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Dinner Plain

Alpine Ecology Workshop

On May 1, an alpine ecology workshop was held at Dinner Plain, which had a focus on alpine peatlands.

The day was supported by a range of groups and featured fantastic presentations from peatland experts, followed by a wander and chat through some of the peatland systems that exist in Dinner Plain. It brought together locals, people interested in alpine ecology from the broader region, and a wonderful cast of experts. One of the key messages I took from the forum was that fire is a grave short-term threat to peatlands and already impacting widely on this vegetation community.

Congratulations to Gail Owen, a Dinner Plain resident and member of the BDPO Landcare Group, High Country Landcare Facilitator Lisa Lee and NECMA Biodiversity Project Officer, Phillip Falcke, and Bev Lawrence and Aviya Naccarella from Mt Hotham Alpine Resort Management for organising an excellent and informative day.

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Mountain winter events 2021

Recent snowfalls across the Alps has got every snow lover excited about winter. Here is an initial list of snow related events happening across Victoria, NSW and the ACT this winter.

Please check here for a list of tour guides, all avalanche training providers, and gear hire options.

Continue reading “Mountain winter events 2021”

Alpine Ecology workshop at Dinner Plain

This full day workshop will happen at the community centre at Dinner Plain on Saturday May 1.

It will feature a great range of speakers, covering:

  • alpine peatland ecology
  • fire and alpine environments
  • opportunities to be involved in ecosystem restoration in the high country.

Continue reading “Alpine Ecology workshop at Dinner Plain”

Bushfire recovery funds for alpine and valley communities

Ten projects in Indi (north eastern Victoria) have received funding through the federal governments Local Economic Recovery (LER) program for bushfire recovery.

Local Member for Indi, Helen Haines, says: ‘They will bring new jobs and attract tourism, and I’m so proud to see the hard work and initiative of our region recognised by this investment.

‘It is fantastic that the Alpine resorts have received $7 million for three transformational projects. The resorts were hit hard by the fires and then COVID-19, and yet inexplicably, the Government had initially excluded them from the bushfire recovery funding.

‘There is also great news for tourism in our region here. $5 million for the Great River Road, upgrades to the Alpine Hotel and Bright Velo will help position our region for a strong economic recovery, creating sustainable jobs by bringing tourists to our wonderful region’.

Continue reading “Bushfire recovery funds for alpine and valley communities”

Dinner Plain Mountain Adventure Festival

Dinner Plain in the Victorian Alps is hosting a 4 day adventure festival over the weekend of January 23 – 26 (the Survival Day/ Invasion Day/ Australia Day weekend).

It will feature a range of free and paid events, including:

  • an outdoor screening of the Bright Mountain Film Tour
  • self guided hikes to Mt Feathertop, with a free shuttle bus to the trailhead
  • abseiling tours
  • mountain bike clinics
  • photography workshops
  • orienteering sessions

Check the Dinner Plain website for full details, and bookings.

One year on from the DEC 31 fires

In late November 2019, fires started in East Gippsland as a result of lightning strikes. As noted by Peter Gardner, many of these went on to become major blazes. November 21 was a Code Red Day, causing fires across the state. On December 30, fires tore through the township of Goongerah in East Gippsland. By 30 December 2019, the fires started in November had grown into three active fires in East Gippsland with a combined area of more than 130,000 hectares, and another in the north-east of the state near Walwa, which was heading south-east towards Cudgewa.

And on new year’s eve, lightning storms passed across the state and started another set of fires across the Victorian mountains, and fire season came to the Alps with a vengeance.

Continue reading “One year on from the DEC 31 fires”

Victorian Alps relief auction

Your chance to give back to Victoria’s Alpine Region, hit hard by bushfires and Covid-19. 

The Victorian alpine community has a special place in all of our adventure hearts, filled with beautiful mountains, great people and businesses, amazing food and memories shared through generations. 

But the community we all love is hurting – first with the bushfires, then the cancellation of the 2020 ski season due to Covid-19. They need our help. 

Which is why the team at Amer Sports have brought the Australian outdoors and snow industry together to create an online auction for you to support the alpine businesses doing it tough in Victoria. 

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The Tabletop fire 10 months on

Mt Tabletop is in the Alpine national park, on Gunaikurnai country, between Mt Hotham and Dinner Plain. Its snow gum country that is already feeling the changes that are coming with climate change. The forests in the area have burnt in 2003, 2013 and 2019/20. Some areas have burnt 3 times. 

The terrain is a mosaic of snow plains, old open forests, crazy regrowth in burnt areas, and multi aged woodlands. It was burnt badly last summer.

Continue reading “The Tabletop fire 10 months on”

Winter of The Little Things

I don’t know about you, but I’m a winter person. I daydream about snow through summer, sneak off to the mountains in autumn to get that sense of oncoming winter, and once the snow arrives, I’m there. My New Year’s Eve is the end of the ski season. Having New Years in the middle of endless summer heat never made sense to me, but the end of the season, when thousands start to head off the mountains and quiet returns, really marks the end of the year for me.

Like other snow addicts I anxiously check the season outlook. Those big falls in May and early June gave me hope for a good season in 2020, in spite of the fact that we just had two great winters and three in a row was going to be pushing our luck. 

Then came lockdown 1 and 2, the closure of the VIC resorts, and a pretty ‘uninspiring’ winter.

Continue reading “Winter of The Little Things”

2020 VIC backcountry festival cancelled

Due to the new COVID-19 restrictions, we are sad to announce that the Victorian Backcountry Festival has been cancelled for 2020.

However do not despair, as the VBCF organisers have two exciting dates for you to put into your calendars right now.

  1. Victorian Backcountry Festival 2021 will be at Hotham again. It will be a three day festival, held on Friday 3rd, Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th September 2021. Plan to come up on the Thursday night so you can take advantage of all the festival activities. And, if you can, aim to stay the Sunday night to hang out with your new snow buddies.
  2. In lieu of the 2020 festival that was scheduled for 4-6th September, the organisers are planning a weekend afternoon full of backcountry speakers, seminars and workshops to be held over Zoom. This will happen on Saturday September 5.

We are in the early stages of organising the program, and would love to hear from people about suggestions for potential speakers. If you have a great snow adventure story, a backcountry skill you can teach over Zoom, or want to suggest an author/ athlete/ mountaineer/ etc you want to hear speak, let us know: admin@backcountry-festival.com

Hope to see you all virtually at the online event next month – and in person next year up at Hotham.

Keep an eye on the website for updates.

 

VIC ski season update – what’s open

With the announcement that Mt Hotham and Falls Creek lift operations will be closed ‘until at least 19 August’, and other resorts about to make announcements, the season has suddenly changed (again).

Here’s what’s known as at July 12.

Continue reading “VIC ski season update – what’s open”

The Tabletop Fire, three months on

As fire seasons get longer and more intense, the impacts on the mountains that we love are already obvious. The forests get younger as wave after wave of fire kills the older trees and sometimes come so frequently they also kill off the new generations of seedlings.

Wildfire has devastated large swathes of snow gum habitat in the last few decades, with significant fires in the Victorian High Country in 1998, 2002/3, 2006/7 and 2013. Over 90% of the Victorian distribution of snow gums has been burned at least once since 2003. Each of the large fires of the last 15 years has overlapped to some extent, leaving thousands of hectares of snow gums burned by wildfire twice, and sometimes three times.

The take home message from research into snow gum forest is that if we want to have a hope of keeping remaining old forests, we need to exclude fire from them wherever possible.

I thought I would check out some forests that were burnt this summer. The news is a mix of good and bad.

Continue reading “The Tabletop Fire, three months on”

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