activate’.
‘The 16th Annual Backcountry Film Festival will be screening documentaries and ski movies about athletic pursuit in the mountains, artistic vision, friendship, and how the snowsports community is adapting to a changing environment’.
We hope to screen it in Melbourne in March or April 2021. Stay tuned for details.
There are 10 films in the 2021 season (you can check them out here) covering everything from slacklining in the mountains of Norway, climbing and skiing in Svalbard, doing the “Vallée Blanche” ski route in Chamonix, to gorgeous clips from the Revelstoke backcountry.
Now that we know that ski resorts will be open at least for some of the winter we can really get on with our planning. In NSW an announcement on the ski season is expected this week, and the season will start in VIC from June 22. I hope this helps with your planning for trips and events. Here are some events that I am aware of. Please feel free to send in details on others.
With many areas now pushing beyond 200 cm of snowpack (and Mt Buller calling it the best snow since 2004), the rest of August and early September is looking spectacular. Although I’m hearing a few nay sayers suggesting that we have seen the best of winter 2018, the famed Grasshopper is a little more upbeat: ‘We are now midway through the southern hemisphere season with the best part still to come.‘
However, The Grasshopper does also suggest that it will taper off after the next band of fronts: ‘Both climate drivers and models aren’t working in our favour for epic snowfalls during the second half of the season. However, snowfalls over the next week or two will provide ample fresh powder’.
But there is little doubt that winter 2018 has been amazing, especially on top of 2017 – which had been billed as ‘the best since 2000’.
Hopefully we will still be wandering around in the backcountry, finding turns, long after the resorts have closed.
Mountain Journal often advertises high energy events like trail running, road riding, cross country races, etc. But summer is also a good time to relax, take it easy, and chill out with friends. Here are some listings for festivals, low key nature events, and social gatherings that are happening in the Alps over summer 2017/18.