A Backcountry Retreat at Johnston’s Hut // Falls Creek (Vic)

Not far from the hustle and bustle of Falls Creek’s slopes sits a quaint little Alpine hut, surrounded by endless backcountry ski runs; Johnston’s Hut.


Highlights

  • The best backcountry hut the Victorian High Country has to offer in winter
  • Dozens of ski runs, all to yourself
  • An epic weekend for you and up to 9 other ski bums

The Lowdown

As you get amped to get up into the backcountry for an epic weekend of skiing don’t forget to pick up the hut key from Markwood that can be booked online for $75 per night.

As you roll into Falls Creek, hopefully your prayers to the weather gods have been answered because this will make your ski out to the hut all the more special. After crossing the Dam wall you climb up onto Heathy Spur and away from the crowded resort towards your own little slice of heaven.

Skiing down from the saddle at the base of Mt. Nelse you’ll see the hut tucked in amongst a beautiful patch of snow gums. On the inside, you’ll have access to a little kitchenette, lights, an oven, and most importantly a fireplace to keep you toasty all night. All these amenities run off a limited supply of gas and the firewood has to last the whole season so please do be conscious of how much you use.

Lachie Thomas Johnston's Hut Falls Creek Victoria snow skiing backcountry hut

With base camp established the slopes are all yours. Depending on what you’re after, there are many options. From the summit of Nelse there is a big cornice to hit for all the freestyle skiers out there, or decent runs for all you stylish telemarkers.

Otherwise, you can head over to Spion Kopje for some steeper runs that everyone at Falls Creek can see and be jealous of. You might even score some epic powder stashes on the southern slopes if you’re lucky.

At night the hut has 10 beds for you and all your friends to crash in after a big day on the slopes so no need to be exclusive on the invite list.

So go on, get out there and shred some gnar.

Essential Gear

  • Skis
  • Pack
  • First aid kit
  • Food for 2 days
  • Bogong High Plains Map
  • Hut Key

How To Get There

At 350km from Melbourne it takes approximately 5 hours to drive to the Falls Creek Alpine Resort. Follow the Hume Highway out of Melbourne before taking at the Great Alpine Road turnoff just after Glen Rowan. Follow this road to the small town of Ovens and take the Happy Valley Road across to the Kiewa Valley Highway that you follow through Mt. Beauty and up to Falls Creek.

For an overnight trip you will need to park in the long-term carparks, the closest is next to the toboggan slope adjacent to the Windy Corner carpark/shelter. Put your skis on at the trailhead above the toboggan slope and ski past the Nordic Bowl and over the Dam Wall.

Take the groomed trail over heathy spur and when you get to the furthermost point of the loop follow the snow poles towards Mt. Nelse. At the saddle before the final climb to Mt. Nelse a set of snow poles head right with a sign to Johnstons Hut.

From the saddle follow the snow poles for approximately 400m down into the snow gums which is where you will find the hut. Unlock the door and enter your cozy new temporary home.

Activities

  • Backcountry skiing
  • Sightseeing
  • Photography

Skill Level

Perfect for Intermediate-Expert skiers

Distance Covered/ Elevation Gain / Duration

Day 1

From the Falls Creek Long Term Carpark up to Johnstons Hut it is 14km and has 200m ascent and 50m descent

Day 2

From Johnstons Hut back to the car it is 14km with 50m ascent and 200m descent.


More hut adventures…

THE GREEN GULLY TRACK // HUT HIKING IN NORTHERN NSW

NIGHT MISSION // SCOTT-KILVERT HUT (TAS)

A ROOM WITH A VIEW // CRAIG’S HUT, MT STIRLING (VIC)