Mountain Journal

Environment, news, culture from the Australian Alps

Backcountry film festival – Melbourne, May 30

As the Alps gets another blast of pre winter snow, I’m happy to be able to tell you that we have a date for this year’s backcountry film festival program in Melbourne!

The BC festival is the annual mini film festival that covers human powered winter adventure.

The Melbourne show will be held on Tuesday May 30.

Continue reading “Backcountry film festival – Melbourne, May 30”

Have your say on the future of alpine resorts

The Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) is inviting the community to attend workshops into the future for Alpine Resorts in the state. They will be held in April & May.

DELWP says:

You are invited to attend one of the Alpine Resort Futures Vulnerability Assessment workshops being held across the alpine region and in Melbourne during late April and early May.

Alpine resorts have a special place in the hearts of many Victorians, and we need to ensure they continue to maximise economic and social benefits for all Victorians. The Alpine Resorts Climate Adaptation Project delivers on government’s commitment to support the alpine resorts to adapt to climate change.

The Alpine Resorts Climate Adaptation Project begins with the Vulnerability Assessment. This part of the project will generate information which will be required when we come to planning ways to adapt to climate change. The next step will then be implementing those plans.

The Vulnerability Assessment workshops present a ‘hands on’ opportunity for stakeholders and communities to explore and think through the challenges facing the alpine resorts as the climate changes. The workshops are designed to begin the task of building a platform for action – both personal and organisational – to maintain and enhance the economic, social and cultural values of the alpine resorts.

The workshop will cover:
· Climate change adaptation concepts: we will discuss climate change adaptation, and reflect on how other alpine resorts around the world have adapted
· Exploring current values & climate change vulnerability: we will identify and discuss the current economic, social and cultural values of the Alpine resorts, and how these values might be affected by climate change
· Exploring adaptive capacity: we will identifying and discussing how best to harness the region’s strengths for adaptation, how the future might look through adaptation, and what adaptive actions might look like.”

To see more details and RSVP for one of the workshops please visit the Engage Victoria website at…/climate-adaptation

The workshops will be held as follows;

Mount Buller – Wednesday 26 April, 11:30am to 3pm.
Mansfield – Wednesday 26 April, 5:30pm to 8:30pm.
Falls Creek – Thursday 27 April, 11:30am to 3pm
Mount Beauty – Thursday 27 April, 5:30pm to 8:30pm
Mount Hotham – Friday 28 April, 11:30am to 3pm
Bright – Friday 28 April, 5:30pm to 8:30pm
Omeo – Saturday, 29 April, 1:30pm to 4:30pm
Mount Baw Baw – Monday 1 May, 11:30am to 3pm
Warragul – Monday 1 May, 5:30pm to 8:30pm
Lake Mountain – Tuesday 2 May, 11:30am to 3pm
Marysville – Tuesday 2 May, 5:30pm to 8:30pm
Melbourne – Friday 12 May, 9am to 12:30pm
Melbourne – 1:30pm to 5pm

If you are unable to attend, but still wish to express a point of view, we encourage you to register with DELWP “Stay informed” at…/climate-adaptation


The winter of awesome

Apart from that beautiful dump of snow across the Alps, autumn has been warm and dry so far. But winter is just over the horizon, and it’s time to plan trips and lock in dates. Famed snow forecaster, The Grasshopper, saysI am going to forecast a slightly worse than average season this year based on the initial climate model forecasts which hint at a developing El Nino going hand in hand with a positive IOD event”. But s/he goes on to say “It’s still definitely going to be worth getting the season pass, as we are bound to get our fair share of epic days. So don’t get too dis heartened”.

Here’s a short list of some of the backcountry-related snow events that I’m aware of.

Continue reading “The winter of awesome”

Is Instagram ruining the outdoors?

When it comes to being in wild nature, my general rule about social media is ‘don’t hike/ski/climb/ride and tweet’. I tend to take lots of photos but in terms of posting and viewing images, I find being even haphazardly engaged in the online world stops me from being deeply immersed in my surroundings. If I’m base camping somewhere with coverage, I will some sometimes post some things or check the news or weather, but generally try to keep my backcountry experience mostly in the real world.

I was recently on a multi day walk in the Alps. My 12 year old daughter had decided to stay at home with various friends and, a couple of times a day I would turn the phone on and check where she was. ‘While I was there’ I’d Instagram a quick pic. We were walking through some gorgeous country, in a section of the Bogong High Plains where I hadn’t been for years and it was fun to share some images and thoughts on these great places.

Continue reading “Is Instagram ruining the outdoors?”

Human sign to spell out support for Great Forest National Park

The campaign for the Great Forest National Park is seeking to gain permanent protection for the key mountain forests to the east of Melbourne.

As part of the campaign, the Victorian National Parks Association (VNPA) is organising a human sign on May 13 on the summit of Mt Donna Buang to spell out the message that Victorians support the park.

Continue reading “Human sign to spell out support for Great Forest National Park”

The 2017 Alpine Industry Conference

The Alpine Resorts Co-ordinating Council (ARCC) holds an Alpine Industry Conference each year. They are described as ‘bringing together government, government partner agencies, researchers, and private industry to provide participants with valuable and relevant information to assist with the planning and strategic decision-making in a changing environment’.

The conference will feature 3 facilitated panel sessions that will broach major issues facing the Victorian alpine industry.

In 2017, the conference will be held 4 – 5 May, in Marysville. The theme is ‘Managing a Changing Landscape’, with a focus on the impacts of climate change on the alpine environment and what this will mean for businesses which are reliant on snow fall.

Full details here.


Victoria’s national parks for sale – again

National Parks, World Heritage Areas and other parts of the conservation estate are not simply handed to the community by governments. Wild areas are hard fought for, sometimes for decades, before they gain protection. But once created, that is not the end of the story. Traditionally parks can face a range of problems and pressures, including under funding and over use, and invasion by feral species. In recent years it has become ever more apparent that climate change poses a huge threat to most ecosystems in the country, and hence the integrity of our national parks.

They are sometimes also threatened by proposals for commercial development. The following summary of current threats to national parks in Victoria comes from Phil Ingamells.

Continue reading “Victoria’s national parks for sale – again”

Chair of Mount Buller and Mount Stirling Board resigns

It has recently been reported in regional media and The Age newspaper that allegations had been made that members of the Mount Buller and Mount Stirling Resort Management Board had misused their position and public funds.

In late March 2017, the Victorian Ombudsman released a report into the allegations of improper conduct by officers of the Board.

The report implicated officers of the resort in the misuse of public funds and public resources.

Continue reading “Chair of Mount Buller and Mount Stirling Board resigns”

Spotted Tree Frog fighting back from extinction

In an excellent piece of news, the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage reports that attempts to reintroduce populations of the Spotted Tree Frog into Kosciusko National Park have been ‘surprisingly’ successful.

It appears that the introduced frogs have managed to avoid the Chytrid Fungus, which can wipe out populations of the amphibian.

A media release from the OE&H is available below.

Continue reading “Spotted Tree Frog fighting back from extinction”

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