The Bogong Rover Chalet

Bogong Rover Chalet

How to prepare, pack, and get to your winter party

The Chalet

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.

Go Hiking - Skiing with a pack on is a different experience and is extra work. Go for some practice hikes to get used to carrying a pack again, and to help with your fitness.

Ambulance cover

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.

Packing list

Our one-pager checklist has been updated for 2024 and is available for download - it doesn’t cover all the details, but is great for ensuring you have everything (but not too much :-D ).

Here it is as a PDF.

Our full packing list from 2023 can be seen here. (We’re working to get it updated asap!)

Ski gear overview

If hiring ski gear, organise it as soon as possible because ski hire shops may run out of appropriate gear.

Note: for 2023 we will only be offering ski rental packages for Venturers, not for any other type of booking. Ajays will continue to offer a discounted rental rate to Rovers :-)

Below are more details for hiring skis, stocks (poles), bindings and boots for your trip to the Chalet.

Want to know more about what to pack? Check out our winter packing list.

Most people who visit the Bogong Rover Chalet use cross-country/telemark ski gear. For example 75mm bindings, sometimes called Nordic Norm (not New Nordic Norm which are different), on patterned skis. If hiring, then this type of ski - with metal edges - would be appropriate. Skis that are appropriate are also sometimes referred to as XCD skis.

Shops that can assist with ski hire or purchase include: Ajays and EMC (Melbourne), Rocky Valley (Mt Beauty) and Cross Country Skier (Wodonga). Some of these stores know the Chalet and saying you’re “going to the Bogong Rover Chalet” may be helpful.

Things to say at a hire shop if you’re struggling

I am going to the Bogong Rover Chalet, if you know it, it’s about 11km from Falls Creek on ungroomed trails and I’ll be skiing with a pack. I’m looking for 75mm cable bindings on patterned skis with metal edges.

If this isn’t enough detail for them, try the descriptions below:

  • I’m looking for XCD skis with telemark bindings.
  • Other people I’m skiing with use skis like: the Madshus Annum (formerly known as the Karhu Guide), the Fischer S-Bound 98 (or less commonly, the Fischer S-Bound 112 or 125), or the Rossignol BC 90 Positrack (or BC 80).
  • Other people I’m skiing with use bindings like: G3 Targa or Voile Switchbacks. Some people use more premium options like the 22 Designs Axl or NTN bindings.
  • Other people I’m skiing with use boots like: Scarpa T4 or Scott Excursions.

Other ski and binding options

Some people use different ski and binding options when visiting the Chalet. If this is your first time and you don’t have much ski experience we suggest sticking with the above suggestions.

These details are more appropriate for experienced skiers or experienced Chalet attendees.

Binding options - telemark/cross country

Note: These details are more appropriate for experienced skiers or experienced Chalet attendees. Stick with the above suggestions if this is your first time skiing.

NTN bindings - these are (generally speaking) comparable (although not compatible) with 75mm bindings (and are often a higher quality option) and are very appropriate for visiting the Chalet. The main drawback is the possible increased cost.

3 pin bindings - these are appropriate for any attendees, however they are less popular than 75mm cable bindings due to their reduced boot support (which makes them less friendly for stopping and turning). If in doubt we suggest 75mm cable bindings in preference to 3 pin bindings - especially for beginners. They are fine, but we suggest 75mm or NTN in preference to 3 pin.

NNN bindings - these may be appropriate for the Chalet, but are generally not recommended. They generally don’t offer as much support - which is not what you want (similar to the criticisms of 3 pin bindings). This lack of support is particularly noticeable for beginners with packs. More experienced skiers who want to progress their skiing may not like them as much because their lower level of support is not good for learning to turn and brake with more confidence. They are fine - but we suggest 75mm or NTN in preference to NNN.

Binding options - alpine touring

Note: These details are more appropriate for skiers with some (downhill) experience or experienced Chalet attendees. Stick with the above suggestions if this is your first time skiing.

If you have some downhill skiing experience, but no cross country experience, then it would be worth considering the binding options in this section - although they can be harder to hire (in particular with patterned skis). Using cross country gear is still appropriate if you only have downhill experience (it’s our suggestion for first timers, so you should be fine).

Dynafit/pin-style bindings - these are appropriate for the Chalet. You must bring leashes if using this type of binding and they don’t include a brake (most don’t). This type of binding is appropriate for experienced AT (alpine touring) skiers. This type of binding may be appropriate for less experienced skiers who have downhill experience - however we are not able to help with these bindings, hence you must be compitent in using the bindings before arriving (e.g. having done a practice weekend).

