Annual General Meeting (AGM) – Tuesday 18th May

The BNSC Annual General Meeting (AGM) will be held at 7:30 pm on Tuesday 18th May 2021 at the Mount Beauty Auditorium at the Information Centre.

Members will be able to attend the meeting online using the Zoom Video Conferencing application or attend in person.  A quorum for the AGM requires at least 25 members to be present either in person/Zoom or by proxy.


To attend via Zoom, email the secretary <secretary@birkebeiner.org.au>by 5:00 pm Monday 17th May indicating your intention to join the meeting. You will then be emailed the invitation. 

CHANGES TO BNSC CONSTITUTION – A number of Special Resolutions will be tabled at the AGM to make changes to the BNSC Constitution.  Click [HERE] to read the proposed changes and the background behind them. Click [HERE] to read the DRAFT BNSC Constitution – May 2021.

MEETING REPORTS — Reports on the past year’s activities come from the following: President, Treasurer, race committee, junior committee, membership secretary, clubhouse steward, social secretary and search & rescue coordinator. 

NOMINATIONS — If you are interested in an executive position or ordinary committee role please complete a Nomination FormClick [HERE]. The Form is in Word format so it can be downloaded, filled in and emailed to <secretary@birkebeiner.org.au> by 5:00 pm Monday 17th May. Alternatively, a form can be downloaded, printed off, filled in and mailed to Birkebeiner Nordic Ski Club, PO Box 192, Mount Beauty 3699. The club also has a number of sub-committees i.e. race, junior, clubhouse and search & rescue. If you would like to assist with one of these please indicate your interest on the form.

VIEW AGENDA – Click [HERE]

VIEW THE 2020 AGM MINUTES — Click [HERE]

Proxy voting: A member may appoint another member as his or her proxy to vote and speak on his or her behalf at the AGM. This must be in writing and signed by the member who is appointing the proxy. Click [HERE] to download a Form in Word Format. Email it to the secretary by 5:00 pm Monday 17th May. The form can also be handed to the secretary prior to the start of the AGM.

The club relies on volunteers so please have a think about how
you can contribute the club in 2021/22. 

Posted in Meetings | Comments Off on Annual General Meeting (AGM) – Tuesday 18th May

Further Ski Instructor Employment Opportunities, Roller Ski Series update & Mt Beauty Running Festival entries open

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Mt. Stirling Nordic Ski Hire & Ski School – instructors needed

Good afternoon Ronice

My name is Craig Jones, director of Stirling Experience Pty Ltd, commercial operators of the Mt. Stirling Nordic Ski Hire and Ski School. 

I am searching for Nordic Ski School Instructors for the upcoming ski season.

Our Ski School would normally employ 5 qualified (APSI Level 2 equivalent) international Cross Country Instructors through our association with OÜ Suusakool, an Estonian Nordic Ski School operated by one of our former Staff Members and Estonian Nordic Ski Coach Vahur Teppan. Our association extends back for around 10 years and now with the onset of the Covid-19 Pandemic, we are unable to bring staff from Estonia to work for us this season and we are experiencing difficulty locating suitably qualified local Nordic Instructors.

The Birkebeiner Nordic Ski Club has a reputation as one of the leading Clubs within our sport, operating training squads and organising cross country events and competitions including the Kangaroo Hoppet, our country’s premier cross country ski event and one in which my Estonian crew has really enjoyed competing during past seasons. My hope is that within the membership of your club and their contacts with the cross country skier community, you may be able to assist Stirling Experience to advertise our 2021 seasonal full-time job opportunities for nordic instructors within our ski school and assist us to build a competent and fun-filled instructor team for this season.

Stirling Experience employs our instructors at a pay rate of $225.00 per day, we supply a uniform and all ski equipment. Staff accommodation and daily mountain transport is available on our farm at the base of the mountain. Our core season commences with the second term school holidays and continues through to early September. Full-time staff can expect to work at least five days per week and a ski school familiarisation and training program will be conducted by Kati Tammjarv at the season commencement. 

