MTB summit

the Australian Mountain Bike Summit

You are invited to the inaugural Australian Mountain Bike Summit hosted at Mt Buller on 4-5 December 2014. This conference is dedicated exclusively to mountain biking, covering issues, emerging trends and opportunities relevant to this industry.

Topics that will be covered include:

  • - Industry best practice trails and emerging trail trends
  • - Trail advocacy and land management
  • - The current state of the Australian mountain bike market and future trends
  • - Industry development
  • - Developing sustainable trail funding models
  • - Mountain bikes and the media
  • - Industry issues and required actions
  • - Trail building: new products, techniques and supplies
  • - Securing or developing successful mountain bike events
  • - The future role and strategy of Mountain Bike Australia

Over 20 industry experts from Australia and abroad will deliver a range of keynote addresses, workshops and breakout sessions that will allow you to hear from the specialists, share ideas and ask questions in a collaborative environment. There will also be plenty of time for networking, socialising and
– most importantly – riding bikes.

Register by 31 October and enjoy a 10% early bird discount!

Australian Alpine Epic Launch

This critical industry event coincides with the 6 December launch of the Australian Alpine Epic – the first IMBA accredited trail in the Southern Hemisphere, offering a breathtaking 40km backcountry ride experience.

For more information, visit bikebuller.com.au or email summit@mtbuller.com.au

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uranium mining in the Victorian Alps?

Now, here’s a serious blast from the past (apologies for the bad pun). While looking through some old files I found an article from 1978 from the Friends of the Earth (FoE) magazine, Chain Reaction (number 4(1), 1978) about the threat of uranium mining in the Victorian Alps.

Back in the mid 1970s, a German company called Urangesellschaft had exploration rights to a very large area of the Alps, from near Tolmie near Mansfield, right down almost as far as Bairnsdale. They had a total of almost 6,000 square kilometres of land under license and this included the Avon wilderness area and large sections of the Wonnangatta valley.

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The final frontier: women in ski films

Pretty Faces. An all female ski film.

We all know that women are radically under represented in skiing and boarding films. I remember posting a trailer for a film once and a friend commented “where are all the women? At home minding the kids?”. Harsh but fair. Each season brings a new round of films, but women continue to be an absolute minority in both resort and backcountry orientated films.

That is why this new production is so inspiring. Pretty Faces is “a film celebrating women who thrive in the snow”.

The film’s producers point out that women make up around 40% of the skiing population and 30% of the people watching adventure sports films. Yet only 14% of athletes in major ski films were female in this years releases. “Additionally, last season’s 14% was record female representation, up from 9% the previous season”.

The concept for the film came from professional big mountain skier and SheJumps co-founder, Lynsey Dyer. SheJumps encourages the participation of women in outdoor activities. Lynsey wanted to produce a film that gave “women and girls, young and old, a source of inspiration through a unique look at what is possible when boundaries are broken, dreams captured and friendships cultivated”.

In Lynsey’s words “I wanted to give young girls something positive to look up to…I wanted to give them their Blizzard of Ahhs, Ski Movie or High Life, but done in a way that also shows the elegance, grace, community and style that is unique to women in the mountains.”

“We see this as an opportunity to provide an inspiring documentary ski film told from a female’s perspective to connect with and celebrate skiing’s female population”.

“Although skiing is the focus of the film, we hope to showcase women’s on-hill success–from professional skiers to recreational enthusiasts–to inspire girls of all ages to pursue their dreams, walk the path less traveled, and reach their fullest potential, whatever path they choose”.

I haven’t seen the film as yet. Apart from loving the fact it aims to showcase the talents of women, I also appreciate that making the film was a collaborative process. The people behind the project did a call out for contributions: This isn’t just a project for “big-names” in the sport. We are looking for women old and young, talented and hard working, from all backgrounds to contribute to this project. Footage that oozes excitement, passion, authenticity and hard work will be considered for inclusion in the film”.

You can see the trailer here.

The film will be available for purchase shortly. Check the website for details.

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the Dinner Plain Clean Energy Initiative

The Dinner Plain Clean Energy Initiative is a great new program. It aims to offer cheaper, pollution free electricity generated from renewable sources, as well as new technology alternatives to replace antiquated, polluting and expensive gas heating and hot water systems.

You can switch your electricity supplier here.

For every person that switches, Powershop will make a donation to the DP Community Energy project. You can also switch your Melbourne home using the above link to support the DP Community.

