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Mountain Journal

Environment, news, culture from the Australian Alps

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bushwalking

Fires and snow gums. To keep these forests we need less fire.

Fires are still burning out of control across much of the Australian High Country. Yet we are already well into the blame game, where some people and groups are blaming environmental activists and/ or The Greens party for ‘stopping’ fuel reduction burning and hence making the fires worse. While this is not true, this resonates with certain anti green and conservative demographics (check here for an alternative view of the conversation).

There is no doubt that fuel reduction burning has a role to play in how we manage forests and other landscapes. The problem is that it is often seen as a ‘one size fits all’ tool that will reduce fire intensity in all environments. But in reality, it works well in some ecosystems and is counter productive in others. This is a subtlety that is lost on the ‘fuel reduction is the answer’ boosters.

The argument that we need to increase fuel reduction burns in snow gum and true alpine environments is already caught up in the broader land management debate, and will continue in the coming months. So it’s worth taking a good look at what science says about the value of fuel reduction in our high mountain areas.

Continue reading “Fires and snow gums. To keep these forests we need less fire.”

A long solo walk. 660 km across the Alps.

The Australian Alps Walking Track (AAWT) is the premiere long distance mountain trail in Australia. It crosses the Victorian Alps from Walhalla to the NSW border, then passes through the Snowy Mountains before finishing in the ACT.

AAWT2Anthony Sharwood has just started the AAWT from the southern end. He is doing the 660 km trip solo, walking from Walhalla, Victoria to Tharwa, A.C.T. This trip is made more challenging by the fact that two sections of the track are currently closed because of bushfires.

Anthony has been posting images and updates as he goes.

You can follow his journey on twitter here.

Background info and links on the AAWT available here.

The Australian Alps Walking Track in winter

Mark Oates has made some great backcountry films. The following is an update about his most recent winter traverse of the Australian Alps Walking Track, which he did with his brother last winter. He will be uploading a ‘snap shot’ video of each day of the trip, starting today. Check the link for a daily update of mountain goodness.

Continue reading “The Australian Alps Walking Track in winter”

‘Save Kosci’ walk to finish next weekend

Since November 3, a group has been walking the 560 km from Sydney to the summit of Mt Kosciuszko, to highlight the damage being caused by feral horses. The walk is nearing its end! Join the walkers on the final day – 9th December (or the 8th depending on weather forecast) – from Charlottes Pass or Thredbo to celebrate the end of the walk and add your voice to the call to reclaim Kosci from feral horses.

Continue reading “‘Save Kosci’ walk to finish next weekend”

The Great Tasmanian Traverse

This guided trip, which will happen over 39 days, is an epic journey that seeks to ‘traverse’ Tasmania on foot and raft from north to south. While sections are covered by road and light plane, it does include a long walk from the north coast all the way to Lake St Clair. It then heads into Frenchmans Cap, does 8 days on the mid and lower Franklin River, before flying to Melaleuca on the west coast and one final, extended walk along the South Coast Track.

Continue reading “The Great Tasmanian Traverse”

The ‘Save Kosci’ protest walk – come and hear more

You are invited to a presentation on the 30+ day, Camino-style, walk from Sydney to Kosciuszko to seek repeal of the Kosciuszko Wild Horse Heritage Act and action on feral horses in Kosciuszko National Park. The walk will begin on 3rd November. The sessions will happen in Sydney on September 13.

Continue reading “The ‘Save Kosci’ protest walk – come and hear more”

Mt Olympus traverse

The Olympus Range is in central Tasmania in the southern end of the Cradle Mountain Lake St Clair National Park. It is the range that runs along the western shore of Lake St Clair and stands high above the surrounding plains and poses quite a challenge to approach.

The range has two key summits (Mt Olympus north and south, of similar height), some beautiful lakes and stands of deciduous beech, and should be on the list for any serious mountain enthusiast who enjoys a challenging walk.

There are some track  notes for the traverse available here.

Falls to Hotham Alpine Crossing Final Master Plan released

Several years ago, Tourism Victoria suggested that Victoria needed four ‘iconic walks’ in order to help ensure the state became a bushwalking destination. One of these was the ‘Falls to Hotham Alpine Crossing’.

After a great deal of work, the final masterplan for the walk has been released by Parks Victoria.

Continue reading “Falls to Hotham Alpine Crossing Final Master Plan released”

A new long distance walking trail for East Gippsland

The campaign for the Emerald Link park in East Gippsland aims to protect the more-or-less intact ecosystems that run from the coast to the mountains. A long distance walking trail is an integral part of the proposal. The proposed Sea to Summit Forest Trail would create a network of walking tracks linking the coastal town of Bemm River and the existing Wilderness Coast walk to the summit of Mount Ellery, the highest mountain in far East Gippsland.

Continue reading “A new long distance walking trail for East Gippsland”

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