Complete details are available on our web site at www.stirlingexperience.com.au/our-mountain/employment

Any assistance that the Birkebeiner Nordic Ski Club might be able to offer to locate suitable candidates would be much appreciated. 

Kind Regards
Craig Jones  


Ski instructors needed for Falls Creek Cross Country / Windy Corner

Falls Creek Cross Country is seeking instructors for the 2021 ski season.

Full and part-time positions are available. You would also be expected to help in our ski hire and retail departments as needed.

We have positions available for new and experienced instructors particularly instructors with experience in intermediate to advanced techniques in classic and skating. 

Falls Creek Cross Country is a YMCA facility consequently, all staff will need police checks and a working with children permit.

This would be a great opportunity for someone wanting to ski a lot, work on their skiing and teaching skills and join a great team of passionate xc skiers. 

For more details or to apply please contact: Andrew HallEmail <fallscreekxc@ymca.org.au> or mobile: 0403213634.


Snow Australia Rollerski SERIES

With just ten days to go before the 2021 Australian Rollerski Championships, more than 30 participants have already registered, with around double that number expected to take part on the day.

The event will be held at Stromlo Park, in Canberra over the April 10-11 weekend, with Sprint events on Saturday and Junior Mass Start, FIS/Open/Masters distance events on Sunday. Registrations are still open at https://www.snow.org.au/events/92489/ and will close on Wednesday 7 April. 

Regarding the other races in the 2021 Snow Australia Rollerski Series, new dates in May are being considered for the postponed  Jindabyne Rollerski Challenge, originally scheduled in March.

The North-East Rollerski Challenge in Wodonga on April 24 is confirmed and registration is open at https://www.snow.org.au/events/94105/. The Yarra Bend Rollerski International in Melbourne on May 29/30 is also confirmed, with registration available at https://www.snow.org.au/events/97001/.

Please visit the <www.AUSXC.com> website for more details on the SERIES and to view the 2021 National Race Calendar

Mount Beauty Running Festival — Sat 15th May 2021

Celebrate our 40th anniversary

This is one of Australia’s most scenic foot races with an emphasis on fun for all the family. 

For the first time the Mount Beauty Running Festival has included a 14 km trail run through some of the iconic trails in the area.  The Half Marathon event, 10 km and 3km events have remained unchanged. 

Separate starts will take place at 10:00 am (21km), 10:05 a.m. (14km – Trail Run), 10:10am (10km) and 10:15am (3km).

Where: MBSC oval, Pool Road Mt Beauty Vic 3699 Australia.

  • 3km course is a flat track around Mt Beauty Pondage, with no road crossings – ideal for children and prams.
  • 10km course is a scenic out and back route along the undulating Damms Road at the base of Mt. Bogong.
  • 21km Half Marathon course follows the 10km route but continues further up Mountain Creek Road towards Mt. Bogong.
  • 14km Trail Run heads off-road and into the national park. It involves a scenic up and down course on single tracks and has a river crossing (so you will get your feet wet!). Read more about the Trail Run

Autumn is the perfect time for running in the North East, and we invite you to enjoy it with us!

The event is organised by Kangaroo Hoppet Inc.

To Enter visit <https://alpinetiming.com.au/rg207>


FIS World Cup Winners 2020/21


Posted in Events, Information, Instruction & Lessons | Comments Off on Further Ski Instructor Employment Opportunities, Roller Ski Series update & Mt Beauty Running Festival entries open

Birkie Junior Team – Alpine Resort Reform – Ski Instructor Employment Opportunity – Roller Ski Races

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2021 Birkie Junior Ski Team

Birkie Juniors getting the best instruction from club Olympian Casey Wright

For Grade 4 to Year 12 students, from intermediate to advanced cross country skiers.

