With a coastline of at least 20,000 kilometres, and most of the population living within 50 kilometres of the beach, it’s not too hard to work out why we are a ‘salt water’ people. Add to this the weather, the fact that most of our cities are near great swimming, surfing and deep water, and our strong record of producing world class athletes in water sports.

But in the south east corner of the continent, where altitude and latitude combine to create the Australian Alps – a series of alpine ranges and high plateaus fringed by deep and fertile valleys – we have a great mountain environment. Stretching from the northern Snowies south and west almost to the fringes of Melbourne, people are drawn here, to live, play, and work.

Mountains are addictive. Many of us have life long affairs with alpine environments and they become a defining feature of who we are as people. This site is a celebration of this fact and the mountain cultures that exist in and around the Australian Alps.

why mountain journal?

Since I was 15, I have been obsessed with the Australian mountains. In practical terms this has meant a lot of time out walking, ski touring, climbing, living, and occasionally working in the Alps. When I travel to places like the Rockies or Pacific Northwest in the ‘States, I have always enjoyed the mountain communities and sense you get of being in a special place.

To me the Alps are incredibly special – and quite unique. There is a growing emphasis on mountain culture here in Australia as well – from a range of glossy magazines, to the tourism industry and it’s associated media outlets, to the outdoor press like Wild magazine, which has always reflected the love many of us have for our mountains. There are a range of local government and businesses that have an on-line presence. There are photographers, writers, poets, and all sorts of folks who contribute to this sense of place and culture.

This project

This project is just one more contribution to this creation and appreciation of mountain culture. Perhaps it’s particular niche is that it is non commercial, interested in telling the stories of people that often don’t get a run in the more mainstream outlets, and is focused on activism and simple life ways rather than just consumer ‘lifestyle’. It aims to cover environmental news and mountain-related stories in any form of arts or culture, and human-powered outdoor sports, mostly backcountry.

Contributions of news, stories, photos, and video are very welcome. Please email articles to me, ideally with a photo or two to go with the story, a brief bio of you (a couple of sentances should be fine), and add whatever contact details you would like included with the article (eg email address or website).

I split my time between Castlemaine, Melbourne and Dinner Plain and can found via: cam.walker@foe.org.au