Mountain Journal

Environment, news, culture from the Australian Alps


ski touring

Mike Edmondson. Living the Dream.

If you follow social media related to backcountry skiing and riding in Australia, you are probably familiar with Mike Edmondson. His regular posts on touring in the Snowy Mountains are often beautiful and a nice reminder of what it looks like to be ‘Living the Dream’. Mike has a long connection to the mountains, a range of interests, and offers many services for people wanting to explore the Main Range.

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‘Alpine Odyssey’ to cross Alps in winter

In a journey expected to take some 50 days, Huw Kingston will ski the 600 km length of the Australian Alps this winter and, along the way, ski at each of the 12 snow resorts in Victoria and NSW. His Alpine Odyssey aims to raise $50,000 for Save the Children’s Our Yarning project.

Starting in late July, Huw will traverse some of the most rugged country in Australia, diverting to ski at Lake Mountain, Mt Baw Baw, Mt Stirling, Mt Buller, Mt Hotham, Dinner Plain, Falls Creek, Mt Buffalo, Thredbo, Charlotte Pass, Perisher and finally Selwyn Snow Resort, reopening this season after having been devastated in the Black Summer fires.

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Paradise at 12,000 feet

It was the end of day four on our 160 kilometre ski tour from the resort town of Aspen to Vail, in central Colorado. We’d had a brutal day, with an early start at 11,300 feet, a long descent off the edge of the Continental Divide, endless touring through deep fresh snow, and a final punishing two hour climb to Jackal hut. But tomorrow was the big day.

Perched on the edge of a meadow with jaw dropping views to Mt Elbert, the highest of Colorado’s 14K peaks, Jackal is a solid log cabin with a big front deck that is owned by the 10th Mountain Division Huts Association. On day five we left the hut just after dawn, shuffling through a dark spruce forest onto a long ridge that climbed towards the 12,000 foot mark. The plan was to take a high route over the mountains to our next destination – Shrine Mountain – rather than a lower and more complex trail below the treeline. I’d been struggling with the downhill sections, and was dreading the descent off the other side.

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Lake Mountain Ski Patrol looking for new volunteers

Lake Mountain Ski Patrol (LMSP) is looking to boost its numbers in the lead up to the 2019 snow season, giving outdoors enthusiasts the chance to volunteer with a difference.

The patrol is recruiting people who can cross country ski, have basic first aid training, love to work outdoors and are keen to join the weekend roster for volunteers over the winter months.

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Backcountry Ski Night at Mont Canberra

Mont in Canberra are holding a backcountry ski information night on June 6.

“Learn from Australia’s most accomplished mountaineer Andrew Lock, backcountry expert Doug Chatten and Australia’s fastest skier and Paralympic gold medalist Michael Milton on how you can venture into, fall in love with and stay safe in the Australian backcountry this winter”.

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Recruitment drive for Lake Mountain ski patrol

Lake Mountain Ski Patrol (LMSP) is gearing up for the 2016 winter season and has launched a recruitment drive for more volunteers to join its weekend team.

Volunteer patrollers need to be 18 years and older, and be fit, competent cross country skiers with a minimum Level 2 First Aid qualification.

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Bike packing

If you drive up any of the sealed roads into the mountains outside of winter, you will be aware of the incredible surge of interest in road riding in the Alps. From the Seven Peaks concept (ride up the seven key roads at your own pace during ‘riding season’) to events like the Tour of Bright (which has two substantial hill climb stages including the road to Hotham), road riding is huge.

Mountain bike riding is equally a wildly popular pastime, with Mt Buller in particular being an early adopter in terms of putting in infrastructure. The riding is great, and a growing number of other resorts are seeking to increase tourist visitation through developing infrastructure like single track networks.

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Casey and Kat blitz women’s XC skiing

Lake Mountain ambassadors, Casey Wright and Kat Paul (profiled here), have blitzed women’s cross country skiing in Australia this season, claiming all the major titles between them.

Their clean sweep of the 2015 race calendar, against some fierce national and international competition, sets them up strongly for the World Championships in Romania in February. While Casey will not be competing, it makes Kat the hot Australasian favourite at the New Zealand Continental Cup from August 28 to 30.

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Lake Mountain skiers show their mettle

Two Lake Mountain cross country skiers are showing their potential for the international stage by snapping up major Australian national titles this season and with the promise of more to come.

Twenty-year old Casey Wright and Kat Paul, 19, recently won their first open women’s national titles at Perisher which Kat quickly followed up with a clean sweep at the Junior National Championships at Falls Creek on the weekend of August 1 and 2.

There is a profile on Casey and Kat available here.

Ski Guides (ski touring) course

The following comes from Stephen Curtain.

Ski Guides (ski touring) course

Outcome: to begin to guide clients on day ski tours—away from patrolled areas—in Kosciuszko’s backcountry area in the Australian Alps.

Provider: Outdoor Recreation at TAFE WESTERN—Lithgow campus

Dates: 8-day course over two blocks:

7–10 Aug 2015 (Fri, Sat, Sun,Mon) and 28–31 Aug 2015.

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