The purpose of the 2021 Birkie Junior Ski Team is to assist junior skiers in learning more about cross country ski training and racing.  We are hoping that some team members will be able to compete in 2021 junior XC ski race competitions, such as Interschools and State and National-level races.

The Birkie Junior Ski Team is an innovation of the BNSC.  This year’s team coordinators are club members Paul Gray (2 x Winter Olympian), Tim Retchford (past National Team member) and Kate Duggan (active local skier).  Paul and Tim have extensive experience as elite athletes and coaches, and Kate is the team super-organiser and motivator.  Additional coaches may also assist, depending upon team size, including club members Esther Bottomly (3 x Winter Olympian) and Nick Blackwell (current National Team member).

The sessions will mostly target skill development on rollerskis.  Please note: No prior roller ski experience is necessary.  The BNSC will provide rollerskis for use during the training sessions.  Activities will include agility courses, specific technique development, time trials, relays and ball games on roller skis.  We may also do non-roller skiing activities including running (with poles) and circuit training.

WHEN: Training commences Monday 19th April 2021 — 4:15 pm to 5:15 pm. Sessions will take place once a week during Term 2 on Monday afternoons.

WHERE: Meet at 4pm at Mount Beauty Secondary College outside the ski room.

WHAT TO BRING:

  • Protective pads (knee, elbow, wrist)
  • Ski boots (if they are compatible with Salomon bindings)
  • Helmet 
  • Ski poles
  • Gloves
  • Water bottle

COST: FREE for BNSC team members.

There is no cost to be a member of the team however all athletes must be current financial members of the BNSC.  Junior membership is $25/year.  Follow the link for membership portal.  

ALL ENQUIRIES: Tim Retchford 0401 321 665, Paul Gray 0403 188 481, Kate Duggan 0420 515 712. 


Alpine Resort Reform

Dear Falls Creek stakeholder,

I write to advise that the Falls Creek Alpine Resort Management Board has been notified by the Hon. Lily D’Ambrosio MP, Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, of the Victorian Government’s intention to merge the four existing Alpine Resort Management Boards (ARMBs), Falls Creek ARMB, Mount Hotham ARMB, Mount Buller and Mount Stirling ARMB and the Southern ARMB, into a new statutory body corporate to be known as Alpine Resorts Victoria. This follows a call for change from industry and sector stakeholders.

Yours sincerely

Jo Shannon
Board Chair

Press Release


Snow Australia Rollerski SERIES

Please visit the <www.AUSXC.com> website for more details on the SERIES and to view the 2021 National Race Calendar

Ski instructors needed for Falls Creek Cross Country / Windy Corner

Falls Creek Cross Country is seeking instructors for the 2021 ski season.

Full and part-time positions are available. You would also be expected to help in our ski hire and retail departments as needed.

We have positions available for new and experienced instructors particularly instructors with experience in intermediate to advanced techniques in classic and skating. 

Falls Creek Cross Country is a YMCA facility consequently, all staff will need police checks and a working with children permit.

This would be a great opportunity for someone wanting to ski a lot, work on their skiing and teaching skills and join a great team of passionate xc skiers. 

For more details or to apply please contact: Andrew HallEmail <fallscreekxc@ymca.org.au> or mobile: 0403213634.


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Falls Creek Resort Entry — Early Bird

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2021 Resort Entry Early Bird Sale

A Resort Entry Season Permit allows unlimited access for your vehicle to Falls Creek Resort, all season.

We’re keeping the Early Bird price at $375, and if you purchase your Permit before 5pm on 29 March you can opt to pay a $99 deposit with the balance payable on 15 April.

If you miss the 29 March deadline, never fear, the Early Bird price is available until 5pm on 15 April. The deposit option will not be available after 29 March.

$375 Vehicle Permit – $99* upfront

$325 Vehicle Permit for Over 65’s – $99* upfront 

The Alpine Resort Coordinating Council have confirmed there will not be an All Resorts Season Pass available in 2021. We understand this may be disappointing news to some of our pass (permit) holders and we apologise for this product not being available in 2021.


