In August I met some fellow Australian backcountry skiers and boarders in the Snowies, and would like to meet some more. Easier said that done. I also happen live at the foot of a solid mountain range with a lot of great terrain and endless snow that goes mostly untouched in spring. Except for Japanese weekenders, no one really comes here in April and I ski it almost entirely by myself day after day. It seems such a shame that others don't enjoy it... and that I am not doing my bit to share it and the terrain knowledge I have accumulated. Over the seasons this has gotten me thinking about hosting a gathering to make the good times more affordable and accessible to others (specifically for ski.com.au members) Is anyone here interested in putting together a group of forum members? If you are, I have plenty of living space available for free in my house in Hakuba, and would provide my local backcountry knowledge in helping plan and execute each day's tour. However, it wouldn't be guided, we would be a group of backcountry people and everyone would chip in with decision making, and outings would be planned collectively to suit the group. That is an important distinction. The first half of April is by far the best time if I am to play host - I'm too busy before that. The weather can be great by then, days are long, a fantastic 'hut' with indoor/outdoor volcanic hotsprings is open, my house is empty, touring is relatively safe and easily executed. It is a good time of year (unless you are obsessed with powder). I really do not know how many people would be interested, or could make it if they were. But I live here with room to spare in my house and, as is normal, I'll be out touring every good day anyway... so why not join me? Really, the only silly part is you have to fly here to do it. We could do anything: day trips from my house, a longer hut-based trip (expensive), a combo hut/tent scenario. A bit of everything is possible. As an example for the more enthusiastic, this wider zone is possible by long day trips from a tent/hut base area. (However there is no need to go that far afield) (Picture taken 10th of April in a really bad season) So there you are: if you guys and girls wanted to form a suitable ski.com.au group, I'm looking for touring partners to share the fun with. You have 5 months in which to arrange leave time and for Jet Star flight deals to pop up, so that should be plenty of planning time. Who's in? Some notes.... This isn't my group, so you don't necessarily have to know me at all, or even like me that much! I'm just offering to motivate and host a gathering at my place and provide my local knowledge to make the most of every day - and to make the trip here as affordable as possible. It would be your group that I would be a part of. Having said that, given the level of involvement I'm offering, I'd suggest from the outset that: - At the risk of being elitist or exclusive, I really think a gathering like this would be best suited to those who are experienced backcountry skiers/boarders, have the equipment etc. - About 10-14 days seems like a good time frame to allow for weather and a variety of scenarios. Of course people could come for shorter periods. - I'll be on about day100 by then and will be at my personal fitness peak. A mixed-fitness group is perfectly fine so long as everyone works as an easy going team, however, given it is spring, the better quality and safer skiing requires longer days of effort. - Day 1 should be given over to a group avalanche rescue session according to the way I teach it. Everyone should be up to speed and a day of practice is never wasted no matter who you are. I'd lead that day's proceedings. It is a good way to loosen up and get to know each other as a team. - There isn't any intended commercial or promotional connection. And nor do I want any. Backcountry skiers skiing backcountry together. That's all it is.