Mountain Journal

Environment, news, culture from the Australian Alps


alpine skiing

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.

Continue reading “Reducing the impact of our snow obsession”

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”

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”

Backcountry film festival in Canberra

Mont Equipment, in partnership with Main Range Backcountry, is hosting a Canberra showing of the 2016 Backcountry film festival on Thursday August 11 at 6pm.

It will be held at the Mont store, 18 Pirie Street Fyshwick.

Tickets are available from the Mont Shop in Fyshwick and are only a gold coin (you can give more) that will go to the Mountain Critter Cause, a fundraiser to protect the Mountain Pygmy Possum.

Tickets are limited and will go quickly, so hurry in to avoid disappointment!

Facebook page available here.


Nat Segal. Greenland and 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.

Continue reading “Nat Segal. Greenland and the future of skiing”

The Grasshopper prediction for winter 2016

It’s April: two months til winter… Which gets us all thinking about what type of season it will be.

Most Australian snow enthusiasts know about The Grasshopper, who writes snow forecasts for MountainWatch (‘resident meteorology sensei’ at MountainWatch).

The first prediction for 2016 has arrived.

Continue reading “The Grasshopper prediction for winter 2016”

Backcountry film festival in Sydney

Saturday April 30 at 7.30pm.

The NSW Nordic Ski Club is hosting a screening of the Backcountry Film Festival – this Film Festival features 9 short snow and ski films selected by the American Winter Wildlands Alliance. The Festival is renowned for its mix of professional and grassroots films, from well-known filmmakers who search backcountry corners across the globe to submit their best work to first-timers who take a video camera out on their weekend excursions.

Continue reading “Backcountry film festival in Sydney”

Backcountry Information Night

Event Details

The love of mountain sports invites you and all to an Australian Backcountry Information Evening. The night is hosted by Watkin McLennan and presented in association with Marker Bindings, Rhythm Snowsports, and Chillfactor Magazine.

When: Thursday 16th July from 7:30pm

Where: Banjo’s Back Room. 1 Kosciuszko Road, Jindabyne.

The evening is for Australian backcountry skiers and snowboarders of all levels of experience and ages. The night kicks off with a short film shot on The Roof of Australia.

Following the film Bill Barker will talk about the hazards unique to the Australian mountains. Bill has been patrolling for over 20 years, is a certified guide with the Canadian Ski Guide Association, and a member of the Canadian Avalanche Association. He is the director of ski patrol at Mt Hotham and runs epic backcountry trips to Gulmarg, India. Visit Continue reading “Backcountry Information Night”

The final frontier: women in ski films

Pretty Faces. An all female ski film.

We all know that women are radically under represented in skiing and boarding films. I remember posting a trailer for a film once and a friend commented “where are all the women? At home minding the kids?”. Harsh but fair. Each season brings a new round of films, but women continue to be an absolute minority in both resort and backcountry orientated films.

That is why this new production is so inspiring. Pretty Faces is “a film celebrating women who thrive in the snow”.

The film’s producers point out that women make up around 40% of the skiing population and 30% of the people watching adventure sports films. Yet only 14% of athletes in major ski films were female in this years releases. “Additionally, last season’s 14% was record female representation, up from 9% the previous season”.

The concept for the film came from professional big mountain skier and SheJumps co-founder, Lynsey Dyer. SheJumps encourages the participation of women in outdoor activities. Lynsey wanted to produce a film that gave “women and girls, young and old, a source of inspiration through a unique look at what is possible when boundaries are broken, dreams captured and friendships cultivated”.

In Lynsey’s words “I wanted to give young girls something positive to look up to…I wanted to give them their Blizzard of Ahhs, Ski Movie or High Life, but done in a way that also shows the elegance, grace, community and style that is unique to women in the mountains.”

“We see this as an opportunity to provide an inspiring documentary ski film told from a female’s perspective to connect with and celebrate skiing’s female population”.

“Although skiing is the focus of the film, we hope to showcase women’s on-hill success–from professional skiers to recreational enthusiasts–to inspire girls of all ages to pursue their dreams, walk the path less traveled, and reach their fullest potential, whatever path they choose”.

I haven’t seen the film as yet. Apart from loving the fact it aims to showcase the talents of women, I also appreciate that making the film was a collaborative process. The people behind the project did a call out for contributions: This isn’t just a project for “big-names” in the sport. We are looking for women old and young, talented and hard working, from all backgrounds to contribute to this project. Footage that oozes excitement, passion, authenticity and hard work will be considered for inclusion in the film”.

You can see the trailer here.

The film will be available for purchase shortly. Check the website for details.

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