Mt Wellington. Image: The Mercury

‘The Mountain’ book launch tonight

Five years in the making, The Mountain is the first photographer’s monograph on Mt Wellington in nearly 20 years.

Mark Clemens has created a superb photographic collection highlighting the uniqueness of this wild place on Hobart’s back doorstep with a foreword by award winning Tasmanian novelist, Heather Rose.

A photographic evocation of the Mountain’s own intrinsic nature: it lets the Mountain have its own voice and tell its own story.

The Mountain is Hardback $49.95, and is printed in Hobart to the highest specs.

Part of the proceeds go to the Tasmanian Land Conservancy.

Reservation essential to:   or (03) 6234 3800


Follow The Mountain on


September 18, 2014 at 5:30pm – 6:30pm


Fullers Bookshop
131 Collins St
Hobart, Tasmania 7000


lady bath falls

getting more kids into the outdoors

Outdoors Victoria was established in 2012 as Victoria’s peak body for the outdoors community with a focus on advocacy.  Its purpose is to:

Build a valued and sustainable outdoor community for the benefit of the community and natural environment by enhancing, connecting, and advocating on behalf of outdoor education, outdoor recreation, outdoor therapy and nature based tourism.

Today they are launching their policy ‘asks’ for the Victorian state election.

Policy Priority 1 – Help kids get outdoors
Giving children better opportunities to learn and play in nature leads to lifelong improvements in their education, health and wellbeing outcomes.

Policy Priority 2 – Invest in the regional outdoor economy
Strategic investment in outdoors infrastructure and events, as well as ecosystem health, is a powerful driver of prosperity and wellbeing for regional Victoria.

Policy Priority 3 – Unlock the potential of the outdoor community
The full potential of commercial and community-based outdoor organisations can be realised through skills development, smarter regulation and research.

Full Policy Agenda

You can download a full copy of their policy agenda here and for more information please email them at


Climate change and the mountain environment. The denial continues

A few years ago I traveled with a Sherpa climber who had summited on Mt Everest many times, set some speed records, and even helped carry a statue of the Buddha to the summit. I remember him talking about how the mountain was becoming more dangerous because of global warming, with more exposed rocky sections and risk of ice fall.

Every year, as I wait for the season forecast, like other skiers and riders I hope for the best. A good year – like the one we just had – seems like a blessing when you consider what we know about climate change and the likely impacts on mountain environments world-wide in coming years. Climate change is coming and ignoring the science will not make it go away.

I find it remarkable that ski resorts in Australia, who by definition rely on good winter snow falls, have generally ignored the issue of global warming. I find it strange, and sad, that we have so few famous Australian skiers and riders willing to speak out on the issue. I look to the example of people like boarder Jeremy Jones, the inspiration of Protect Our Winters, and initiatives like The Little Things, 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.

So, lacking local leadership from the snow sports community and industry, we still need to look overseas for some inspiration. I thought these recent comments from alpinist Kitty Calhoun (lifted from the Patagonia Australia) blog were worth sharing.

“I’m here to tell a story about a Last Ascent. A route that I climbed, that may not get a repeat because of climate change. It’s hard to admit that the mountains are changing but they are. We may or may not be able to affect climate change, but I think we should at least try and I have a new approach.

We many not agree on what is causing climate change, but all can agree on the fact that it is occurring. Alpinists are like canaries in a coal mine in that we see changes that have occurred on the glaciers in our lifetime. These changes are evident not only far away in the Himalayas, but in our own back yards. Routes that my son may have dreamed of climbing are falling apart and no longer safe. I will highlight a few climbing objectives that I have done, that may not get a repeat ascent due to unsafe conditions brought by climate change. Climbers generally celebrate a first ascent of a route. The concept of doing a last ascent never occurred to the generation before me. Some argue that it is self-aggrandizing to think we could affect climate change, but I think it is worth a try.

My lifestyle of minimalism has been the key to my success in the mountains and I think it can provide a framework for interaction with our environment. Minimalism is not simply “doing without”, but a constant reassessment and focus on what is important. Alpinism and the more general concept of minimalism is a fundamental choice about the way we live – it is an attempt at a more “mindful” way of life. This attitude is critical to our relationship with the mountains and the earth”.


Australian backcountry film festival – Spring 2014

For the past four years, the backcountry film festival has been attracting good numbers of people, and has been showing in more locations across south eastern Australia.

It seems like it might be time to have our own festival – with films made in Australia.