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The Little Things boarding film launched

“We live in remarkable times. What is done, or isn’t done, in the next few years will determine the future”

- David Suzuki

“We need people to fall in love with the outdoors. Without that personal connection with nature it’s hard to get them to protect it”

- Jeremy Jones

Legendary snow boarder Jeremy Jones and environmentalist David Sukuki provide the narrative to the film The Little Things, which has just been released.

The Little Things is a snowboard movie project based on “environmentally conscious riders who are inspirational through their riding, as well as their sustainable ways of living and thinking”.

1233966_447889521993325_1612016137_nThe film is an initiative taken on by professional snowboarder Marie-France Roy and directed by Filmmaker Darcy Turenne in which all the riders are bringing to life the importance of protecting and living in balance with our environment.

100% of the proceeds from the film will be donated to Protect Our Winters (POW) and The David Suzuki Foundation (DSF). The film makers say that “the goal is to bring snowboarding one step ahead, while inspiring positive change that will secure the same lifestyle and quality of life that we have for future generations”.

You can see the trailer (and buy the film) here

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Join the 2014/2015 Falls Creek Hawkweed Volunteer Program

Hawkweeds are a highly invasive pest plant species which can cause major environmental damage in alpine and sub-alpine areas of Australia if not eradicated early. Native to Europe, Hawkweeds have recently become naturalised on mainland Australia. Hawkweeds spread quickly via runners and roots, forming dense mats inhibiting and outcompeting native vegetation.

For several years, Parks Victoria has co-ordinated volunteer teams each summer to remove Hawkweed on the Bogong High Plains.

Volunteer recruitment is now open for the 2014/2015 season Falls Creek Hawkweed Survey. Participating in the Falls Creek Volunteer surveys is a great way to help protect the Victorian Alps from this dangerous weed, as well as a fantastic opportunity to enjoy the magnificent alpine environment during the green summer months.

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superb country. In the saddle below Forty Lake Peaks, looking towards Mt Ironstone

Old foes team up to preserve Higgs Track

This story by Hilary Burden from The Guardian describes some work being done to restore the famous Higgs Track, which climbs through the Great Western Tiers, across Tasmania’s Central Plateau, towards the Walls of Jerusalem. The context is how people from across the land use divide are finding ways to work together.

The Mountain Huts Preservation Society is collaborating with the NGO Environment Tasmania.

The article says:

“Historically, Mountain Huts and green groups such as Environment Tasmania have been foes, ever since the nationwide environmental movement encouraged the removal of mountain huts. Twenty or 30 years ago, manmade sites of historic significance to local communities in Australia’s high country were deemed to clash with a vision of a totally pristine wilderness.

But times have moved on, the Higgs Track is now part of the World Heritage Area, and the former foes are working together to build a bridge” (in this case a literal one, a bridge over a stream).

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Ski Resort Installing Solar Array

Mountain Journal has previously reported on the sustainability initiatives of Mt. Abram ski area in the USA. They have recently substantially deepened their direct investment in renewable energy.

This report comes from NECN news.

A western Maine ski resort is installing an 803-panel solar array it says should eventually provide 70 percent of the resort’s annual electricity needs.

Jamie Schectman, the marketing director of Mt. Abram ski area in Greenwood, says the project is expected to produce more than 280,000 kilowatt hours annually.

Part of the project will be paid with up to $235,000 from a 25 percent matching grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Energy for America Program.

The Sun Journal reports that the total cost of the project is expected to be less than $1 million.

Mt. Abram co-owner Matt Hancock said the solar project “continues the advancement of our clean energy game plan – utilizing abundant, local and readily available resources wherever and whenever possible.”

You can read more about the sustainability initiatives at Mt Abram here.

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the Great Forest National Park

The Great Forest National Park (GFNP) proposal is a vision for a multi-tiered park system for bush users and bush lovers alike, on Melbourne’s doorstep.

It is a park that will protect and maintain important ecosystem functions critical for the health and well being of all Victorians. The proposal intends to amalgamate a group of smaller parks and add a recreational and ecosystem management plan overlay. The GFNP’s gateway in Healesville is only 60 kilometres from Melbourne’s MCG and stretches from Kinglake through to the Baw Baws and north-east up to Eildon. The proposal is backed by 30 years of research from Laureate Professor David Lindenmayer AO and his team from the Australian National University. The Park proposal adds approximately 355,000 hectares to the current 165,000 hectares in reserve. This will bring Melbourne up to a little over 500,000 hectares of reserve, nearly half the size of Sydney’s reserve system. It is an ambitious project that is gaining momentum by the day.

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Environment, news, culture from the Australian Alps

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