VCC Mountaineering Program 2016

news post 0There’s a whole magical world out there: mountain life! We want to give you an idea of what mountaineering is about, where its beauty lies and why it is so addictive. Like climbing on rocks, mountaineering is an activity requiring a mix of skills. In the past many successful rock-climbers like Brigitte Koch, Alex Honnold and our own Andrew Lock transitioned into the challenging world of snow and glacier-covered mountains.

The Idea

If you are interested in making the jump from the crags of Arapiles to the snowy summits, this is for you. This year the VCC is testing out a short Mountaineering Program. It’s a bit of preliminary step, on your way  across the ditch to do a Technical Mountaineering Course (TMC) or off to Nepal for some trekking peaks.

The program is broken into three sections. The first section is a mid-week info night (offered twice). The second section is a snow camping trip including some basic mountaineering skills (offered twice) and the third section is about using some of your new skills (offered only once with a backup date). Attending the Introductory Snow Trips is a prerequisite to attend the Mountain Experience Trips. It’s also strongly recommended to attend one of the info nights to register your interest and provide you with important information about preparing yourself for the alpine environment.

The Sections

1.     Info Night

a.      16th June @ Campari Housenews post 1

b.     23rd June @ Clifton Hill Brewpub

2.     Introductory Snow Trip @ Mt. Stirling, Lake Mountain, Bluff Hut or JB Plain Hut

a.     16th – 17th July

b.     30th – 31st July

3.     Basic Mountain Experience @ Mt Feathertop, Mt Bogong or Mt Buller West Ridge
Attending the Introductory Snow Trip is a prerequisite to attend this trip of the program.

a.     20th – 21st August

b.     Backup date: 3rd – 4th September

Since we want to make sure this is a safe program, you need to attend the previous section if you want to attend the next one. However given the first two sections are offered twice, you should be able to slip it into your schedule. And of course, you’re more than welcome to attend all events. If that’s not enough for you, there are also some optional trips you might want to check out:

Optional Practice Trips

Hiking and Mountain Preparation Trips
Simple overnight hikes to test your gear and fitness level as well as meet some new people.

a.    18th June @ Mt Macedon

b.    2nd – 3rd July @ Cathedral Ranges

Annual WinterCamp 2016

Remember the terrible weather we had on our snow trip last year? We neither! So we’re doing it again! This is a very basic and fun snow camping trip.

6th -7th August

Preferred Experience

This program is introduction an introduction to mountaineering and we want it to be accessible to a wider audience. However, we still ask for some experience to maintain safety and make the trip enjoyable for everyone.

●       Moderate level of aerobic fitness

●       Overnight hiking experience

●       Able to carry a 12-15 kg pack for 4 to 5 hours continuously

●       Some snow experience (skiing or boarding is fine).

If you’re worried about your level of experience, join one of the optional trips or contact one of the trip leaders.

The Trip Leaders

●       Philipp Hammes – the VCC tree monkey and a committee member – played for decades on self guided trips in the European Alps, including Mont Blanc on several occasions.

●       Mark Sokacic – first came across the mythical Mountains of the Moon on the edge of the Congo in Africa and vowed one day to learn how to climb them. Since 2002 he’s been climbing and exploring the high hills in New Zealand and hopefully soon further afield.

●       Anna Bolmat stumbled into mountaineering on a solo trip across Ladakh in 2009 and she swore that her foray up to 6000m would never be repeated. Fortunately for us, she has conveniently forgotten that resolution on many occasions and has now climbed peaks in Nepal, India, NZ, Europe and Alaska.

To some extent, snow and weather conditions will dictate the delivery of this program, so prepare to be flexible!

Contact Philipp to secure your place or get more information about the VCC Mountaineering Program.

Places are strictly limited.

Philipp Hammes         Mobile: +61 4 9049 1109         Email: