The festival is a grassroots, volunteer-run bonanza celebrating everything ‘backcountry’, in particular human-powered wintersports.
The festival will involve tours, clinics, gear demos and workshops in backcountry skills, such as navigation, snow camping, and self rescue; plus it will give riders an opportunity to explore slopes beyond the lifts.
Out of the 27 tours and workshops, some of the highlights to look forward to include the two-day avalanche safety courses and a three-day backcountry camp on Razorback and Mt Feathertop.
“We have an incredible line-up of tours and workshops,” Festival organiser Cam Walker says.
“There are free tours for beginners and advanced cross country, alpine touring, for telemark skiers and snowshoers and splitboarders.”
“Each year more people head into the backcountry. And each year the backcountry community becomes more diverse. We are showcasing a range of voices in the program, with a strong focus on female speakers.”
Speakers will include Olympic ski cross racer Katya Crema, Hotham legend Buff Farnell, head of ski patrol Bill Barker, and skier/journalist Melissa Clarke.
Registration for the festival costs $10. Most sessions and tours are free. The way it will play out is: start with a drink at the Snowline in Harrietville on Friday night; meet at the General early Saturday for a briefing and tours; enjoy the speaker’s program from midday; then head to the outdoor bar at Blizzard Brewery in Dinner Plain; next day, take part in the longer tours; and wrap up the evening with additional speakers and additional films at The Bird. Plus there are related tours and workshops before and after the dates.