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Mountain Journal

Environment, news, culture from the Australian Alps

Reducing the impact of our snow obsession

Outside magazine recently posted a great piece on the environmental impact of skiing/ riding. Well, one particular aspect – the amount of carbon pollution we produce through driving or flying to get to ski destinations.

They tracked and collated the travel mileage during winter of their most snow-obsessed staff, then consulted a carbon offset specialist, who estimated they would have to plant 704 trees to sequester all the carbon generated.

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Lake Mountain seeking ski patrollers

Recruiting volunteer ski patrollers

With the 2017 ski season fast approaching (hopefully), Lake Mountain Ski Patrol (LMSP) is recruiting volunteers to join the weekend patrol team.

Ski patrol is a great way of volunteering and helping others, as well as spending time and being active in a fantastic environment.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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”

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