Macpac Invitation — Tuesday 16th March – Preston Vic

You’re invited to an exclusive night with Macpac to celebrate volunteering

To acknowledge the amazing contribution of volunteers across the Parks Victoria estate, we invite you to register your interest in an exclusive night of specialist talks and in-store discounts.

Venue: Macpac Adventure Hub, Bell Street, Preston.
Map: https://goo.gl/maps/sX5hmJoJ35r8XoHX6

Date: Tuesday 16th March
Time: 6:45 pm (for 7:00pm start) – 8:45 pm

Join us and hear from Parks Victoria and Macpac representa8ves, including our park rangers as we learn more about parks and protected areas, the partnership between Macpac and its Junior Ranger program. We will also hear some first- hand experiences from volunteers.

There will then be an opportunity to browse and purchase from the store with an exclusive in-store volunteer discount on a large selection of Macpac and other branded merchandise. There is up to a 60% discount off the RRP of Macpac branded gear and apparel!

This exclusive offer is only available for 120 people so get in quick as spaces are limited.

To REGISTER click [HERE]


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Bellingham & Paul at World Championships

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2021 FIS Nordic Ski World Championships in Oberstdorf Germany

From left: Katarina Paul, Tuva Bygrave, Phil Bellingham, Seve de Campo & Mark Pollock

Australia will have five representatives at the World Championships from 23 February to 7 March 2021. Club members Phil Bellingham and Katarina Paul as well as Mark Pollock (Wang SC) and Seve de Campo. The team has a new addition with emerging 19-year old Tuva Bygrave (University of Alaska Anchorage), who is making her debut representing Australia at a major international competition. Paul will target the classic sprint, while Bygrave will race both sprint and distance events.

For a Team Update & Program Calendar click [HERE].

For more event-specific information and results visit the 2021 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships website Click [HERE] or follow the Australian Cross-Country Team on social media, @ausxc.

Both Phil and Katarina should be congratulated for having the dedication to continue to travel, train and race in these tough COVID-19 times. The club wishes both of you all the best.


Snow Australia Medal Recipients

Paul Gray showing fine technique – 1998 Olympic Winter Games Nagano Japan

Snow Australia has announced two more cross-country recipients of the Snow Australia Medal from the 1992 Winter Olympic Games in Albertville France. They are club member and two-time Olympian Paul Gray (1992 & 1998) and three-time Olympian Anthony Evans (1992, 1994 & 1998) of the Wangaratta & Cooma Ski Clubs.

Click [HERE] to read all about them on the club’s website Ski History page.


1st Snow Australia FIS Rollerski International held Feb 13th-14th

These were held at Stromlo Forest Park, Canberra. The finish of the men’s Sprint. Our own Nick Blackwell closest to the camera (2nd place). Nick was also 2nd in the 10 km distance event. Club member Ella Jackson finished 3rd in the women’s sprint and 5th in the distance event. Click [HERE] for a full report including results of sprint and distance events.

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XC News — Summer

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End of Season BBQ

The Club had good numbers (50) at its end of season BBQ held on the 28th November 2020 at the picnic area by the Lake. Thanks to Michelle Forrer and Elaine Thomas for organising.

The Gray clan were there in numbers
The Forrers and Derricks
Sanders and Leccardi families

Bushwalking Australia needs a CEO

Dear bushwalkers

Bushwalking Australia is seeking a volunteer part time executive officer.  If you are interested in finding out more about this position it is now live on Seek Volunteer. : https://www.volunteer.com.au/volunteering/159900/Executive-Officer

Kind regards

Colin Macdonald
Board President

Telephone:  0417 373 064
Email: colin@bushwalkingvictoria.org.au
Web:   www.bushwalkingvictoria.org.au


Snow Australia FIS Rollerski International – Feb 13th-14th

Stromlo Forest Park, Canberra. Click [HERE] for all details and Registration.

