Backcountry film festival showing in Sydney

Patagonia is hosting a showing of the Backcountry film festival, at 6pm on wednesday June 3.

At the Patagonia store. 93 Bathurst Street, Sydney.

We will be showing all nine films (full list here).

This is a free event. You’d be most welcome to make a donation, which will go to the Friends of the Earth climate campaign.

There is a facebook page for the event available here.

Ozlaska

Backcountry is the new black.

In the last few years, all things backcountry have come in from the fringe, and are now ubiquitous, featuring in films, magazines, books, and gear. I assume that for most people its slightly voyeuristic. People like to read about the amazing runs on offer in the backcountry without necessarily actually getting out there themselves. But there certainly is a new generation of skiers and boarders heading out for an adventure, and BC specific gear is one of the growth areas in the snow equipment industry.

Here in Australia, attention has tended to focus on two of our most spectacular BC destinations: Mt Bogong in Victoria, and the western slopes of the Main Range of the Snowy Mountains (yes, there is lots more on offer, often harder to access and perhaps less iconic. Then there’s Tasmania, which has some insanely good terrain on the rare occasion that it actually comes into shape for riding. But that’s another story).

Continue reading Ozlaska

Ski Guides (ski touring) course

The following comes from Stephen Curtain.

Ski Guides (ski touring) course

Outcome: to begin to guide clients on day ski tours—away from patrolled areas—in Kosciuszko’s backcountry area in the Australian Alps.

Provider: Outdoor Recreation at TAFE WESTERN—Lithgow campus

Dates: 8-day course over two blocks:

7–10 Aug 2015 (Fri, Sat, Sun,Mon) and 28–31 Aug 2015.

Continue reading Ski Guides (ski touring) course

Find Your Line

Few people are aware that backcountry Australia hides some big-mountain slopes, even less are willing to journey there for it. Yet the western slopes of the Snowy Mountains has some grand terrain for backcountry skiing and boarding.

Season 2014 delivers conditions of a decade for one splitboarder.

We are delighted to be showing this 8 minute film by Nicolas Rivers during the backcountry film festival this year.

This thursday May 21, RMIT in Melbourne.

Full details on location and the nine other films available here.

Aerial spraying of herbicides in the Ovens Valley

Information session

Bright aerial spraying.

This forum will be an opportunity for residents to hear about the impacts of aerial spraying of the herbicides Clopyralid, Glyphosate and Metsulfuron Methyl in the plantations around Bright and surrounding townships.

Saturday May 16, 4.30pm

Bright Elderly Citizens Club, Cobden street, Bright.

Guest speaker: Anthony Amis, Friends of the Earth.

For further information, please check the Bright Community aerial spraying concerns facebook page.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/811651055586061/

Background information available here.

Mountain music

Many years ago, I spent a slightly surreal weekend on the Howqua River in north east Victoria, where, as luck would have it, there was both a mountain cattleman’s gathering and a big enclave of environmental activists holding campaign workshops. Our camps squeezed closer together as the crowds packed in along Sheepyard Flat, and the initial distrust dissolved on the second or third night as we found some common cause in shared music around the fire.

It was one of those nights to remember. I recall that we got on famously, that many songs were traded, and various social lubricants were consumed. What I most remember was the music.

Music is one of those things that defines culture. Any authentic culture has its own music, songs that grow from who its people are and how they live, and also the place they live in. There’s nothing wrong with playing other people’s songs, but almost everything I heard that night was from somewhere else.

Read the story here.

Lake Mountain needs new ski patrollers

With the snow season just around the corner, Lake Mountain Ski Patrol (LMSP) is recruiting additional volunteers to help look after the thousands of weekend day trippers who head to the resort each winter for some fun in the snow.

To be well prepared for the season, the patrol’s 2015 training weekend will be held at Lake Mountain on the weekend of June 13 and 14 and prospective volunteers are invited to attend. Continue reading Lake Mountain needs new ski patrollers

Wild dog attacks. Farmers ask for more trappers.

Wild dogs are a huge problem in farming areas around the mountains in north east Victoria. They also prey heavily on native fauna. The issue of dog control has risen again recently in Victoria because of claims that there are fewer people employed to control population numbers.

According to a report in The Weekly Times (29/4/15):

“The Victorian Government employs 18 dog trappers, 10 in Gippsland and eight across the North East.

The Victorian Farmers Federation says that five years ago there were 25 trappers for the same area.

But the community engagement officer for the Government’s wild dog program, Barry Davies, said there were now “five or six casual wild dog controllers, two contractors and 25 field services officers who are trained to various deg­rees, some capable of trapping dogs.”

The full article, by journalist Kath Sullivan can be found here. It highlights the impacts on farmers and animals as a result of dog attacks on stock.

There are, of course, a number of ways of dealing with the problem. Trapping and shooting is a traditional method. Is funding for dog-proof fencing an option in key farming areas around the high country national parks? Some farmers use Maremmas (is a breed of livestock guardian dog indigenous to central Italy), while others bait.

There is also some question about whether the government will allocate more resources to employ additional hunters in the state budget, due to be released in early May.

 

 

ski mountaineering courses

Main Range Backcountry is offering ski mountaineering courses on the Main Range in the Snowies.

They say:

The rope can be a valuable tool for ski touring, but without any training in its use, can be dangerous or even provide a false sense of security. This course is designed to teach you basic rope handling and movement on snow and ice with crampons and ice axes. If you have a small group, the day can be customised to your needs, whether you want to access and ski big lines, with a larger margin of safety or are looking at getting into mountaineering from hiking or climbing.

Continue reading ski mountaineering courses

Backcountry film festival 2015

Now in its 10th year the Winter Wildlands Alliance Backcountry Film Festival celebrates the human powered winter experience through film. The festival aims to entertain while helping to raise funds and awareness for Winter Wildlands and our like-minded partners.

The Backcountry Film Festival premieres in Boise, Idaho, and then travels to more than 100 locations worldwide.  Along the way, it will be viewed by more than 20,000 outdoor enthusiasts and raise more than $110,000 each year for local organisations working on advocacy, snow safety, outdoor education and Snow School programs.

Melbourne show

Thursday May 21, 2015

Cinema at RMIT. Building 80.

Level 1, Room 2, 445 Swanston Street.

Suggested donation: $8 conc & students/ $15 waged.

All proceeds go to the Friends of the Earth climate campaign.

Facebook page here.

The cinema is Room 80.01.02 (It can be hard to find, best bet is to enter off A’Beckett Street, just by the Oxford Scholar Hotel (map here). Building 80 is on Swanston, between Latrobe and Franklin street, opposite the main RMIT campus.

Feel free to meet at the Oxford Scholar for a drink from 6.30pm. Please aim to arrive at the Cinema around 7, we will start the films at 7.15pm.

The festival will also be shown during the 2015 Splitfest (splitboarding festival) being held in the Snowy Mountains, on friday August 22 in Jindabyne.

Please check here for a listing of the films being shown.

Environment, news, culture from the Australian Alps

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