Thredbo Backcountry Tours Supported by The North Face
Looking for a new winter adventure? Why not book a guided backcountry tour and venture beyond the resort boundaries, where you’ll not only learn important backcountry safety skills but get to ride some incredible and unique terrain.
There is a backcountry adventure for everyone, from introductory through to advanced tours, each catering to different levels of knowledge, experience and ability.
Our guides are experienced and have gained extensive backcountry knowledge from exploring the mountains for many years. They are first aid trained, hold avalanche certification and carry appropriate emergency equipment.
Every guest is provided with a loan North Face backpack that contains a beacon, probe and shovel. Snowshoes, splitboards and touring skis are available for rental so you don’t need to purchase any gear beforehand.
Please note that the Backcountry Tours are conditions dependent.
Introduction to Backcountry Tour
If you’ve never tried Alpine Touring, but keep wondering what it’s all about, this full day tour is for you. Your guide will introduce you to the specialist equipment, safety aspects and skills required to negotiate simple backcountry terrain. You’ll learn a lot during this tour and many of your backcountry questions will be answered. It’s also a pre-requisite before joining our other, more demanding tours.
Duration: 6 Hours – All Day
Backcountry Skill Level: First Timer
Rider Level: Strong Intermediate to Advanced
Location: Ramshead Area
Highlights: Equipment Familiarisation, Skinning, Basic Navigation, Awareness & Safety
Beyond The Boundaries Tour
Enjoy heading out of the resort boundaries and into the vast and stunning Australian Main Range. Learn backcountry skills, safety and awareness and explore some of the best and most unique terrain Australia has to offer. From Bogong to Mt Kosciuszko, the mission is to find the perfect line and score fresh snow.
Duration: 7 Hours – All Day
Backcountry Skill Level: Intermediate to Advanced
Rider Level: Strong Intermediate to Advanced
Location: Bogong Creek Area, Mt Kosciuszko, Ramshead and Dead Horse Gap plus custom combos available
Highlights: Terrain Variety, Fresh Snow, Hanging Rock, Alpine Touring & Backcountry Skill Development
Advanced Adventurer Tour
Enjoy an all day winter adventure like no other! Your guide will take you out to some of Australia’s best backcountry spots where you’ll ski or snowboard challenging terrain, learn advanced backcountry skills and become familiar with riding more technical terrain. The advanced tours allow you to summit and ride some of Australia’s highest peaks.
Duration: 7 Hours – All Day
Backcountry Skill Level: Advanced
Rider Level: Advanced
Location: Leatherbarrel Creek, Etheridge, Twin Valleys and custom combos available
Highlights: Summit & Ride Australia’s Highest Peaks
A number of Backcountry touring skis / split boards, including climbing skins are available for hire online (pick up at Thredbo Rental Valley Terminal only).
Thredbo Rental staff and of course your guide will show you how the touring specific equipment works.
Frequently Asked Questions
In its simplest terms it’s skiing and boarding outside resort boundaries. Effectively this means being self-reliant as there’s neither immediate infrastructure or services such as Ski Patrol to assist. You move around under your own power and carry essential gear to support you for the duration. Technology has ensured the supply of specialist lightweight touring gear that has made this sport more accessible to the masses. It’s a big world out there with amazing terrain and stunning scenery to be discovered.
Due to the nature of the sport, safety has always been a big factor and this is why it’s a good idea to hire a guide when first venturing out or seeking new terrain. A good guide will teach you and show you more in one day than you might learn in ten outings on your own so it’s a very worthwhile consideration.
You must be a strong intermediate to advanced skier or boarder, capable of riding all snow conditions in a safe and confident manner. This includes windblown, powder, crud and icy conditions. You must also be able to ski trees, avoid obstacles and manage whiteout and very windy conditions. The terrain we seek out is all un-groomed and mostly categorised blue and black.
While we will do our best to group riders of similar abilities, it’s important you have a realistic self-assessment of your class of rider.
To join our Green Tour / Signature Hill and Blue Tour / Mt Kosciuszko you must be a level 6 or above. To join all other tours you have to be at level 7 or 8. Find out your ability level
A reasonable level of fitness is required, namely endurance and to a lesser extent strength. During a day out you will be expected to cover anywhere from 3 to 15km depending on the tour selected all while climbing slopes of various gradients. Make sure you get good night’s sleep, have a solid breakfast and arrive hydrated.
You need to dress for a full days skiing and carry/wear sufficient clothing to cater for extreme weather conditions. You will need:
- Waterproof warm gloves
- Liner gloves
- Layers to adjust throughout the day (thermals, mid layers, puffer layer)
- 2L water
- Lunch and snacks
- Personal medication
You will be issued with a suitable touring pack in which you carry all your gear and additional essential safety equipment.
A number of alpine touring skis / split boards, including climbing skins are available for hire from Thredbo Retail & Rental at Valley Terminal. Our Retail & Rental staff and your guide will show you how the touring specific equipment works. This is especially so for the Introduction to Alpine Touring.
Weather and snow conditions will always dictate which tours will operate and when the conditions are right, nothing compares to a day touring the Australian Alps. Depending on the tour you’ve booked, be assured that your guide will seek out the slopes with the best conditions. Furthest is not always best – at times the best snow is found in the trees nearby.
Above all we must obey the conditions – “we don’t run the backcountry, the backcountry runs us”. Safety is paramount. Alpine touring is undertaken beyond the resort boundaries and as such there is usually no reliance on ski patrol or other immediate support.
Weather and snow conditions are the two biggest safety factors that need to be continually monitored. Your guide is experienced and will make decisions accordingly in order to maximise group safety. Although avalanches are rare and we have a relatively stable snowpack, you will be issued with a shovel, probe and beacon, and receive instruction in basic avalanche safety.
Your guide will assess the situation and render first aid and immediate care of the injured person. A team member with a minor injury may choose to continue the tour. A more serious injury may require evacuation for further medical treatment. Terrain dependent, the team may work together to effect the evacuation, or a 000 call will alert emergency authorities to build an evacuation plan.
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