Speaker’s program at the backcountry festival

Backcountry festival speaker’s program

As part of the 2019 backcountry festival, we are hosting an extended speaker’s program. This will happen on the afternoon of Saturday September 7, upstairs at The General, Mt Hotham.

Sessions will cover a range of backcountry culture and mountain related topics. The program will run from midday to 4pm (and will be followed by a ski in outdoor bar from 4 – 6pm).

All welcome. Entry by donation. Family friendly.

Facebook page for the event available here.

Check below for the program. We have a few more things coming, so times will vary slightly before we get to the final program.

12 noon The perfect backcountry boot.

Ted Suurkivi is the head boot fitter at One Tree Sports. He is a keen backcountry skier and will offer a session outlining the latest in boots and bindings for the backcountry, plus the most common issues like cramping arches, blisters on the heels, etc. He will explain what work that can be done on ski and snowboard boots. eg, footbeds, liners and how they all customized to the feet to give maximum comfort, performance and less fatigue for longer tours and more aggressive downhill performance.

BYO boots for assessment.

12.30 First Aid and rescue in the backcountry.

Mark Frost and Michael Bajada, Ambulance Victoria.

12.50 Bringing the mountain pygmy possum back from the brink of extinction.

Georgina Boardman – Mt Hotham resort management

GeorginaThe Victorian alpine areas are significant protected landscapes full of high environmental values – getting out into the backcountry is all about appreciating the alps.  Georgina Boardman heads the environment team at the Mount Hotham Alpine Resort Management Board.

Georgina will talk about the landscape, the Boards role working with other land managers to protect the alps and several recent projects within Mt Hotham.  The Mountain Pygmy Possum is the most recognised of the threatened alpine fauna and super lovable as well. Georgina will give insights into recent work to improve MPP habitat including an new version of the Tunnel of Love at Little Higginbotham and the monitoring program that will, hopefully, reveal its long term success.

Read about her work here.

1.20 melissa clarke1Melissa Clarke –  touring in the NSW backcountry

Melissa is a keen backcountry skier from Canberra and will be chatting about where you can start your exploration of the New South Wales backcountry. Whether you’re hunting for steep lines, seeking a classic touring route, or just after the side-country powder stashes, the Main Range has it all. Melissa will also discuss some of her adventurous multi-day trips skiing and camping in the Kosciuszko National Park and building a pulk (sled) for hauling gear.

1.40 Kelly Kavanagh – a human-powered ski traverse of Antarctica.



Girls Who Split Information and Q&A Session with Kelly van den Berg, Mia Walker and Lisse

Come and share the adventures and tales of three split boarding gals across diverse ages as they tell their stories from various destinations around the world and the experiences of women in the backcountry. The girls will also bring in their personal gear to talk about, ranging from split boarding basics, avalanche and safety gear, communications and navigation to snowboarding mountaineering equipment.

Mia, who is 14, will talk about her backcountry splitboarding adventures in the VIC Alps and Colorado.

Kelly LisseMia

Katya Crema

Katya Crema – ‘getting into the backcountry’

Katya will talk about her transition from an Olympian ski cross racer to backcountry adventurer.

2.50 Mt_Fitzroy_PatagoniaBill Barker – the History of Avalanches at Hotham, and the known trouble spots.

Bill is the director of the Mt Hotham ski patrol and has years of experience on The Hill and the surrounding side and backcountry.

3.10 KarlGrayMedia_Buff_August 06, 2017_1Buff Farnell – Hotham legend Buff will show a selection of his favourite images of the Hotham BC/ sidecountry.
3.30 Ash Peplow Ball – mobilising the winter sports community on climate change.

AshAustralia’s ski resorts are on the front line of climate change. Resorts across the alps are already doing great work on climate adaptation, but there is a lot more we can be doing to prevent runaway climate damage.

The good news is that we have a lot of power as individuals, and even more power when we work together as a broader snow-loving community. We will be chatting about how you can get started if you want to get active in protecting the places we love for future generations to enjoy.

3.50 Finish and head to the outdoor bar (catch the village bus, then its a 1 km ski/ skin in). Dress warm!


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