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Mountain Journal

Environment, news, culture from the Australian Alps

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mountain culture

Do you want to write for Mountain Journal?

Another year has flashed by.  Hard to believe its almost the end of 2018! Between life, work, family and mountain obsessions, I’ve been finding it hard to keep on top of all the mountain-related things that are happening around the country.

I’m VIC based, and so Mountain Journal tends to be VIC-centric. There is so much going on in Tasmania, especially with the threats to world heritage areas as a result of the development of commercial tourism. And there are so many events across the Alps that I just can’t cover them all. Coverage of the NSW Alps tends to be patchy (and big thanks to people from north of the border who are sending news items through).

So, this is an invitation for you to send content. If you’re organising something or aware of good events that are happening, please send them through.

The interviews and profiles are always popular and I would welcome additional offerings (check here for some recent profiles).

Stories covering environmental politics (for instance the recent Save Kosci walk) are wildly popular, so please send in items, as are stories on positive sustainability initiatives being taken by businesses in the alpine areas.

Check the About section for further details on contributing.

Thanks. Hoping you have a great summer.

International Mountain Day 2018 – #MountainsMatter

December 11 is International Mountain Day.

The United Nations says:

“Almost one billion people live in mountain areas, and over half the human population depends on mountains for water, food and clean energy. Yet mountains are under threat from climate change, land degradation, over exploitation and natural disasters, with potentially far-reaching and devastating consequences, both for mountain communities and the rest of the world. Mountains are early indicators of climate change.”

The theme for 2018 is #MountainsMatter. Continue reading “International Mountain Day 2018 – #MountainsMatter”

VIC Backcountry festival 2019 – dates and venue announcement

We’re delighted to announce that the second Victorian Backcountry Festival will be held over the weekend of September 7 and 8, 2019, at Mt Hotham.

As they say on those InfoCommercials: ‘But Wait. There’s More’:

We’re going to be collaborating with our friends at Falls Creek Cross Country and Alpine Access Australia to help bring you three awesome backcountry events during the winter of 2019, with gatherings in the Main Range of the Snowy Mountains and at Falls Creek.

Continue reading “VIC Backcountry festival 2019 – dates and venue announcement”

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‘Ode To Muir’ – a film by Teton Gravity Research – screening in Melbourne

`Teton Gravity’s newest film Ode To Muir “pairs professional snowboarder, adventurer and founder of Protect Our Winters Jeremy Jones with two-time Olympian Elena Hight as they embark on a 60 km human-powered expedition deep into California’s John Muir Wilderness.

Their journey balances the challenges of winter camping, gruelling climbs up the Sierra’s biggest mountains, and aesthetic first descents with personal reflections on the importance of the natural world, and sharing perspectives gleaned from what it truly means to explore a great wilderness”.

Continue reading “‘Ode To Muir’ – a film by Teton Gravity Research – screening in Melbourne”

Backcountry film festival – call out for local films

The Backcountry Film Festival is produced each year by the Winter Wildlands Alliance as a celebration of the human-powered experience and a gathering place for the backcountry snowsports community. The 2018-19 Backcountry Film Festival will tour over 100 cities around the world, including Melbourne.

The Melbourne show of the backcountry film festival (the BCFF) will happen in April or May 2019. Location will be in the inner city (to be announced soon).

Check the trailer for the season here.

Do you have a film we could screen?

The BCFF package is put together by the USA-based Winter Wildlands Alliance and has 10 films in the 2018/19 season.

We normally introduce the festival with a locally made backcountry film.

Last year we screened Mount Townsend 2209 – an Australian Freeride Story. (available here).

If you would like to offer a film for a screening, and its suitable to show an all age crowd of backcountry enthusiasts (and its under 7 minutes long) please get in touch.

Get in touch

If you would like to go on the announce list for the 2019 screenings or want to offer a film for the screening, please email Cam: cam.walker@foe.org.au

Full details on the 2019 screening will be announced here soon.

Ignition Mountain Bike Festival

From the organisers:

‘You like to ride bikes? You like to party? Well this is the biggest and best bike riding party around!
Blue Dirt Mountain Biking presents Ignition, a mountain bike event hinged on the core social elements of the rider lifestyle.

Join us at Falls Creek 17-18 November 2018 to celebrate all things MTB’.

Full details here.

Winter Dreaming revisited

Back in 2008, Stephen Curtain released ‘Winter Dreaming: an Australian Alps freeheel film’. It was a telemark ski movie which was filmed largely in the Snowy Mountains and a number of spots in north eastern Victoria, including the iconic eastern face of Mt Feathertop.

Ten years on, Stephen revisited some of the footage from the Feathertop scenes and re-packaged it into a 10 minute film called ‘Winter Dreaming. The backstory, Feathertop backcountry and beyond’ for the inaugural Victorian backcountry festival, held at Falls Creek in September 2018.

Continue reading “Winter Dreaming revisited”

The 2018 Victorian backcountry festival

Thanks to everyone who made the effort to come along to the inaugural Victorian backcountry festival (BCF). More than 200 people attended over the two days, with more than 20 sessions being held, including clinics, tours, skillshares, presentations, and a film festival.

BCF grew from the world telemark day celebrations that have been happening at Mt Hotham the last 5 years. After deciding to bring it to Falls Creek, the idea morphed into an ‘all things backcountry’ event which would aim to bring together some of the backcountry (BC) community and offer an opportunity for ‘first timers’ to get involved. We focused on many forms of human powered winter adventure – including cross country, snow shoeing, alpine touring, telemark and splitboarding.

Continue reading “The 2018 Victorian backcountry festival”

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.”

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