Katya Crema to open the Australian backcountry film festival.

Media release. Backcountry festival. #VICbackcountryfestival

Celebrating all things backcountry – telemark, split boarding, cross country, snow shoeing & alpine touring. September 1 and 2, 2018. Falls Creek resort, VIC.

The inaugural Australian backcountry festival is offering a fantastic range of free clinics, workshops, skillshares and tours. It will be a gathering of the diverse Australian backcountry community and also be a chance for first timers to try out skiing, riding and snow shoeing outside the resort. Backcountry and avalanche safety, navigation and snow camping basics, and telemark clinics and ski and snow shoe tours are some of the highlights of the program. There will also be AST level 1 avalanche training courses available.

It will also be a great party event, with an outdoor bar hosted by Sweetwater Brewery and a mini film festival featuring short Australian made productions and guest speakers.

Continue reading “Katya Crema to open the Australian backcountry film festival.”

Some steeper terrain at the festival

We currently have a great program for the backcountry festival, with a mix of tours, clinics and workshops.

We don’t as yet, have a group touring into some of the bigger terrain that’s accessible from Falls Creek. A number of people have inquired about whether we will be running a trip out to Spion Kopje or Mt McKay.

Is anyone keen to run a trip to one of these locations during the main day of the festival (Saturday September 1)?

If so, please get in touch: cam.walker@foe.org.au

 

Ski/ ride hard. Do Good.

The backcountry festival is the product of a lot of volunteer effort and good will. Falls Creek Resort Management Board, Falls Creek Cross Country, and a range of businesses and individuals have offered help and support in various forms. Bogong Equipment has provided some funds.

We hope to be able to give back to some worthy causes while we hold the festival.

First, we want to have a low impact event:

  • If you have a reusable cup, please bring it for use in the café at Windy Corner (there will be some for sale on the day from the cafe).
  • Think about catching the bus or car pooling. There are buses direct to the resort. Our ride sharing page allows you to organise and offer lifts easily. Check our transport page for details.
  • If you’re camping out above snow line, consider using a poo tube to reduce impacts on streams.
  • be aware of what packaging you’re bringing onto the mountain, make sure you practise #LeaveNoTrace ethics if you’re camping out, and seperate out your waste and use the recycling system at Falls Creek.
  • If you’re staying in the Falls Creek village, check out (and use) the Living Bin containers, which divert food waste from ending up in landfill.

MPPDo good for the mountains. Four great causes.

Our ‘mascot’ (totem animal?) for the festival is the Mountain Pygmypossum, Burramys parvus, Australia’s only hibernating marsupial. The mountain pygmy possum has been declared by the IUCN Redlist as Critically endangered. In 2000, the population estimates totalled less than 2,000 individuals from the three combined isolated populations that exist across the Australian Alps.

Funds received through the film night will be shared between Mountain Critter Cause and the Friends of the Earth climate campaign.

Mountain Critter Cause supports a breeding program for the possum that is run by the University of NSW. Climate change is one of the greatest threats to the possum.

Check for details on our fund raising efforts for the possum.

Thanks to the generosity of Peter Hull from local brewery Sweetwater, we will also be raising funds for Disabled Wintersport Australia (DWA) through the outdoor bar we will be running on Saturday afternoon. The organisation has assisted thousands of individuals with disabilities to participate in winter sports annually and has a strong presence at Falls Creek. You can find details here.

Bring your old (good quality) ski gear to donate to the Heat the Homeless program run by XTM.

Avalanche training available before BC festival

In the week before the backcountry festival, Adam West of Snow Safety Australia is holding a series of 2 day AST level 1 avalanche training courses. While these are getting booked out, there are still 4 spots available in the tue /wed course (28-29 August). If you can arrange to take the week off, you could do an avy course, spend a couple of days somewhere fun (Mt Bogong, the High Plains, Falls Creek resort) and then join the backcountry festival on Saturday am.

The courses are $300. You can find further information and register here. They will be held out of the Howmans Gap Alpine Centre.

Backcountry film festival features Australian-made films

The inaugural Australian backcountry film festival

Its time for our own festival! This set of short films comes from a number of different producers and features some lovely stories and stunning scenes from some of our grandest skiing and riding terrain. A number of inspirational speakers – Stephen Curtain, Matt O’Keeffe, Tamara Hutchins and Katya Crema will get you fired up for your next adventure in the backcountry.

Continue reading “Backcountry film festival features Australian-made films”

Bogong supports the festival

During the festival, we will be aiming to raise some funds for two causes. One way this will happen is through a raffle that will be held at the film festival on saturday night.

The first will be for a breeding program for the mountain pygmy possum (via the Mountain Critter Cause), a critically endangered species that is only found in a small number of locations in the Australian Alps.

The second is the Friends of the Earth (FoE) climate campaign. Climate change will transform the mountains we all love, and FoE is working to help transition the state of Victoria from its current reliance on fossil fuels into a clean energy powerhouse.

I’m not very good at asking for funds or support, but have finally started to approach some of my favourite outdoor stores and brands for some help with the festival.

So, big thanks to Bogong, an awesome gear store in Melbourne, for being the first to come on board with some prizes for our raffle on the Saturday night. Thanks to Neil and the team at Bogong for the support.

If you might have something you could donate that could be raffled off at the film festival, please get in touch: cam.walker@foe.org.au

Thanks!

You can donate directly to Mountain Critter Cause here and to the FoE climate campaign here.

Festival program launched

We now have a fantastic program for the backcountry festival. Thanks to the generosity of the folks at Falls Creek Cross Country, we have some great telemark clinics and snow shoe tours, which are being offered for free.

A range of people have also offered to lead tours or offer skills workshops, like navigation skills and snow camping 101.

There will be demo skis available for hire, an outdoor bar in the afternoon, and a mini film festival featuring Australian made backcountry films in the evening.

Sunday will see the world telemark day gathering, with skiing both in and out of the resort as an option.

The program is available here.

What now?

  • Please invite your mates and spread the word. Facebook page available here.
  • Please register. This is free and makes planning easier if we know numbers. People who have registered will have first option on getting tickets to the film festival.
  • Start to build some stoke. If posting pics through winter, please feel free to tag us #VICbackcountryfestival
  • We know of one person who is planning to walk and snow shoe to the festival from Walhalla (!!). Where are you coming from?

Thanks to the media outlets are getting behind the festival. The image at the top is from the current issue of Explore Adventure Outdoor Magazine.