Every now and then le ambassador Jake Sims (aka @australian_backcountry) climbs down from his perch atop the Kosciusko Main Range, collects a little cell service and drops us a line to let us know how his latest BC mission went down.
As predominantly sea level, office dwelling folk, it’s something we eagerly anticipate. We get to mind shred some lines, share them with you guys and plan our next backcountry strike mission depending on how the conditions are shaping up out there.
This week, Jake graced us with some gallery quality shots of the main range, during some admittedly less than quality snow conditions.
"This tour was classic Australian backcountry packed powder, aka solid ice." Said Jake.
"Almost every aspect was solid ice, even those in the sun, typical for this time of year out there. Due to the rain last week and the minimal snowfalls it’s also the least amount of snow I’ve ever seen for this time of year, but that’s about to change it seems."
Lots of green on the lower slopes of the Main Range...for now. Photo: Jake Sims
Jake and his crew were up there for two days, "The weather was perfect," he said.
"No wind and clear skies with a full moon. As we arrived back at the car we could see the clouds forming up in the distance."
"We had plans to ride Watson Crags but we soon realised that there wouldn’t be enough snow for that and even if there was it’d be solid ice and that’s not an exciting place to ride in bad conditions. So we changed plans on the way out to ride a couple of chutes and actually relax a little as we are always just go-go-go every time we tour. It was nice to take some time and actually soak in the views and enjoy the quiet rather than worrying about how many lines we could ride in a day. We still bagged a couple of really fun lines that got the heart rate up."
Slipping on Le socks with a view. There are certainly worse places to spend a night. Photo: Jake Sims
A little scale on the moonscape that is the roof of Oz. Photo: Jake Sims
Talk about a sunset. Photo: Jake Sims
As for whether Jake's noticed an influx of resort refugees taking to the backcountry this season, he said he's still yet to see any more traffic out there than any other year.
"There is always a few people camped closer to the resort areas and it was nice to see a fair few tents on the way out with people enjoying the space. Once out to where we camped we only saw one other group who are regular tele skiers out there who absolutely shred for a bunch of old fellas."
Looking more like October than early August. Photo: Jake Sims
Fortunately, up to a foot of snow has fallen since last weekend when these shots were taken and there's plenty more inbound. No one knows how much of a gift this will be more than Jake, "The backcountry needs this coming snowfall and more if we are to have a decent spring for touring."
"We need it badly, there isn’t much snow out there, it was almost like I was touring in the middle of October."
Clear skies while the high-pressure system presided over the alps last weekend. Photo: Jake Sims
A sneak peak of a new Light Snow Sock we sent Jake’s way for testing… Needless to say they passed with flying colours and are coming to market soon! Photo: Jake Sims
It's not just Jake's toes we look after on his long tours though, "I practically live in my Buddie Beanies, I’ve always got one on my noggin to keep it warm," he told us.
"The Balaclava 200 Lightweight is also a staple for me when touring, it’s great to keep the head warm and if I’m too hot I simply use it as a neck warmer."
Social distancing at its finest. Photo: Jake Sims
Erryn Reeder making the most of the low tide terrain on offer out there. Photo: Jake Sims
When asked if we'd run into him on the Main Range after this weekend's snowfall, Jake said, "I’d love to say I’ll be up there Tuesday but It’s always hard balancing work and family life while still trying to get out there. Erryn and I are always begging our respective partners for leave passes to get up there!"
"As soon as I get the green light I’ll be getting amongst it."