How to prepare, pack, and get to your winter party
The Bogong Rover Chalet is unlike any other Chalet found on Australia’s Snowfields. It has a communal atmosphere where everyone pitches in to make the Winter Party a success. Facilities include 240 volt generator power, fully equipped kitchen and dining facilities, washing machine, drying room, toilets, hot showers, and dormitories that include mattresses and pillows. The Bogong Rover Chalet is located on the picturesque Bogong High Plains, an 11 kilometre trip from the Falls Creek Ski Resort in Victoria’s North East.
Before you get there
Fitness - Being sufficiently fit will maximise your enjoyment of the winter party. So get fit NOW! Useful exercises include stretching and any sort of aerobic exercise such as running, jogging, cycling, swimming, skipping, aerobics and walking.
Ski Expo - Attend this entertaining evening that will allow you to purchase ski clothing and Equipment at a discounted rate. 2nd Wednesday of June, at Eastern Mountain Centre. You can organise ski hire on the night for pick up from EMC or Ajays.
Go Skiing - If the season allows it, get in some practice cross country skiing. Practice carrying a heavier pack for a few hours both skiing and walking.
We highly recommend that you have full ambulance cover as skiing, either cross country or downhill, is regarded as a high risk/extreme sport.
For those who have Private Health Insurance, your insurer may only cover you by ambulance part of the way, one section or so many times per year. Please check your cover and make a decision accordingly.
Nothing will spoil your Winter Party more than having equipment that doesn’t do the job right. If you are not sure about anything ask your party leader. The suggestions made in the following list have come from years of experience during Winter Parties. If borrowing gear make sure that it fits correctly and is serviceable. If hiring gear, explain why you need the equipment. Mention that it is for the Bogong Rover Chalet, many staff at outdoor stores will know about the Chalet. When choosing clothing go for wool, softshell, polar fleece, thermals and similar. Avoid cotton and denim. Try your local disposal store for cheaper items. If in any doubt, speak to your Party Leader.
For Tawonga Hall on Friday night
- Sleeping Bag
- Pillow (to be left in your car at Mount Beauty)
- Sleeping Mat or Lilo (to be left in your car at Mount Beauty)
- Simple prepared breakfast (to be left in your stomach at Mount Beauty)
For the trip into the Chalet
- Prepared lunch and energy food such as chocolate, muesli bars or scroggin.
- All your Ski Equipment – Cross-country skis, boots and poles. See other page for suggestions.
- All your equipment and clothing for the chalet in a pack.
Pack, ski equipment, and other gear
Pack – with ample hip belt and chest strap. Modern internally framed packs with large hip belts to load weight onto the hips make carrying your load easier. They are available for hire from an outdoor shop if necessary. Packs are not one size fits all and need to be fitted properly. Some packs are specifically designed for men or women
Sleds are strictly prohibited, gear must be carried in a pack.
- Water proofing - be sure to line your pack with a large plastic bag to keep everything dry. Pack your sleeping bag into another plastic bag. You can never have too many plastic bags.
- Packing – Pack your sleeping bag at the bottom out of the way and heavier articles lower down and nearer your back. Put spare clothes that you may need nearer to the top or in the pockets. Nothing should be tied to the outside of your pack as it may be lost.
- Load – Keep the weight down to about 15 kilograms including your allowance for fresh food, about 2 kilograms.
- Extra Space at Top – All winter party members are expected to carry in a parcel of meat and fresh vegetables. Please bring plastic bags for this purpose.
- Cross Country skis – suitable for medium to heavy touring with a pack. The use of some sort of retention strap is highly recommended to prevent runaway skis.
- Cross Country Ski Boots – Either plastic or leather boots are recommended. For leather boots, a sturdier high cut boot is recommended. Waterproof leather boots with ‘Snoseal’ or similar. (Do not use Dubbin as it softens the leather)
- Cross Country Ski Poles – Any material is suitable. A larger basket for soft snow is recommended.
- U.V. Sunglasses – with retention strap and ski goggles if desired.
- Compass and Map of the area.
- Beanie or Balaclava
- Peaked Cap – Optional
- Coat - One of the most important items you’ll be carrying. We recommend you use some sort of breathable such as ‘Goretex’ or ‘Entrant’, Japara or dry oilskin coats are also suitable. The coat should have ample hood. Most Alpine or Downhill Ski jackets are too hot for Cross Country Skiing. Cotton Lined Japaras should also be avoided along with full length riding ‘Driazabone’ coats, which are too heavy and hot for Cross Country Skiing.
- Overpants – To be useful these must be water and wind proof
- Woollen Jumper, Fibrepile or Polarfleece
- Woollen or Thermal shirt or skivvy
- Woollen or other appropriate trouser – High quality nylon tracksuit pants may be adequate. Avoid Cotton and Denim at all costs.
- Socks – Woollen blends such as ‘Explorers’ are recommended. Pure wool and football socks can cause blisters. Many people wear 2 pairs of socks when wearing Ski Boots.
- Gaiters – they keep the snow out of your boots.