Action at last years Roller Ski Championships Canberra ACT

2021 FIS Nordic Ski World Championships in Oberstdorf Germany

Australia will have four representatives at the World Championships from 23 February to 7 March 2021. Club members Phil Bellingham and Katarina Paul as well as Mark Pollock (Wang SC) and Steve de Campo. National coach Valero Leccardi cannot be there due to COVID-19 restrictions but he has in place a wax technician, a coach, and a manager for the team. Click [HERE] for all details of the Championships.

Mark Pollock has written an article about the team’s program so far and what pre-Championship events are coming up. Click [HERE] to read.


2020 Hoppet – Do It your Way – Participation Summary


2021 Worldloppet Virtual Racing League

The Worldloppet Virtual Racing League – short, Virtual Racing – is our answer to these weird times! As the world federation for popular skiing, we have to face the fact, that COVID19 is changing our beloved sport and passion, at least for this upcoming season. We have to consider cancellations, travel restrictions, limitations etc. To face these possible problems, the race organizers came up with a new race format: The virtual races.

The Worldloppet Virtual Racing League is combining all the virtual race formats of Worldloppet Member Races to one league. We created a system similar to the well known Worldloppet Passport & Master system: Every athlete who completes 7 virtual races from 7 different countries achieves the title “Virtual Racer“. All available disciplines and distances are valid. This is not replacing the Worldloppet Master title and also not valid for the Worldloppet Passports, but it is an addition, to keep the popular skiing community together in times like these. It is also a once-in-a-lifetime-chance, to get a title, available only now.

Click [HERE] to find out all about it.

Click [HERE] to Register & Join the Virtual Racing League.

This from Worldloppet — During summer and autumn, we experienced the first virtual races. The Kangaroo Hoppet – Do It Your Way was a best practice example. Also, Ushuaialoppet, Merino Muster, and Fossavatnsgangan organized such a virtual event. And many more will follow.


Snow Australia Medal Recipients — past Para Olympians

Snow Australia has announced three more cross country recipients of the Snow Australia Medal from the 1980 and 1984 Para Winter Olympic Games. They are Peter Rickards and Kyrra Grunnsund (Geilo Norway 1980) and Rodney Mill (Innsbruck Austria 1984).

Click [HERE] to read all about them on the club’s website Ski History page.


To read all about this initiative click [HERE].

Posted in Events | Comments Off on XC News — Summer

November BBQ – It’s on this Sat 28th Nov 5 pm.

End of Season BBQ

The Birkie end of season BBQ will be held this year with a slight change to ensure we keep within the COVID-19 guidelines (hygiene, social distancing, masks AND no sharing of food this year).

  • When:    Saturday 28th November 2020
  • Where:   In the picnic area by the lake in Mount Beauty
  • Time:     From 5:00 pm

What to bring

We will provide the meat (and veggie burgers for those who prefer them), as well as bread and sauce.

You’ll need to bring your own chair, cutlery, plates, drinks and a small table. NOTEthis year due to COVID-19 protocols families and singles will need to BYO salad and a sweet. No sharing this year.

RSVP to Michelle Forrer  by Thursday 26th November.

EmailMichelle Forrer (vice president) <mishforrer@gmail.com> OR Mobile: 0417 206 672 (text only).

NOTE — The previous RSVP was to Elaine Thomas. Please ignore those details and contact Michelle Forrer as above.

As a courtesy, please let us know you will be coming and if you need vegetarian food (or else BYO meat!).  If you don’t reply, we’ll assume you are not coming so we don’t over order.  It also makes it easier to contact you if the weather necessitates a change of venue.

If you decide to come at the last minute, please bring your own meat!

We look forward to seeing you there.

Thank you


Posted in Events | Comments Off on November BBQ – It’s on this Sat 28th Nov 5 pm.

