Behind The Scenes – 36° South

by Christopher Wills

Behind The Scenes – 36° South

The very cool 36° South is a film about the Australian alps and what it has to offer those chasing the ultimate pow ride down under. Go behind the scenes to learn more about the adventure-loving crew of four - lead by doco producers Christopher Wills and Tim van der Krogt - who spent 15 days exploring three of Australia's alpine regions for the steepest and sickest terrain to hit.

Short Synopsis

A group of riders embark on a journey to find the biggest lines that the Australian backcountry has to offer. Powered by foot alone they search and ride everything from big alpine lines to playful open bowls. The film follows the riders and the media crew as they explore three of Australia's premier backcountry skiing destinations, camping along the way through unique Australian alpine ecosystems. They explore zones in the states of Victoria and New South Wales, showcasing the expanse that is the Australian alps. Bagging summits and riding playful lines.

The film concludes with a summary of what was achieved: expectations vs reality. We then discuss and promote the accessibility of backcountry travel, the need to respect the environment we play in and the importance of avalanche education.

Christopher Wills and Tim van der Krogt in the mountains powered by foot
Stoke of a snowy mountain

Powered by foot (left), and stoke (right). (Images courtesy of Aaron Dickfos)

Location Listings

Kosciuszko National Park/Watson's Crag (NSW)

Kosciuszko National Park is located near the town of Jindabyne. The resorts of Perisher and Thredbo both lie within the park however most of the park is made up of rugged mountains and wilderness, the perfect playground for skiing and splitboarding. Watson's Crags is a zone that lies within the park, it is home to some of Australia's steeper and more extreme lines, and is best skied from a base camp high on the main range.

Mt Feathertop (VIC)

Mt Feathertop is one of the most iconic peaks in the Australian Alps, it has a strongly defined sharp summit ridge rather than rounded like many nearby peaks. It is accessible from Mt Hotham Alpine Resort and is serviced by multiple huts and sheltered camping spots. We spent five days camping and exploring this location.

Mount Bogong (VIC)

Mount Bogong is the highest peak in Victoria and is a popular spot for spring touring. It is serviced by multiple huts and provides access to a wide variety of terrain from more mellow tree-line slopes to alpine gullies and open bowls. It's an excellent location for more playful riding and receives a particularly high annual snowfall.

At the peak of a snow mountain in the midst of clouds
Sunrise on the snow mountains

Epic locations and landscapes. (Images courtesy of Aaron Dickfos)

Meet The Crew

Aaron Dickfos - Adventure Photographer

  • From: Melbourne, Australia
  • Based: Jindabyne, Australia
  • Follow: @expedimage

Growing up in Melbourne, Aaron spent his early adult life becoming a certified builder and project manager before launching his own successful company. It wasn't long until the allure of adventure led him to move on from the daily grind. He packed it all up and got on the road travelling all around Australia, climbing peaks in the Himalayas and riding pow in BC. The beauty of the environment inspired Aaron to pick up a camera and he's never looked back.

These days he works as a professional photographer, splitting his time between commercial projects and adventure photography. Aaron has an incredible work ethic and this, combined with his skill as an outdoorsman, ensures that he goes to ridiculous lengths to 'get the shot'. On this trip it was normal for Aaron to hike alone for hours, bushwacking and scaling cliffs to get in position for a picture or unique film angle. Away from this, Aaron enjoys taking the leg off a chair and eating sweets.

Tim van der Krogt - Snowboarder

  • From: Big White, BC, Canada
  • Based: Revelstoke, BC, Canada
  • Follow: @carve_invader

Tim is a Canadian/Australian snowboarder and mountaineer based in Revelstoke BC. He spent his life growing up around the mountains and has snowboarded around the world. He spends his winters competing in freeride competitions and filming. He is an all-round snowboarder who incorporates freestyle elements, technical lines and mountaineering skills into his riding. The 26-year-old has been profiled by Backcountry Magazine and noted as a rider to watch: 'At 25, Tim van der Krogt has achieved more than most splitboarders twice his age' (Backcountry Mag, 2022).

Away from the snow, Tim spends his time song writing, performing gigs and writing satire. He has worked as a journalist and just recently completed his helicopter pilot license. He also has a strange and unusual obsession with Formula 1 racing and drinking flavoured yet unsweetened carbonated water.

Divya Gordon - Filmmaker

  • From: Sydney, Australia
  • Based: Jindabyne, Australia (or wherever the next adventure takes her van…)
  • Follow: @divyagordonfilm

Divya is a self-taught documentary filmmaker from Sydney Australia. From the heights of Federation Peak to the depths of the Coral Sea, she is passionate about adventuring and feels even more strongly about telling stories from the communities and places that have impacted her life.

Taking all her education through practical experience, some highlights of her career include filming and starring in a sailing TV series, 'Bluewater Safari,' viewable now on SBS On Demand and the recent release of her short film 'Seven 7 Seven.'

Christopher Wills - School Teacher & Ski Bum

Chris is a ski mountaineer from Melbourne, currently based in Revelstoke, BC. He grew up on the end of a rope, with a dad whose idea of family day was multi-pitch trad climbing.

Chris works as a high school teacher who secretly crushes on weekends. Between ski touring, climbing, running 80km/week and mountaineering, it's a wonder he has time for a teaching job in the first place. Chris' hyperactivity levels and short attention span ensured that he was a total nightmare to be stuck in a tent or a hut for days on end waiting for good skiing weather on this trip.

Aaron Dickfos
Tim van der Krogt
Divya Gordon
Christopher Wills

The crew: Aaron, Tim, Divya, Chris. (Images courtesy of Aaron Dickfos)

Photo Credits

All images supplied by:

Aaron Dickfos




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