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BC newbie, experiernced inbounder: Intro provided and info sought

Discussion in 'Backcountry' started by Laska Goralska, Oct 18, 2018.

  1. Laska Goralska

    Laska Goralska One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Morning all


    So, fairly regular lurker here for the last few years, largely in the weather forums, for obvious reasons. Excuse the voluminous first post pls!


    I’ve recently started doing much research through the backcountry threads, as this is where I am starting to feel myself drawn towards after years of resort skiing, with some slack country laughs thrown in.


    I’m a pretty regular Thredbo skier (generally do about 15 days on snow each year), and the more time I find myself spending off piste in the trees and getting to know GCB and the surrounds, the more I am finding on piste resort skiing somewhat bland. I’d rather ski a few kms of boiler plate to get to some nice but brief stashes than to ski groomed (then chopped up) manmade all day without feeling overly challenged.


    So, I’m incredibly interested into taking the next steps into getting into touring, and thanks to Snow Blowey’s site (which is now suspended, which sucks for greenhorns like me as it’s a fantastic resource) and the info available over thousands of posts here, I have a good base from which to get started.


    So between now and next year, I’m planning on getting to know the main range a bit better with a few summer trips, as well as saving the money I need to invest in some pre loved touring essentials (AT boots, touring skis/bindings being the priority). I have a few questions which I’d love to get some advice on from the greybeards here (and no, I’m not interested in tele so don’t bother evangelising!), so if anyone has a sec, I’d be really quite appreciative for pointers regarding any of the below queries:


    • As someone who has no connections in the touring community, how does one go about finding someone willing to head into the bc with a noob?

    • When is snow blowey’s site going back online? That was an amazing resource, love your work SB.

    • Would my level of skiing be sufficient to safely manage a tour in the main range?
      • I’m a pretty confident advanced (though not expert) resort skier who can generally manage whatever run in whatever conditions (though not at all gracefully in poor conditions I must admit!)
      • There isn’t much at Thredbo that I wouldn’t ski, I can bumble my way down an iced up Funnelweb without tears or fears (and without much joy, but I suspect I’m not alone!) as well as navigating the sinkholes on skiiers far right of GCB without falling to my doom, so am fairly confident in bounds.
      • However I do really struggle with jumps of any kind and hucking off stuff and have never really gotten into park skiing at all, which is my main concern as there is some gnarly looking terrain out the back there where it looks like those sorts of skills could be useful if not essential…

    • I haven’t done any avi courses or anything of the sort. Is this a deal breaker for potential company?
      • I have some facial hair if this helps : )

    • Would I be best served by perhaps heading out to Stanleys or TWs from the top of Merritt’s for some day trips to find my backcountry feet before looking to head out the back with anyone? Any other tips for newbies in terms of easily accessed terrain to get started (aside from Sig Hill, which I’ve booted up before). DHG seems to be the obvious one I guess.

    • Are there any courses I can do to get to know how to use my AT gear better? I’d have NFI how to apply skins, toggle between hike/ski, or do any number of other things with AT gear that would be essential when touring…
      • Or would I need to find someone with experience to walk me through the basics?

    • Any other tips that you think would be good for a BC newbie, albeit experienced in bounds, looking to break free of the confines of resort skiing.


    Thanks in advance folks and I’ll appreciate any advice that can be offered up. I’ll look forward to engaging with the community here more and more as you all seem a lovely bunch of peeps (with the odd exception hehe).


    Anyway, thanks for your time, and all the best!
     
  2. Majikthise

    Majikthise Sage Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Somewhere a long your journey you may want to consider joining
    http://www.nordicskiclub.org.au
    A lot of folk here have been members once or are current members.
    They do all sorts of stuff beyond touring but mostly provide a network. A lot of walking clubs will also have a small band of BC enthusiasts.
    Getting familiar with the country in summer is a great thing to do . IMO you want to build a range of territory you are familiar with so you can match the best location for the conditions presenting.
     
  3. Gimp

    Gimp One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Dude just hang out at the top of the Kosi chair with a a big blunt hanging from ya gob and the boarders will take you out with them. Whether they bring you back will depend on the quality of conversation, BC food to give away and ability to keep up.
     
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  4. Gimp

    Gimp One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    I'd try Bongong creek (out back of GCB) before taking on Twin Valleys.
     
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  5. Laska Goralska

    Laska Goralska One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Cheers Gimp, not sure if joking but the day pack is generally well stocked for resort skiing and I can't see it being any different when packing for BC!

    Decent advice below too regarding Bogong Creek for an intro, thanks.
     
  6. Laska Goralska

    Laska Goralska One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Thanks mate, that's not a bad tip. These guys seem to be based in Syd, whereas I'm in Canberra unfortunately. However, one of my old uni mates did give me a heads up regarding the ANUMC and linking up with them, so pursuing this sort of avenue seems to be the way to go.

    Thanks again.
     
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  7. Laska Goralska

    Laska Goralska One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Speaking of the ANU Mountaineering Club, does anyone have any experience with any trips run through the club? Any existing members about?
     
