Hoys stock a very modern fleet of metal and non-metal edged skis from the very best brands, Fischer, Rossignol, Madshus and Alpina. We use the NNN BC binding and Alpina 1550 boots. This is the best possible equipment whether you are just starting out on the groomed trails, or getting a bit of private backcountry touring in.
XC skiing is as easy or challenging as you want it to be. Whilst lessons are available, it is very easy to teach yourself to “walk on snow”. There are numerous trails (both groomed and ungroomed) offering varying degrees of challenges at both Mt Hotham and Dinner Plain. You can catch the free village bus to Wire Plain or just plod around the lodge precinct. A popular challenge is to ski from Hotham to Dinner Plain (13km), have lunch there and catch the free Dinner Plain bus back to Hotham. The majority of the journey is slightly downhill and takes about 3 hours.
Hoys are the only stockists of XC equipment at Mt Hotham and Dinner Plain. Equipment (including snowshoes) is available from all 3 on-mountain stores. We can organise a guided snowshoe shuffle from our Dinner Plain store.
Hoys customers are welcome to swap from their downhill skis or snowboards to XC skis (or snowshoes). If the lifted area is particularly windy often the XC trails are quite sheltered and an otherwise wasted day indoors can be enjoyed amongst the snowgums.
Hoys have FAT BIKES for rent at Hoys @ Jack Frost & Hoys Dinner Plain ski shop. Designed for snow riding - here is another fun activity that requires some energy but no lift ticket :)
How hard is XC skiing to learn?
It’s pretty easy although you will probably fall down a few times. The trick is to push with one pole whilst thrusting your opposite leg forward. Fairly soon you’ll find a natural rhythm which will enable you to cover ground quite quickly – typically you will slide a few feet for each “step” you take.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of metal edged skis?
Metal edged skis are easier to turn and stop, especially if the snow is icy. When venturing off the groomed trails metal edged skis make it easier to cut your own track. The downside is that the skis are heavier and have more friction with the snow meaning you will have to exert a little more energy to move forward. We find that when starting out XC skiing, metal edged skis are easier.
Do you stock children’s XC gear?
Yes. At our Dinner Plain and Jack Frost stores. Stocks at Hoys @ Jack Frost are limited so let us know what you need the day before and we’ll make sure we have it or we will get it in.
What are snowshoes for?
Snowshoes strap onto your boots to provide a wide surface area enabling a person to walk on soft snow without sinking. You are advised to wear waterproof footwear.
Snowshoes will enable you to explore off trail areas where beginner XC skiers may struggle. Your speed of travel however will be much slower.