Each year in North America, backcountry skiing novices and fanatics alike gather together at festivals like Cold Stoke, Winterstoke and Tailgate to learn and celebrate the best of winter snow sports.
This year, Australia will host its own backcountry festival, to be launched at Falls Creek on the September 1, coinciding with World Telemark Day.
Organiser and backcountry skiing veteran Cam Walker was excited to announce the news of the event in a recent interview with Wild.
“The idea to start a Victorian Backcountry Festival grew out of celebrating World Telemark Day,” Walker said. “That, combined with the growing success of events like Splitfest inspired us to discuss the concept with the Falls Creek Alpine Management Board.
“We’re very happy to be able to announce a date has been scheduled for September 1, with the support of the Falls Creek Cross Country and Windy Corner Cafe.”
The event website promises guided trips (both in and out of resort), as well as specialist clinics and workshops, films, presentations and even an outdoor bar.
“Our hope is to build a festival to rival the best of what the US can offer, while inspiring locals and visitors to enjoy the best of the Victorian Alps,” said Walker.
In offering experiences for a broad range of skill levels and interests (activities include snow-shoeing, splitboarding, alpine touring, cross country and telemark), event organisers are hoping to see a large turnout.
‘If you’re interested in any form of human powered adventure in the backcountry, you should be there. Beginners to advanced, all are welcome,’ the event website reads.
Better yet, the Victorian Backcountry Festival is free to attend (although resort entry fees, accommodation, food, equipment and extras aren’t included).
“This is a grass-roots, volunteer-run event that we’re promoting with the support of a number of community groups,” Walker said. “So we’d love to see as many people as possible get involved in some way, whether it’s to participate, volunteer or simply come along and see what’s on offer.”
For more details on this and to enquire regarding volunteer opportunities, see the Victorian Backcountry Festival website.