  8. Majikthise

    Majikthise Sage Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    ANUMC would be a great start.
     
  9. dawooduck

    dawooduck relaxed and comfortable Ski Pass: Gold

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    Buy some decent AT gear, telescopic poles, good layers both outer and inner, decent skins, pick the weather and head out to DHG, the hills above Thredbo or Paralyser at PB and with the exception of the western faces its pretty much rinse and repeat. The trick is not to get lost in a whiteout, injured alone or fall in a sinkhole or creek.

    Next step would be Leatherbarrel Creek, out towards Twin Valleys or Tate Ridge opposite Guthega and then on to the Main Range proper or some Victorian Adventures.

    Wandering about above Thredbo on a fine day usually results in meeting similar like mided folks.
     
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  10. Laska Goralska

    Laska Goralska One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Sound advice wood duck. Touring gear, skins and a gps definitely on the priority list, hopefully both my wife and santa are generous with the Straightline vouchers this xmas.

    I'm definitely looking to do some day trips around DHG/Leatherbarrel and Stanleys/Twins initially prior to heading out the back towards Kosi/Twynam/Carruthers etc. And yes, getting lost in a whiteout or blowing out a knee in the middle of nowhere are absolutely the sorts of things I'll be looking to avoid, and some of my major concerns in getting into this caper.

    Anyway, I'll toss a line into the ANUMC pond and see what happens there, and hopefully next year I can head out for some shorter trips around Thredbo to test the gear/legs/lungs and see how I go.

    Thanks folks, this is all good advice.
     
  11. telecrag

    telecrag Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Give us a hoy next season, have a ski inbounds one day, and if we get along, you are welcome to tag along on any sidecountry trips that happen (I ski Sun-Wed).

    Have a walk around in summer is a great idea, that many forgo. Its good to know what is underneath, especially if you ski early/late season.
     
  12. Laska Goralska

    Laska Goralska One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    That's great man, thanks for the offer. Will def be dragging the family out there this summer for some hiking trips to help get my bearings.

    I tend to ski Mondays from late July through to mid September (generally ski in royal blue outer shell, black pants, helmet and fluoro green/black Volkl RTMs and of course moustache if that rings any bells, pretty common gear so probably not but thought it worth mentioning in case we've ever shared a chair/T), so timing should be OK if you're there on the days you mention.

    Would love to catch up next year and you can determine whether I'll likely be a liability or good company (or perhaps a bit of both...)
     
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  13. telecrag

    telecrag Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Im easy to spot, Im the fat old guy on teles, making everyone else look good.
     
  14. Gimp

    Gimp One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Charlotte Pass turning circle 7 tomorrow
     
  15. Laska Goralska

    Laska Goralska One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Nice, i'll keep an eye out, and while old telemarkers at Thredbo aren't exactly rare, most are quite svelte so I should be able to find you ;)
     
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  16. cornice11

    cornice11 One of Us

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    buy some gear - any gear, doesnt matter too much -and go have a bash about the accessible sidecountry areas like paralyser, get to know your gear. main thing is to decide if you like the uphill, its going to be 99% of your day.
    youll meet people out there.
     
  17. skifree

    skifree grey Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    First rule of bc, light is right.
     
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  18. Laska Goralska

    Laska Goralska One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    I wish mate. Note sure I'll get very far on
    Yep, I'm curious whether the slog will be trumped by my need to be in the mountains, that'll be the interesting thing.

    As much hiking, camping and inbounds skiing that I've done, I'm still not sure how I'll take to a few hours a day of skinning and bootpacking.

    I'm sure it'll be fun to find out though. Might be type 2 fun for sure, but fun nevertheless!
     
  19. Laska Goralska

    Laska Goralska One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Might need to lay off the stout and drop a few then. I've seen you guys quibbling over an extra 50 odd grams on a touring binding, I got bigger issues than 50gms on a binding in that regard!
     
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  20. climberman

    climberman CloudRide1000 Legend Ski Pass: Gold

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    You could always hire some skis and skins and give it a go out from Thredbo, or from Perisher.

    Not everyone loves it, but if you just love being out in the hills it is likely you will :)

    Rhythm at Cooma or Wilderness Sports in Jindy for hire
     
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  21. telecrag

    telecrag Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Maybe not 99%, but if you cant enjoy the up, well. For me its a time to enjoy the environment, look at the scenery, and suck some air. Sometimes more like heave. I actually like it a lot. On a run, I am not looking at the scenery at all.
     
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  22. Untele-whippet

    Untele-whippet beard stroker Ski Pass: Gold

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    Harro’s also hire AT rigs.
    Closer to Thredbo too.
     
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  23. climberman

    climberman CloudRide1000 Legend Ski Pass: Gold

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    Do they? Cool, good to know. What sort of kit?
     
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  24. telecrag

    telecrag Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Harros fleet is pretty new too.
     
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  25. Untele-whippet

    Untele-whippet beard stroker Ski Pass: Gold

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    Ask @LaNeige
     
  26. LaNeige

    LaNeige One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Harro's at Crackenback also hire AT gear, pretty decent stuff. Mind you they've pack up for the season, but will be back next year.