Touring-centric resort-style AT bindings - these are appropriate for the Chalet. Examples include Salomon Shifts or Marker Kingpins. These are backcountry AT bindings which are focussed on touring/backcountry skiing, but can do double duty skiing at a resort. These use pin toes and then a traditional downhill heel (generally speaking). Again, we generally can’t help with these bindings, although they are simpler than Dynafit/pin-style bindings.

Resort-style bindings with a touring mode - these are appropriate for the Chalet. They’re generally less efficient for the trip in and out, and for other touring - but are workable. Again, we generally can’t help with these bindings, although they are simpler than Dynafit/pin-style bindings. A lot of people who have used this type of binding decide they don’t want to do it again and decide to investigate the more touring-centric resort-style AT bindings (or Dynafit/pin-style bindings). They’re not as much fun for the touring, but can be great fun on the tow.

Skis - patterned vs unpatterned

Patterned skis are strongly advised for the Chalet. They are much much more enjoyable for the trip in/out, and for any touring.

We would strongly discourage any inexperienced tourers from considering using unpatterned skis with skins for the trip in to the Chalet due to the extra effort and frustration they can bring - especially if they ice up, which is not uncommon in Australian conditions. It has been done, but a lot of people who use unpatterned skis with skins decide to source patterned skis for future trips. If you have experience with unpatterned skis and skins and are willing to travel a long distance on them, then they are an option worth considering (including with kicker skins).

Boots - telemark/cross country

Most people visiting the Chalet use plastic boots like the Scarpa T4 or Scott Excursions. Some people use heavier boots, even up to 4-buckle boots like Scarpa T1s. We don’t suggest this as they are very heavy aren’t ideal for touring, but people do do it.

Some people use leather boots based on personal preference, and historically we suggested these to beginners, but we don’t suggest them any more as the world has moved towards plastic boots.

Boots - alpine touring

Note: These details are more appropriate for experienced skiers or experienced Chalet attendees. Stick with the above suggestions if this is your first time skiing.

If you are going to use alpine touring gear to get to the Chalet then ensuring you have appropriate boots is very important. Ensure you have boots with a good walk mode. The people we know who have visited the Chalet in boots without a walk mode have struggled and vowed never to do it again.

Boots like the Tecnica Cochise or Dalbello Lupo are a reasonable option for a boot that is used at a resort but would also be acceptable (for most people) for the trip to the Chalet.

Any touring-focussed AT (alpine touring) boot would work well.

Stocks (poles)

Adjustable stocks are preferable if possible, however fixed length stocks are completely fine. The length of stocks used for the Chalet are longer than stocks used when downhill skiing. We generally suggest using slightly shorter stocks than traditional cross country pole lengths (which are measured around the armpit) as these longer stocks can make it harder to balance with a pack. Between the two lengths (downhill is measured from the elbow to the ground, whilst cross country are measured from the armpit to the ground - so between those two points) is a good length for stocks.

Stocks with larger baskets are better than stocks with smaller baskets. We specifically suggest avoiding small “skate skiing” baskets. Similarly, if possible, avoiding small downhill skiing baskets is preferable too.

If you have any doubts, questions or concerns regarding equipment contact your party leader or the bookings officer on 0407 242 538

Avoiding blisters

  • Keep your feet dry - if using leather boots, use ‘Snowseal’ on your boots 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 Mt Beauty Scout Hall on Saturday morning. Guess the likely blister zones e.g. 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 Mt Beauty the Friday night before our party begins. We then ski into the Chalet on Saturday morning (day may vary for half weeks).

Note: For the 2022 season we be staying in the Mt Beauty Scout Hall on the first night (rather than Tawonga as in the past).

Getting to Mount Beauty

Transport to Mount Beauty – It is each Winter Party member’s responsibility for their own transport to Mount Beauty. Contact your party leader and attend the briefing night to arrange transport and carpooling. Your accommodation is at the Mt Beauty Scout Hall. (Not Tawonga for the 2022 season.) 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.

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. 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.

Food and pantry info

During winter we carry some fresh food in to the Chalet (meat and vegetables), but then primarily eat food from the communal pantry.

The pantry needs to last the whole winter, so every party can only use their share. This is managed by the Quartermaster for the week.

To assist those with specific dietary needs we have a list of all the items in the pantry - including their ingredient list - available for download here. Note this is the 2023 list.

Download the list.

More info

You can always contact us:

Bogong Rover Chalet logo

We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land on which we reside. We pay our respects to their Elders, past and present, and the Aboriginal Elders of other communities.