Your ultimate festival guide

The second Victorian backcountry festival will happen at Mt Hotham over the weekend of September 7 and 8.

Here is a summary of what’s happening:

Highlights of the program

Due to huge demand we have been able to offer some additional splitboarding and women’s focused tours (thanks everyone). Details here.


There is a one day avalanche refresher course available, run by Alpine Access Australia. This is aimed at people who have already done an AST level 1 course.


  • Meet at 8.30am on Saturday morning, upstairs at The General Store (just next to the Big D lift) for the festival opening.
  • There will be some gear and demo tents, including one by Everest Sports, featuring telemark and split boards.
  • Most tours start Saturday am.
  • Speaker’s program will run Upstairs at The General Store from 12 noon – 4pm. Great line up of speakers.
  • The outdoor bar will happen from 4 – 6pm on the Saturday, straight after the conclusion of the speakers program.
  • Kick on Saturday night at Blizzard Brewery at Dinner Plain.


  • Tours continue on Sunday.
  • Finish the weekend with a Protect Our Winters info night and films at The Bird in Hotham Central.

[Full details are in the program, please check the link below]

And please keep an eye on the facebook page for the event for last minute updates.

Please register

Please remember to register for the weekend. Its only $10 a person.

The program

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.

Some sessions are booking out (the Lets Split session has a wait list) so I’d suggest you book in to the sessions you’re interested in.

A reminder 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.

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). Details here.

The three day trip to Feathertop (Sept 9 – 11) is now full, but you can ask to go on the wait list. 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.

Check here for the social events (including the ski in outdoor bar which will happen on Saturday afternoon).

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.

Ideas on buses and ride sharing available here.

There are details on hiring gear (splitboards, alpine touring skis, etc) available here.

There will be a swap meet for backcountry gear on sat the 7th (details here).

Check here for ideas on having a low impact festival and a summary of the causes we’re supporting during the festival.

Specific programs

Check here for details on the cross country and telemark program.

Check here for split boarding specific tours.

Check here for the Alpine Touring (AT) specific tours.

Check here for the women specific aspects of the program.


Please note that as a 100% volunteer run festival we DO NOT have insurance coverage for participants. You join the festival at your own risk.

See you there!


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