At previous Melbourne shows, we have added a film about skiing and boarding on The Bluff (No Lift Lines Here), and this year saw OFF GRID, a new effort on Mt Bogong from SoO Airtime.

The plan is to hold an Australian backcountry film festival in late spring 2014 with only local content. There are some fantastic film makers out there, and we hope to be able to showcase some of these.

We are seeking expressions of interest from film makers who would like to submit films.

Any human and gravity powered backcountry adventure would be welcome: walking, skiing, boarding, MTBing, paddling, climbing, …

As this is an entirely volunteer effort, with no budget, we are not able to offer payment for showing the films.

Films can be in two length categories. We hope to show an hours worth of short films (3 to 7 minutes) then up to 2 longer films (30 – 40 minutes each).

At this point we are looking at doing a Melbourne showing, with the ability to offer the festival to other places once its packaged up. The aim is to do a low fuss mini film festival, so we’d appreciate getting the films in a format that allows us to put them onto a single dvd.

If you’re keen, please get in touch:

I would also love to hear from anyone keen to volunteer their skills to turn the individual films into a package and for help with logistics.

Mount Lawson summit. Image - Parks Victoria

New Wattle Species for Victoria

Parks Victoria reports that a species of wattle not previously found in Victoria has been discovered in the north east, in Mount Lawson State Park near the New South Wales border.

Acacia linearifolia is a wattle with very narrow, long and straightphyllodes or leaves. Local Parks Victoria Ranger Kelton Goyne discovered about six trees of this rare wattle in March this year when looking at planned burning options in the park.

Continue reading

the little things

The Little Things – getting closer

Mountain Journal has previously reported on this impressive film project. The Little Things  is a snowboard film featuring the “stories of riders who are inspiring for their environmentally sustainable initiatives and lifestyles”.

They have carried out a successful crowd funding project and have two trailers available. The following update comes from the producers.

Continue reading


Splitfest on this weekend

Just a reminder that the NSW Splitfest DownUnder will be held over this weekend (29th – 31st of August) in the NSW main range.
Register here.

We will be holding the Friday night entertainment at the Banjo Paterson Inn, starting @ 6pm.
1 Kosciuszko Road Jindabyne Snowy Mountains New South Wales 2627

There will be all the usual trimmings, T-Shirts, give a ways, raffles and loads of fun. Some of the prize categories include worst DIY job, most inventive Splitboard design etc. etc.

You have the option to stay in Jindabyne, camp in the National Park or my favorite camp on the peaks.

There will be rental gear available to those who need it. Jump on board and meet some new touring partners, the more the merrier!

Full details here.


Mt Hotham land grab

The Mt Hotham Draft Master Plan has been released for public comment until September 12.

It maps how the resort management would like to see the ski resort develop in coming years. It proposes the creation of a series of ‘activity hubs’ in different parts of the resort, including a substantial increase in the footprint of infrastructure on the south eastern side of the resort in the snow gum forests that stretch towards the township of Dinner Plain.

There are some worrying suggestions in the plan relating to a potential expansion of ski runs and associated infrastructure into three new areas adjacent to the existing resort. All of these (identified as ‘areas to be investigated’) would see destructive development in sensitive alpine environments.

Continue reading

snow shoe

The Snowy Mountains Stomp

The inaugural Snowy Mountains Stomp snowshoe race is on at Perisher tomorrow.

Saturday August 23, Perisher Valley, Kosciusko National Park

It will be a day of snowshoe running in the Kosciusko National Park. Two events are planned:

The Stomp: 6km (approx.)
The Longer Stomp: 15km (approx.)

Both events will be on marked courses and mostly on marked trail. Not flat but not over-the-top steep, courses will be designed to be runnable by the fit and walkable by those wanting a challenge up in the hills.

Snow shoe hire will be available.

For more info, and to register, check here.

[Image: courtesy Wilderness Sports]

there is already substantial viewing infrastructure on the mountain

public meeting on the Mt Wellington cable car proposal

Saturday 23/08/2014 at 11:00 am

Southern Tasmanian Badminton Association

101 Cascade Rd, South Hobart

Come and hear what the boundary change to the Pinnacle Specific Area really means and how it will affect the mountain. Learn how to make your submission to the Wellington Park Management Trust most effective.

The Facebook page for the meeting is available here.

For background information on the cable car proposal, please check here.

Organised by Respect the Mountain.


Environment, news, culture from the Australian Alps


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