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A Social Way to Ski
The Club regularly organises weekend trips, with accommodation, throughout the ski season. For information about current dates of club weekends (and other activities) see the activities calendar. The club also runs several mid-week trips through the season - at Mount Hotham, at Jindabyne and at Charlotte Pass.
Early Season Madness
This is the first weekend trip for the season in mid-July, at Howmans Gap, conveniently located just below the entrance to Falls Creek. Breakfast and dinner are included, so all you need to do is dust off your skis and head out on that fresh season snow! A great chance to socialise with other keen skiers, and possibly make up for that lack of pre-season fitness by an easy introduction to the trails!
Hotham Weekend & Midweek
Hotham in mid-July is great! Staying at lovely Eiger Lodge at the eastern end of Davenport Village, best accessed from the stairs above village bus stop #8.
There is a wide, groomed access trail behind Little Mt Higginbotham, that takes you down to the Skier's Crossing at Whitey's carpark, from there an easy access trail to Wire Plain and a network of great XC trails for all abilities. Further on to Whiskey Flat and the biathlon range, where you can cross under the road via the Skier's Tunnel, and return or continue on to Dinner Plain (around 11km), if sufficient snow depth. There are free village buses from Whiskey Flat and Wire Plain if you don't feel like skiing back to Davenport Village. At Dinner Plain there is a pub and spa, so again you may want to take the return shuttle bus ($10 one way).
Of course Hotham has great downhill runs for telemark enthusiasts, and there is great backcountry skiing beyond Mt Loch. This is best tackled by skiers of intermediate and above ability, on touring skis, in a group, in fine weather.
Social Weekend and Ski Lessons
On this weekend in late July we make a large accommodation booking at Howmans Gap, Falls Creek, and arrange professional ski instruction for all levels from beginner through intermediate to advanced. Classic nordic ski technique, skate, telemark - everyone will find something to help them become more proficient on the snow. Plenty of opportunity to socialise, ski in company with other members, brush up on your skills, and generally just have a great time! Breakfast and dinner included in the accommodation package.
Mid-August we book accommodation at Nelse Lodge located in Bogong Village, below Falls Creek (don't confuse this with the other Nelse Lodge located in Falls Creek). Self-catering (unless Bogong Jacks restaurant in the village has reopened), a bit further to drive each day to the snow, but you're now fit, and keen to hit the snow with a bunch of like minded MNSC skiers.
Kangaroo Hoppet Weekend (Falls Creek): Friday - Sunday, late August
This is the weekend where it all comes together! Staying in Nelse Lodge, Bogong Village, you'll either be particpating in one of the XC ski races (42km Kangaroo Hoppet, 21km Birkenbeiner or 7km Joey Hoppet) or helping out the MNSC drinkstation volunteers (50% accommodation discount if you volunteer).
Victorian Backcountry Festival
In 2018 we stayed at Howmans Gap and participated in the talks, clinics, ski-tours and film festival at Falls Creek celebrating all things backcountry. On Sunday September 1 we celebrated World Telemark Day with an excellent series of telemark clinics on the Falls Creek runs with an APSI instructor. See https://backcountry-festival.com/2018/09/04/2018-the-festival-that-was/ for a summary of the festival, and watch this space for the venue and program for the 2019 festival at Mount Hotham on September 7 & 8.
Staying at the CSIRO Cicero Lodge in Jindabyne, this trip in the first week of September provides access to the excellent Nordic Day Shelter and extensive network of groomed cross-country ski trails (2.5, 5, 7.5 and 10km loops) at Perisher, an easy 30 min drive from Jindabyne. There is a link trail to Charlotte Pass, and plenty of opportunty for skiing on the Main Range (from Perisher, Thredbo or Guthega) if weather and skills permit. Intermediate to Advanced skills and metal-edged touring skis are required for such tours. Telemark skiers will delight in the varied Perisher runs which include Blue Cow and Guthega slopes. In 2018 we have booked the upper floor of the lodge, with large kitchen, lounge and wood fire. We self cater with supplies bought at the Woolworths supermarket in Jindabyne, and car share the daily commute to the snow.
Charlotte Pass Week
For some, this is literally the high point of the season. Mid-September, the high elevation at Charlotte Pass (1765 to 1964m) gives reliable spring skiing both on both the resort slopes and backcountry, while at lower resorts the snow cover may be getting a little thin. You are within striking distance of Mount Kosciuszko (2228m, Australia's highest mountain), and many other Main Range peaks. You need to be an intermediate to advanced skier, with appropriate metal-edged touring skis, if considering backcountry day skitouring. Telemarkers will delight in the short lift queues and variety of resort runs, and the endless backcountry possibilities. Staying at Southern Alps Ski Lodge, with all meals provided. Transport via the Ski Tube to Perisher from Bullocks Flat carpark on the Alpine Way, then oversnow transport to Charlotte Pass.
Telemark Weekend (Mount Hotham)
This weekend in mid to late September gives Telemark enthusiasts a chance to get together for some great spring skiing. There is a choice of riding the ski lifts or heading out into the magnificent nearby backcountry terrain. In spite of what you may have heard about Mount Hotham, there is backcountry terrain suitable for every level of skiing within easy day trip reach at Mount Hotham, so you can enjoy some excellent backcountry downhill skiing and still stay in the comfort of a commercial lodge.
Snowcamping offers an enjoyable extension to cross country skiing, and opens up backcountry terrain otherwise largely inaccessible to the day skier. However, it should not be undertaken without due preparation and training, due to the greater degree of self reliance required when skiing away from resorts and ski patrols. MNSC members have in the past conducted snowcamping trips in the Victorian Alps and Snowy Mountains, and if members are interested, a range of snowcamping events can be organised. For beginners, the Alpine Glamping at the Alpine Camp (Cricket Pitch) at Mt Stirling offers tents, beds, cooking facilities and toilets, and makes for easier pack carrying and a more comfortable introduction to snowcamping.
Other sites at Mt Stirling suitable for snow camping and proximity to shelter and toilets include King Spur Hut, Bluff Spur Hut, Dugout Bowl (near GGS Hut). Falls Creek offers many options for snowcamping near huts and toilets. Away from such facilities, proximity to signposted tracks, and on exposed terrain above the snowline, a greater degree of self reliance is required, and participants require metal-edged touring skis and ability to cope with icy conditions, and trips are subject to favourable weather forecasts. However, the rewards for such effort includes breathtaking alpine beauty, pristine backcountry ski runs, and the satisfaction of existing in harmony with the alpine environment. MNSC advocates minimal impact snowcamping, and adherence to the Snow Camping Code.