Ski/ ride Hard. Do Good.

The backcountry festival is the product of a lot of volunteer effort and good will. Mt Hotham Resort Management Board, Hotham Lift Company, and a range of businesses and individuals have offered help and support in various forms.

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. Check below for some ideas on minimising your impact during the festival.

We are also promoting some great causes:

1/ the Mountain Pygmy–possum

MPPOur ‘mascot’ (totem animal?) for the festival is the Mountain Pygmy–possum, 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.

Mt Hotham is home to a fantastic restoration program for the possum, and you will be able to hear about the efforts at Hotham during the speakers program on Saturday September 7.

Funds received over the weekend 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 and other background info on efforts to protect the species.

2/ Action on climate change means healthy winters

Climate change poses an existential threat to deep winter snow and the mountains we love. Friends of the Earth is campaigning in more than 70 countries to reduce the impacts of climate change on people and planet.

Locally campaigns include:

  • stopping new offshore oil and gas drilling
  • helping Victoria to transition away from its current reliance on coal to produce electricity
  • supporting the development of new renewable energy like the Star of the South offshore wind farm, and
  • working with climate affected communities to get active on climate issues.

Further information on the campaigns is available here.

To donate and support their work, please check here.

3/ Protect Our Winters film night

POWOn Sunday night The Bird is hosting an informal session for Protect our Winters (POW), which will include speakers and a film. All funds raised on the evening will go direct to POW.

4/ Heat the Homeless

Bring your (good quality) second hand snow clothing and donate it to the Heat the Homeless initiative. There are collection boxes on the mountain.

5/ Bring gear for the swap meet.

Second hand gear is low impact. You’re welcome to bring any backcountry gear you would like to sell/ trade/ give away to the festival. Skis, boards, packs, tents, clothing, etc etc.

There is a facebook page to help facilitate the process available here.

Tips for a low impact event:

  • If you have a reusable cup, please bring it for use in cafés over the weekend. Bring a water bottle for re-use. There are water refill stations in the visitors centre/ transit depot and near the ticket counter in Hotham Central.
  • 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.
  • Sharing a ride or taking the bus means you’re using less fossil fuels – this is a better option than ‘offsetting’ the carbon that is produced from burning the petrol. But if you would like to offset emissions from your car you can select the ‘car’ option here [go to ‘CLICK HERE TO BEGIN’ then ‘CALCULATOR’ then ‘CAR’]. You will need to know or guess the fuel consumption per 100 km, then put in the number of kilometres you will be driving and whether your car runs on petrol or diesel.
  • 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 Mt Hotham.
  • If you’re staying in the Hotham village, check out (and use) the Living Bin containers, which divert food waste from ending up in landfill.