Be prepared and stay safe in the snow
Wednesday 9 June, 2021
Visitors to the Alpine and Mount Buffalo National Parks are encouraged to be prepared and stay safe during the winter season.
Whether snow playing, camping, hiking, driving or backcountry skiing, it is important to understand the risks associated with the Alpine environment in winter.
Dramatic weather changes are common and should not be underestimated when planning a winter trip. Visitors must be well prepared for sudden changes in conditions and remain alert to hazards including unstable snow, steep icy slopes, avalanches and extreme weather.
A daily conditions update for Mount Buffalo National Park will be available at www.ski.com.au.
Parks Victoria will be enforcing visitor capacity limits at Mount Buffalo National Park to prevent overcrowding and ensure visitor safety. Check the webpage for the latest information about conditions and closures, www.parks.vic.gov.au/places-to-see/parks/mount-buffalo-national-park.
Visitors to the Alpine National Park, especially those visiting the higher elevation areas of Mount Bogong and Mount Feathertop, are likely to encounter a range of hazards each winter including unstable and deep snow; steep icy slopes; cornice formation; avalanches; and, extreme weather. Visitors need to be prepared and experienced to manage these hazards.
Parks Victoria recommends these basic preparations to stay safe this winter:
- Check park conditions: Visit the specific park page at www.parks.vic.gov.au or call 13 1963.
- Prepare for the weather: Check www.bom.gov.au or download the BoM app for forecasts, conditions in the Alpine areas can change rapidly.
- Obey signage: Whether on the roads or in the parks, signs are there to keep you safe.
- Carry snow chains and check road conditions: Visit traffic.vicroads.vic.gov.au.
- Stay in touch: Let friends or family know your plans. Avoid traveling alone and remember that phone reception may be limited.
- Pack the right gear: Protective clothing, appropriate footwear, plenty of water, extra food, wilderness first aid kit, map, compass and GPS.
- Check backcountry conditions: the Mountain Safety Collective (MSC) website is a reliable source of information and reporting of backcountry conditions.
- Huts in the Alpine area: Huts are for emergency shelter/refuge only.
- In an emergency: Call Triple Zero (000). Be aware you may travel out of phone range.
- Note seasonal road closures: Most take effect from Thursday 17 June 2021, after Queen’s Birthday weekend. Check www.ffm.vic.gov.au/visiting-state-forests/forest-and-road-closures.
Before you visit any of Victoria's parks, make sure you know the latest information and follow the current public health measures. Find out more at coronavirus.vic.gov.au.
Quotes attributable to Julien Atherstone, Area Chief Ranger, Parks Victoria:
“Victoria’s stunning alpine regions are a great place to visit over winter, offering fun activities for everyone to enjoy.
Everyone has a role to play in ensuring visitor safety. Please prepare for your visit by checking the weather forecast, bringing the right gear and letting someone know your plans.
Mount Buffalo is a popular spot and we encourage visitors to head up early in the day, to avoid being turned away.”
High resolution images available to download here: https://spaces.hightail.com/space/MIZWAUVKyR