159-Back country touring

Show notes

In our last podcast episode, episode 158, we talked about snowshoeing in the Australian Alps. But for those who want to go a step further there are other options including skiing and snow camping. In this episode we catch up with Gary Tischer and find out about options for skiing, and snow camping away from the resorts. We talk about safety and logistics in the back country in general, including more than you every wanted to know about what to do with toilet waste in the snow!

To round off this episode we catch back up with Bruce Easton from Wilderness Sports about options for getting a taster in backcountry.

Podcast overview

This episode is all about backcountry touring including skiing and snow camping:

  • Introduction
  • Part 1 – Interview with Gary Tischer (time index 00:01:17)
    • What is ‘backcountry’?
    • Why backcountry?
    • Getting started
      • Go with clubs or a guided trip (see Wilderness Sports below)
    • Gear
      • Tent
        • 4-season tent
      • A good sleeping bag
      • Your hiking gear will often suit you otherwise
      • ‘Snow kitchens’
    • When is ‘the season’?
      • Gary discusses when is a good time to go and what perfect time than now
      • Weather to avoid
        • Avoid getting wet clothing
    • Skiing options
      • Backcountry skiing
      • Cross country skiing
        • Generally thinner and longer than downhill skies
    • Safety
      • Cooking inside your tent – don’t but there are some tricks
      • Hypothermia
        • Layering for comfort
          • You need to achieve a good balance, too little or too much is an issue
        • Always have a tent with you
      • Eating well
        • Make sure you have plenty to eat, you will burn it off
      • White outs
        • Hard to navigate
        • Be aware of where you are
          • A GPS is a good option
            • Take plenty of batteries
          • Take a Personal Locator Beacon
      • Navigation
    • Going to the toilet in the snow
      • Pack it out!
      • Use toilets located at the huts as many of them have pit toliets
    • Food
      • You’re in a big fridge and food usually won’t go off
      • Water is plentiful
        • Boil or sterilise the water even in the Australian Alps
      • Use a snow mix if using canister gas
      • Ice cream and jelly in the snow?
  • Part 2 – Bruce Easton, Wilderness Sports (time index 00:38:42)
    • Options for getting out for beginners
    • Ski touring has a variety to offer everyone
    • Taste testing to see what people like
    • Guides can help beginners get the best out of they experience
  • Part 3 – Tim and Gill’s final thoughts (time index 00:45:13)

Close (time index 00:55:45)

Interested in going into the backcountry for snow sports?

If you are keen to try out some backcountry touring then we recommend alpine adventure store Wilderness Sports which is located in Jindabyne and has an outlet in Perisher. They offer a range of tours for both skiing and snowshoing as well as in backcountry awareness and safety which includes snow camping. To find out more go to:

Instagram: @wildernesssports

Facebook: @OZwildernesssports

Website; Wilderness Sports

Please note that we have no affiliate relationship with Wilderness Sports, they just provide an excellent service!

Cross country skis are longer and narrower than downhill skis (photo by Gary Tischer)

Whites River Hut in summer (Gary Tischer)

Whites River Hut in winter (Gary Tischer)

Sunrise in the mountains from the tent (photo by Gary Tischer)

Making table and chairs for the dining area (photo by Gary Tischer)

Backcountry camp (photo by Gary Tischer)

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