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Mountain Journal

Environment, news, culture from the Australian Alps

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Presenting Conrad Anker: A Life in Adventure, Live in Sydney and Melbourne

The North Face has announced The North Face Speaker Series Australia, welcoming Conrad Anker, Captain of The North Face Global Athlete Team, on his first visit to Australia to present an inspiring presentation in Sydney and Melbourne – Conrad Anker: A Life in Adventure.

The master of technical mountaineering, Conrad has over 30 years of climbing and mountaineering experience under his belt, and is still chasing first ascents. He’s a visionary, a champion for the environment, a pioneer and the best comrade you’ll find at 25,000 feet—he’s dedicated every ounce of his being to this life.

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11 MONTHS – 3 CONTINENTS – 33 SUMMITS

Josh Worley is a Brisbane mountain climber who is undertaking a world mountain climbing initiative titled Vertical Year

The aim is to climb more than 30 mountains in 2018 with a goal of raising $100,000 for ReachOut Australia and the Climate Council.

Over 140 days, Josh will climb 33 separate peaks – eight of them greater than 6,000 metres – and travel more than 34 vertical kilometres of technical terrain. The trip spans ice climbing in the Canadian Rockies, the Peruvian Andes, big wall rock climbing in the Sierra Nevada and alpine routes in New Zealand’s Southern Alps.

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Blade Ridge, Federation Peak. In Winter.

The iconic ridge on an iconic mountain – Blade Ridge on Federation Peak in south west Tasmania. Any climber who has been in there will have marvelled at that incredible spine of rock. Normally the thought of just getting to the base of the ridge through relentless scrub is enough for you to put it in the ‘Yeah. No’ category of dream trips.

But one group of climbers have been in to the Blade to climb it, in winter. They are now making a film about the trip and have launched a crowdfund campaign. Check below for full details.

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Vertical Life magazine

Vertical Life is a great online climbing magazine put together by a bunch of Australian climbers (you can subscribe to their online magazine here). Every two years, they produce a printed version of the magazine, which features a range of articles and images from the online version. It is edited by Ross Taylor and Simon Madden. The 2016 edition is now available. They describe it as a ‘handsome, collectible print tome that collects all of the best content published in the digital issues of Vertical Life during 2014 and 2015’.

The print version of VL is more a journal than a magazine, in some ways similar to the annual ‘Ascent’ edition of the Rock and Ice magazine put out in the USA, being stronger on reflecting on climbing rather than focusing on the latest new routes. The 2016 offering has a nice set of stories that cover a good cross section of the Australian outdoor climbing scene:

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Ski mountaineering introduction courses

Main Range Backcountry is offering ski mountaineering courses this winter.

There will be four one day courses held this September, on the Main Range in the Snowy Mountains.

The course is designed to teach basic rope handling and movement on snow and ice with crampons and ice axes.

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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.

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Mt Geryon

I don’t know any Indigenous stories about Mt Geryon, in the southern end of Tasmania’s Cradle Mountain Lake St Clair National Park. But I do often wonder what it must have been like for the people’s who lived and passed through the incredible mountain country of central western Tasmania. To approach this mountain up Pine Valley and finally to reach the small clearing (the old ‘climbers camp’) where the bulky western face suddenly reveals itself is always an impressive, and to me, spiritual, experience. I wonder if they climbed this peak.

So many of the features of this region have been loaded down with Biblical titles or names from the Greek Classics, something that irks me whenever I scan the map or skyline. There are some great names: I love Innes High Rocky in the south west. And closer to Geryon, there is Fury Gorge, Pencil Pine Bluff, Cathedral Mountain, High Dome, Walled Mountain, The Never Never, and the beautifully appropriate Pool of Memories. These names evoke something of the place. Peaks named after early explorers also make sense. But just reeling off a list of names from western mythology seems lazy and disrespectful. But I can live with Geryon. The three-bodied giant of Greek Mythology.

It is such a dramatic mountain, squeezed up the end of Pine Valley up against the Ducane range, and hidden in behind the bulkier looking Acropolis when seen from lake St Clair. It provides a dramatic and other worldly aspect to dinner when you’re sitting in Bert Nichols hut on the Overland track. If the word charismatic can be applied to a mountain, then it certainly applies to Geryon. Its dramatic rocky faces on the east and west constantly change their moods and even from The Labyrinth it presents itself as a ‘real’ mountain, with another thousand feet of cliffs and dramatic skyline above the Labyrinth plateau. It can be mild in The Labyrinth and storming up on Geryon and the Ducane Range. The Cephessis scree, which runs from the base of the western face down almost to Cephissus Creek, is an amazing feature, and acts as a giant staircase that leads you right to the cliffs.

Full story here.

AdventurePro Video Festival to show at Mt Buller

Having received an overwhelmingly positive response from its original screening in Mansfield, the AdventurePro Video Festival is now going on tour.

A grassroots adventure film competition organised by AdventurePro is due to reappear for a screening at Mount Buller in July.

The collection of locally-produced adventure films was shown at Mansfield’s Armchair Cinema last month and provided an opportunity for independent filmmakers to win a cash prize.

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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.

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