- Ski Gloves – bring a spare pair, overmitts are an advantage for woollen gloves. Using an older pair on the tow is suggested as it is wearing
Clothing for the Chalet
- Scout Uniform - minimum of Shirt and Scarf (don’t forget your Alpine Venturer, Alpine Rover, or Bogong Rovers scarf if you have one)
- Footwear - Light weight runners, Slippers or Surf sandals
- Spare Clothes - a single set of clothes should suffice, there is a washing machine and powder is provided.
- Sleeping Bag - the Chalet is quite warm but a good quality bag is advisable for emergencies.
- Pillow Slip and Fitted or Inner Sheet - For hygiene reasons
- Spare under wear
- Personal first aid kit - items you are likely to need including band aids, blister tape, ‘Second Skin’ headache tablets, knee brace etc.
- Sweets, Chocolate or Scroggin - Watch the weight
- Light weight water bottle - Approximately I litre.
- Day Pack - Highly recommended
- Toiletries – Watch the weight - bring only what you need for a week
- Towel – a small one will do.
- Sunscreen & lip balm - ‘30+’ and water resistant
- Camera - light weight, optional.
- Small torch - with new batteries
- Mobile phone - reception at the chalet itself is minimal to non-existant, however it can useful while touring.
- Note: Sleds are strictly prohibited, gear must be carried in a pack.
If you have any doubts, questions or concerns regarding equipment contact your party leader or the bookings officer on 0407 242 538
- Keep your feet dry - use ‘Snowseal’ on your boots (if leather) and wear gaiters
- Do lots of walking or skiing with a pack prior to the event
- Buy at least one pair of thin thermal socks and one pair of ‘Explorer’ style socks. (Cheap insurance at about $20) Do this before hiring your skis, and wear them when you are trying on your boots. Your boots should fit snugly with a small amount of space at the toes. Pure wool and pure nylon socks are not recommended.
- Keep your pack weight down
- Soak your feet in methylated spirits for about 5 minutes every 2 or 3 nights in the fortnight before your winter party.
- Pretape your feet with ‘Leukoplast’ or ‘Second Skin’ before leaving Tawonga Hall on Saturday morning. Guess the likely blister zones eg heels, toes, sides.
Above all if you feel a hot spot or blister developing stop and deal with it. You will not be holding up the party. Seek advice from the party leader. The hot spot will not go away. It will only develop into a painful blister if you ignore it.
Getting to the Chalet
We all meet and stay the night in Tawonga the Friday night before our party begins. We then ski into the Chalet on Saturday morning (day may vary for half weeks).
Getting to Tawonga / Mount Beauty
Transport to Mount Beauty / Tawonga – It is each Winter Party member’s responsibility for their own transport to Tawonga / Mount Beauty. Contact your party leader and attend the briefing night to arrange transport and carpooling. Your accommodation is at the Tawonga Community Hall, Kiewa Valley Hwy, Tawonga. The cost is included in you winter party fee. Please speak to your party leader if you will be there early – you may be asked to open up the hall. If you are late, please be quiet.
Directions from Melbourne
Travel north on the Hume Freeway to Glenrowan. Turn off after the BP Service centre and follow the signs to Myrtleford. 4km past Myrtleford, turn left following the signs for Falls Creek and Mount Beauty. Your destination is Tawonga, 5km North of Mount Beauty.
Directions from Sydney
Travel South on the Hume Hwy to Wodonga and follow the signs for the Kiewa Valley Highway and Mount Beauty and Falls Creek. Your destination is Tawonga, 5km North of Mount Beauty.
Directions from Adelaide
Travel East on the Eastern Fwy to Tailem Bend and onto the Ouyen Hwy to Ouyen, then the Mallee Hwy to Piangil, Murray Valley Hwy through Swan Hill and Echuca to Wyuna and follow the signs to Shepparton, then the Midland Hwy to Benalla, North to Glenrowan and then follow the directions as from Melbourne.
Saturday and the trip into the Chalet
Rise at 6.00am, pack up, put on ski boots, sunscreen and ski clothing, have breakfast and clean the hall
Head to Falls Creek Coach Service, Tawonga South by 7.00am at the very latest. Cars may be left in the Falls Creek Coach Service’s car park at the special Rover price of $20. Make sure you tell staff that you are a Rover. The BCMG can take no responsibility for the security of your car.
The winter party Quartermaster will issue you with fresh food. Make sure that you have left room and have plastic bags.
The bus leaves at 7.30am sharp. Listen to the advice of your Party Leader regarding suitable clothing and equipment for the weather conditions during the trip in, The bus service arrives at Falls creek around 8.30am.
Put on appropriate gear and assemble at Windy Corner car park or day shelter. The Winter Party may be separated into smaller groups according to ability, and with the assistance of more experienced people head into the Chalet.
The trip has to be completed regardless of the weather and snow conditions. The trip is usually accomplished in two to three hours. You do need to be able to ski in with a pack on your back. If you are having trouble, need assistance, are concerned about something or just need a break tell the Party Leader or the person who is the nominated leader of your tour group.