    Oh, you covered this already ...
     
  27. LaNeige

    LaNeige One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Kastle TX90? They came with their own skins, not as grippy as my G3 or No.s 1 Climbing Skins Direct. Direct. Worked for No. 2, except she didn't like it ... The rates were really good to, but I think that they gave kids rates.
     
  28. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis A Local Ski Pass: Silver

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    If you come to VIC. in 2019 then I would be happy to have someone to Day tour the Bogong High Plains with on a weekday if possible. I usually start the day of XC skiing at Falls Creek. Early September often presents the best conditions for covering quite a bit of ground.
     
  29. Rimey

    Rimey One of Us

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    Over a decade ago, I took my first BC excursion. There were no firms willing to take a solo client. They all wanted an instant group. So, I hired some AT gear from Wilderness Sports in Jindy and took myself up to Dead Horse Gap at the top of the Alpine Way. I picked a sunny still spring day. I had my virgin skin up through the snow gum forest from DHG up to the top of the Ramshead range. I had a few runs down some delicious corn. I gazed over to Koszi. Leatherbarrel Ck and the Twin Humps tantalised. And as a finale, I got the superb afternoon run back down to through the treeline back to DHG. I popped out of the forest startling a family having a quiet toboggan in the clearing above the road.

    When I got home, I pressed buttons on the internet.
    You can do it too.

    Attached, turns from that day
     

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    #29 Rimey, Oct 31, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2018
  30. climberman

    climberman CloudRide1000 Legend Ski Pass: Gold

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    I can’t believe you are alive.
     
  31. Laska Goralska

    Laska Goralska One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Thanks mate appreciate the offer, though it's hard enough to get out to KNP for me with a fairly demanding job and a young family, so Vicco not all that viable an option.
     
  32. Laska Goralska

    Laska Goralska One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Obviously it'd be preferable for me to link up with someone heading out there with a trips under their belt, though a day trip from DHG or just some exploring down Stanley's would probably be well within my comfort/danger range for a first dip, and something I'd of course consider if the option to link up wasn't there.

    My main issue would be familiarity with my gear, rather than being able to handle the terrain/conditions. Nice bluebird day not straying too far from civilisation would not be too much fo a worry, but I think I'd want to spend a little time inbounds familiarising myself with my equipment (i.e. putting on/taking off skins and some downhill runs to get used to a very different turn radius etc).

    Either way, keen as, just wish I'd made the call earlier this year as it'll be a long wait til next season (notwithstanding a trip to Japan in Feb, woot!)
     
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  33. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    More dangerous going out with @Ralph_Plow for your first extended trip :eek:
     
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  34. Belly

    Belly A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Well over a decade cough cough old fella :)
     
  35. skifree

    skifree grey Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Wilderness Sports did several 1 hour intro to basic BC basic skills and a few 1/2 day trips of the same for groups of 1 and 2 this year. So quite a bit of interest in BC and throwing a little money at the problem to get started rather than charge off by selves.. Feedback I saw was positive.
     
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  36. Laska Goralska

    Laska Goralska One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    OK cool this is good to know.
     
  37. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis A Local Ski Pass: Silver

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    I will be skiing the KNP in Late Sept. in 2019 without fail!. PM me if you want to ski tour for a day somewhere in the Charlotte Pass area. I can't ski very steep stuff going downhill but I am game for undulating terrain elsewhere.
     
  38. Laska Goralska

    Laska Goralska One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    That's great MrT, cheers, willn keep that in mind.

    ...and I suspect I'd be focusing less on steeps in my first few outings as I'll be interested more in getting across how my equipment functions and some general snowcraft than I would in ripping steep lines.
     
  39. telecrag

    telecrag Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    KT's intro courses look like good value too. Get Jen if you go for those. Im sure the other guys are great too though.

    Or, hook up with me, Im pretty cavalier though, compared to the modern crop. I have two rules, have fun, dont die.

    I do think its a smart move to go with people with some experience, also to familiarise yourself with gear. @skifree @DidSurfNowSki Muzz and myself saw what can happen otherwise at Club Lake Sunday week ago (video in BC Chatter of our run). @skifree got the full view from the top of Lee. I have seen it before too, last year I took a group of very good skiers out, and one was on brand new gear, first run was Elevator, and I thought he was going to end up in the lake.
     
  40. Rimey

    Rimey One of Us

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    Either can I. Was up "that" ladder yesterday.

    64 next year, whippersnapper.
     
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  41. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis A Local Ski Pass: Silver

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    I have snow camping experience in foul weather as well as navigational abilities in a white out. I can use an ice axe to self arrest. These are useful skills in back country snow conditions. I am no expert at all but I am happy to share what I know.
     
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  42. Laska Goralska

    Laska Goralska One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Thanks again mate, these are precisely the sorts of skills I'd like to acquire before taking the leap into solo trouing of any kind.

    Expect a PM next year leading into spring!