National XC News

XC Development Opportunities 2020/21

Action at last years Roller Ski Championships Canberra ACT

With international travel and events off the table for most athletes during the 2020-2021 northern hemisphere winter due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Snow Australia is providing more athlete development opportunities for the Australian summer. This includes both camps for junior athletes and rollerskiing events.

Snow Australia is seeking expressions of interest from junior cross country skiing athletes to be involved in training camps and other development activities over the coming summer. The dates and locations for the first of these camps are as follows:

  • December 5/6 – Mt Beauty (Victorian athletes only)
  • December 12/13 – Jindabyne Camp (NSW/ACT athletes only)

Expressions of interestClick this Google Form. Further camps and rollerskiing events will be held in 2021. Priority for these December camps will be given to athletes previously identified for AUSXC Emerging Talent camps and other athletes born between 2001-2006 demonstrating a professional attitude towards the sport (as evaluated from their EOIs).

Both camps will be led by the National Team Head Coach, Valerio Leccardi, with assistance from other leading Australian coaches and National Team athletes. Activities will likely include rollerskiing, ski striding, strength training and time trials. The preliminary cost for each these camps is $132 (less for athletes with Snow Australia XC Base membership).

All camps and activities will follow Snow Australia’s Covid-19 protocols. No accommodation/meals will be provided during the camps, and all individuals will need to make their own transport/accommodation arrangements.

Details of further camps from January to April will be made available at a later date, however we can already inform that plans are underway to conduct FIS rollerski races in Canberra on  January 17/18 and April 10/11.

Expressions of interest should be made by Friday, November 27. This EOI is applicable also for camps and activities in 2021 if athletes are unavailable for the December dates. A link for the December camp registration will be sent to suitable camp candidates after their EOIs have been evaluated.


International Event Statement

A statement on International Events and Travel from the Snow Australia Cross Country Committee (November 2020).

Click [HERE] to read all the details about the National XC Committees position on athlete overseas travel 2020/21. It’s important.


End of Season BBQ — a reminder

Saturday 28th November 2020 by the lake in Mount Beauty from 5:00 pm – RSVP to Elaine Thomas (social secretary) Email: <elainemt66@yahoo.com.au> or Mobile: 0429 380 408 (text) by Thursday 26th November. Look for details in an email to you on 10th November 2020.


Posted in Events | Comments Off on National XC News

November BBQ – It’s on…

End of Season BBQ

The Birkie end of season BBQ will be held this year with a slight change to ensure we keep within the COVID-19 guidelines. 

  • When:    Saturday 28th November 2020
  • Where:   In the picnic area by the lake in Mount Beauty
  • Time:     From 5:00 pm

What to bring

We will provide the meat (and veggie burgers for those who prefer them), as well as bread and sauce.

You’ll need to bring your own chair, cutlery, plates, drinks and a small table plus, for families, a salad and a sweet to share (singles and couples – please bring a salad OR a sweet to share).

RSVP to Elaine Thomas (social secretary) by Thursday 26th November.

Email: <elainemt66@yahoo.com.au> or Mobile: 0429 380 408 (text) or Michelle Forrer (vice president) <mishforrer@gmail.com>.

As a courtesy, please let us know you will be coming and if you need vegetarian food (or else BYO meat!).  If you don’t reply, we’ll assume you are not coming so we don’t over order.  It also makes it easier to contact you if the weather necessitates a change of venue.

If you decide to come at the last minute, please bring your own meat!

We look forward to seeing you there.

Thank you

Elaine (social secretary)


Snow Australia Medal Recipients – past Olympians

Snow Australia has just announced three more cross country recipients of the Snow Australia Medal from the 1984 and 1988 Winter Olympic Games. We have the club’s first winter Olympian from the 1988 Calgary Canada Games being recognised – Chris Heberle. Congratulations Chris.

The other recipients are Chris Allan – Sarajevo Yugoslavia 1984 and David Hislop – Sarajevo Yugoslavia 1984 & Calgary Canada 1988.

