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Mountain Journal

Environment, news, culture from the Australian Alps

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Mansfield

Drink local.

Whenever I head into the Ducane Range in the southern end of the Cradle Mountain Lake St Clair national park, I always stash a couple of beers under some rocks in the river at Narcissus hut, where the hikers ferry drops you. There are few things better than a swim and a cold beer after four or five days of camping, hiking and climbing in beautiful mountains.

I have to confess that the best beer I ever drank (so far, anyway) was at Uncle Buds hut, at about 3,400 metres in the central Rockies. It was my first overnight trip in winter in Colorado. It’s a long approach around a lake, then a long climb up a ridge, and it was a perfect, mild sunny winters day, but slow going as we broke trail through fresh snow. We got to the hut and Donny produced some beers, including a classic US dirtbag brew, a PBR, and we sat on the verandah looking at the highest peaks in the state as the sun slid behind Galena Peak. We skied some insanely good powder the next day, but that’s another story.

There’s nothing quite like a beer after a long days ski, ride, hike, climb or paddle. And of course, if you’re out bush or in the hills under your own steam, that means cans. Which recently got me thinking about the environmental impact of cans vs bottles.

Continue reading “Drink local.”

uranium mining in the Victorian Alps?

Now, here’s a serious blast from the past (apologies for the bad pun). While looking through some old files I found an article from 1978 from the Friends of the Earth (FoE) magazine, Chain Reaction (number 4(1), 1978) about the threat of uranium mining in the Victorian Alps.

Back in the mid 1970s, a German company called Urangesellschaft had exploration rights to a very large area of the Alps, from near Tolmie near Mansfield, right down almost as far as Bairnsdale. They had a total of almost 6,000 square kilometres of land under license and this included the Avon wilderness area and large sections of the Wonnangatta valley.

Continue reading “uranium mining in the Victorian Alps?”

mountain towns #1. Mansfield

the main drag, Mansfield
the main drag, Mansfield

Out on a broad plain, and encircled by hills, with distant views of the west side of Mt Buller and the front range of the mountains, whats not to like about this town?

Mansfield was established as an agricultural centre, providing support to gold mining in the surrounding areas, and then logging was a major driver for many decades. It was one of the first inland Victorian towns to evolve into a diverse tourist and tree change community, largely because it is the entry point to the Mt Buller alpine resort.

Food, gear and brews. Things to do. Playgrounds.  Check here for the story.

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