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Kangaroo Hoppet Weekend (Falls Creek): Friday - Sunday, late August
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!
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.
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 (~$16 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.
Falls Creek Spring Frenzy
Falls Creek village is a great place to stay, if you can get accommodation in winter!
And in early September temperatures start to warm up, and there are fewer snowfalls so cross country skiing becomes even more attractive.
This midweek 5 night event is being introduced into our schedule for the first time in 2022.
Based at the Australian Alpine Club access to the extensive network groomed cross-country trails is easy via the Aqueduct trail, almost from the back door of the lodge. The same trail can be used to make your way to the backcountry expanses of the Bogong High Plains, with a number of high Victorian peaks also within range of a day ski for properly equipped skiers with metal-edged touring skis.
The Australian Alpine Club lodge is situated close the Village Bowl. This provides easy access to the lifts that serve the black-rated summit runs. Perhaps more likely for cross country skiers, a cruise down the village roads will provide access to the lifts that serve the less steep runs in Sun Valley, which are well-suited for telemark skiing enthusiasts.
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.
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.
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.
Back Country Festival
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.