Mountain Journal

Environment, news, culture from the Australian Alps

Nat Segal. Greenland, climate change & the future of skiing

In March of 2014 six women set sail from Ísafjörður, Iceland with the intention of sailing across the Denmark Straight and up the south-west coast of Greenland. They hoped to explore the remote coastline, pioneer new ski descents, and collect scientific data in some of the most incredible wilderness on earth.

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Clean energy to power Mt Stirling facilities

The Victorian government has announced a renewable energy project at Mt Stirling, which will allow the resort to switch its system from its current reliance on diesel. Additional commitments include toilets and ‘community shelters’ at Howqua Gap and the Machinery Shed, and an ‘all- weather access track’ from King Saddle to Machinery Shed.

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Village green or environmental destruction?

Plans are slowly moving forward to clear about half a hectare of snowgum woodland at Dinner Plain for a ‘Village Green’.

The Alpine Shire budget for 2016/17 includes funding for the planning and design of a multipurpose ‘Village Green’ to the north west of the current village.

The Dinner Plain Master Plan, finalised in 2015, included a proposal for a cleared area which would aim to provide space for a number of uses. The current proposal is slightly smaller, but would still involve substantial destruction of snow gum woodland. Plans include a space for high altitude training for athletes, football, polo, and potentially a refuge spot in the case of bushfire (although it can be argued that there is already a large cleared area, being the ski run, which could serve for this purpose).

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Proposed Falls Creek Altitude Training Centre at Nordic Bowl

The Nordic Bowl, on the edge of the Falls Creek resort, has long been a play area for XC skiers and others to enjoy the snow.

The Falls Creek Resort Management (FCRM) proposes constructing a sporting oval and mixed use facility at the Nordic Bowl. An application for a planning permit has been submitted to the Minister for Planning Department of Environment Land and Water.

The following information comes from materials posted on the Backcountry Forum.

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Monaro Ngarigo people to be formally involved in management of Kosciuszko NP

The Aboriginal people of the New South Wales southern Snowy Mountains will be formally involved in the conservation of Kosciuszko National Park, after reaching an agreement years in the making.

The following story comes from the ABC.

Continue reading “Monaro Ngarigo people to be formally involved in management of Kosciuszko NP”

Finally. It’s here!

Let’s just allow this ‘snow map’ to say what needs to be said. The long awaited dump is here. Hope you’re able to get out amongst it.

For BOM alpine forecasts, check here.

Forecasts also available on MountainWatch.

Big snowfall on its way?

After a disappointing cycle these last few weeks of snow and warmer weather, it seems like there may be some good news on the horizon.

Snow forecaster The Grasshopper reports in MountainWatch that  a more “traditional” cold outbreak is currently steaming through the Southern Ocean, ‘ready to drop a healthy dose of snow on the Australian Alps’.

This event will start with plenty of rain, but:

“Strong to gale force north-westerlies on Tuesday herald a change to much colder and snowier weather as a cold front approaches from The Bight,” he continued. “Snow will arrive during the afternoon to leave 10-15 cm down to 1500m by Wednesday morning.”

But that’s only the entree, the best news is still to come: “A weak high will then build in for Wednesday while another low lines up in to the south-west. A blast of strong north-westerly winds on Thursday will cause further problems with wind hold before a heavier fall of snow Thursday night into Friday as a cold front crosses the Aussie Alps. I’ve got my antennae crossed that the models don’t back off this one as it has the potential to slam us with 20-30 cm of snow down to 1000m.”

Here’s hoping!

Lets talk about poo

The Main Range area of the Snowy Mountains is a small and much loved area with some of Australia’s finest alpine terrain. It is popular with overnight walkers, skiers and riders and while the Parks service prohibits camping within the catchments of the glacial lakes on the range, there are still lots of great spots to stay.

But the problem of human waste is becoming one that backcountry users need to deal with. In places like the Main Range, the time has come to extend the concept of ‘if you carry it in, you can carry it out’. As Andrew Stanger says in this article, “just as dog owners must now collect their pooches poops, it is time for people to do the same when venturing into the great outdoors. People need to bag their poops, take them out and dispose of them appropriately”.

Here’s how you can do it:

Continue reading “Lets talk about poo”

Helicopter tourism in central Tasmania?

On a recent walking trip in Central Tasmania, I drove past an old lodge near Lake Augusta that was being renovated. My immediate reaction was that if someone was throwing lots of money at a restoration of a large building located almost at the end of the road in a remote area, that they must have plans for something big.

This opinion piece by Nicholas Sawyer in The Mercury seems to re inforce that suspicion.

Continue reading “Helicopter tourism in central Tasmania?”

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