Click [HERE] to read all about them on the club’s website History page.


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Spring Happenings

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Late Snow at Falls Creek


Welcome to new members

The club would like to welcome all the below new members to the Birkie family for 2020/21. It appreciates your support and interest in joining for a year with really no benefits. See you on the snow in 2021.

  • Laidlaw family — Tawonga South
  • Germancheve/DiCristoforo family — Wattle Glen
  • Kelley/Lee family — Bright
  • Wurfel/Nyein family — Tawonga South
  • Greenhalgh family — Mount Beauty
  • Goodwin/Spinks family — Yackandandah
  • Aaron Knight — Mount Beauty (Search & Rescue)
  • Atila Kerestes — Mount Beauty (Search & Rescue)
  • Heather McFarlane – Melbourne

Birkie Bits by Nordic Ned

  • Clubhouse — the clubhouse is still closed until further notice.
  • Constitutional Review — thanks to the good work of our treasurer Jeanette Meaney the constitutional review is nearly completed. The changes will be communicated to members later in the year and a special general meeting held (via ZOOM) to vote on the changes.
  • Athletes still training — congratulations to our dedicated club athletes who are still training to improve fitness and technique and to maintain the hard-won gains for a future winter — local or overseas .. who knows?.
  • The Birkie Award (to replace the Ian Ryan Award) — watch this space for more developments.
  • FIS Sub-Committees for Women’s Cross Country Skiing — Club members Anna Trnka & Ronice Goebel have been nominated to be the Australian Reps on the FIS Sub-Committees for Women’s Cross Country Skiing and Youth and Children’s Questions respectively.

Kangaroo Hoppet Attracts Record Participants

The Australian and international skiing community rallied around the 2020 Kangaroo Hoppet, Australia’s international ski marathon, with 1901 participants from 37 nations taking part in the virtual “Do It Your Way” version of the event.

The Kangaroo Hoppet was scheduled for 22 August 2020. With Covid-19 restrictions on social gathering and international travel, the decision was made in April to replace the normal 42km, 21km and 7km cross country skiing events with a virtual version in which participants could take part in the event using an activity of their choice at any location over a three week period. 

The main aims of the virtual race were to maintain skiers interest in the event and to offer an exercise goal for people restricted by Covid-19 quarantine rules. 

With the support of our two major sponsors AGL and the Mount Beauty and District Community Bank the organising committee was able to implement their key strategies of keeping the entry fee as low as possible and offering a souvenir gift, as well as promoting the event through a dedicated Hoppet 2020 social media page, email, Worldloppet social media and international cross country skiing websites. With hindsight we can also identify ‘word of mouth’ as a very effective method of promotion not only in the local upper Kiewa Valley community with almost 400 ‘locals’ taking part, may of whom were either non skiers or alpine skiers, but also around the world through skiers sharing news of their involvement in the event via social media.

The response from both the international and domestic cross country skiing communities exceeded our expectations with the 1901 entries including 475 internationals and, with two enthusiasts completing their activity at research bases in Antarctica, the event reached all seven continents, which we believe is a world first.

Past event winners from Norway, Germany and the USA took part as well as local world champions in mogul skiing and mountain biking. Activities included running, walking, cycling, swimming, roller skiing, inline skating, paddling, canoeing, mountain biking, swimming, exercise machines, and, for the limited number of Australians with the opportunity to ski at Perisher and Falls Creek, (not to overlook ski tunnels in Finland and Norway), cross country skiing.

Feedback from participants to the organisers has been overwhelmingly supportive of the virtual edition of the event, with many Victorians in stage 3 and 4 lock-down saying how great it was to have something positive to work towards while living with coronavirus restrictions, while for international skiers it provided a unique opportunity to be part of the Kangaroo Hoppet. For the AUD$10 entry fee participants received a digital race number to print and display during their activity and a commemorative ‘buff’ neck tube, as well as the opportunity to upload their times, event details and photos onto the event results page. (AUD$10 is about €6). Entry of times and completion of distance was an honesty system. i.e. no proof was required.

Many participants, especially from the local community, have expressed interest in whether or not a similar virtual event might be offered in 2021 in conjunction with the real event. With Worldloppet investigating setting up a formal recognition of virtual activities associated with member nation’s events, all we can say is ‘watch this space’.

Photos, comments and video can be seen on Facebook page ‘Kangaroo Hoppet 2020 – Do It Your Way’ at https://www.facebook.com/groups/KangarooHoppet

Results and participant photos are at https://www.alpinetiming.com.au/results/r135/ 


Origins of the Kangaroo Hoppet Name

Such an important decision definitely needed a committee meeting (1990), no minutes were kept, but it went something like this. We need something Australian. Something to do with skiing. ‘Too hard .. let’s have a drink’.  Kangaroos are Australian. Kangaroos hop. Hopp is a word in Scandinavia meaning ski jump (or so some local linguistic expert claimed). Loppet is a Swedish word meaning bloody long ski race.  ‘Let us open another bottle of this excellent north-east Victorian red wine’. Kangaroo loppet ..  Kangaroo hop .. ‘Aargh! Someone go out and get another bottle’. Kangaroo Hoppet!


2020 Perisher Valley to Kiandra Crossing

The opportunity only arises about once every 2 – 3 years but given its enormity it’s probably a blessing in disguise. The ski from Perisher to Kiandra – the Crossing – is etched in Australian skiing history. Herbert Schlink and others made the first winter crossing of the Snowy Mountains in 1927 over a nearly a week. This was the first ‘Kiandra to Kosciuszko’ (‘Kosciuszko’ meaning Hotel Kosciuszko, or Sponars Chalet as it is today). They were caught in blizzards along the way, but thanks the huts they had specifically built in the summers prior they survived. 

In the 1960’s the idea of skiing across the Snowy Mountains, from Perisher rather than Sponars Chalet, to the historic town of Kiandra in a single day was born. The idea was to promote skiing in Australia. It probably wasn’t the greatest marketing idea ever developed, but it certainly set a benchmark in terms of Australia’s greatest long distance ski.

The first Crossing in a day was done by Kore Grunnsund and Otto Pinkas in 1963 in a time of 11 hours and 12 minutes. Their attempt 2 weeks earlier almost ended in disaster as they almost froze to death and had to spend the night in the open near Mt Tabletop. Other attempts are documented in Klaus Hueneke’s ‘Kiandra to Kosciuszko’ book, but efforts such as Robbie Kilpinen’s time of 8 hours and 11 minutes in 1964 and the jaw-dropping time of 6 hours and 18 minutes by Dave Hislop in 1985, which remains the ‘record’ today, are more than worthy of a mention. Click [HERE] to read three-time winter Olympian Anthony Evan’s account of his and Chris Darlington’s crossing on 1st September 2020 (scroll 1/2 way down the webpage). It wasn’t a bad time either! Note: you can also read David Hislop’s account of his Crossing at the same location.

From left: Chris Darlington and Anthony Evans. Two tired lads after skiing 81km in 6 hours and 55 minutes. This is the burnt-out Kiandra Courthouse (built in the 1880s) – the finish point of the K-K Crossing. Fortunately, it will be rebuilt in the coming years.

Looking Back

All Australian Birkebeiner Results 1979 to 1990

Maybe you or a friend skied in one of these eleven Birkebeiner races and would like to reflect on past performances or how you compared to so and so. Here is your opportunity. Click Birkie Past Results to view.


Roller Skiing

Rollerski Safety Best Practices & Current recommendations from the USST on rollerski safety.

The following is the roller ski safety protocol created by athletes and coaches of the U.S. Ski Team. Click [HERE]. The protocol applies to Aussie athletes as well. Please read and follow the recommendations. We don’t want a road fatality.

All together now…

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