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Mountain Journal

Environment, news, culture from the Australian Alps

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sense of place

In praise of the Home Range

 

We all know that air travel has a huge environmental impact. Taking a long-haul flight generates more carbon emissions than the average person in dozens of countries around the world produces in a whole year. As a keen skier and walker I love an overseas adventure as much as the next addict. But having done lots of overseas trips I figure I’ve consumed well beyond a fair share of carbon, and try to stick close to home for my adventures nowadays (despite falling off the wagon and visiting Colorado a couple of times in recent years).

There is, of course, the allure of skiing new mountains (and the fantastic snow that comes with higher altitude and latitude, and grander terrain) but there is also the allure of staying at home, of deepening connection with the local hills and valleys. Even here in the south east, there is lifetimes worth of terrain to walk and big patches to ski and ride. Factor in Tasmania, and you have several lifetimes worth. I’m still yet to make it into the Cobberas in winter, am long overdue for another visit to the ‘interior’ ranges of the Howitt Plains and Mt Clear in the central Victorian Alps, or walk the Overland Track in peak snow conditions.

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Photographs by David Rosendale

Photographer David Rosendale returns to exhibit at Falls Creek with selected prints from his year long study of seasonal change, “The Fall”, with new and unreleased works spanning the years 2016 – 2019.

This Exhibition represents work produced whilst Artist in Residence at Falls Creek in 2017 and beyond, a perpetual commitment and study of the Victorian Alpine landscape.

The exhibition runs from 23 – 25 August 2019.

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‘The cure for depression is action’

In March this year, I sat on the summit of one of my favourite hills, Mt Blowhard, and watched the fires just to the south, which were in the Dargo River valley and burning up onto the Dargo High Plains. Already a mosaic of burnt and reburnt forest, now characterised by the grey trunks of burnt trees, I knew that this would be another wave of impact on these mountain forests. Some parts of north east VIC have now burnt more than three times in a bit over a decade. Scientists warn about the loss of alpine ash and snow gum if the frequency of fire continues to increase.

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Featured post

Hands Across The Organ Pipes

On Sunday October 7, around 140 enthusiastic and energetic walkers participated in the ‘Hands Across the Organ Pipes’ action – saying we love the Organ Pipes as they are and NO to a cable car.

After more than 5,000 people rallied against the cable car last May, its great to see the sustained activity of local residents against this unpopular development.

Photographer: Kim Walls.

Hands across the Organ Pipes – walk and action, OCT 7

Mountain Journal has been reporting on the proposal to build a cable car up the face of kunanyi/ Mt Wellington for several years. The community resistance to this plan has been solid, determined and strategic. Local residents group Residents Opposed to the Cable Car (ROCC) have organised a walk and action to celebrate the beauty of the mountain, to be held on Sunday OCT 7.

Continue reading “Hands across the Organ Pipes – walk and action, OCT 7”

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.

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Does wild nature create activists?

The primary purpose of this website is to celebrate the mountains of south eastern Australia and Tasmania. This includes getting out and enjoying them – walking, skiing, riding, climbing, paddling, or simply just taking it easy. I have a deep belief that getting people out into wild nature makes them more likely to feel engaged in protecting wild ecosystems.

There has been some interesting conversations of late about whether this assumption is actually correct.

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In Search of Space, Journeys in Wild Places

In the introduction to In Search of Space, Journeys in Wild Places, Ross Brownscombe points out that ‘nature writing’ which ‘explores the poetry and magic of wild places’ has not developed into a strong tradition in Australia. Compared to North America and the UK this is certainly correct, and true writers in this genre are few and far between.

This book is a great addition to the library of nature writing that Australia has produced. There is a review here.

Lamont magazine #2

Lamont magazine is only in its second edition but it already feels like it has become an institution in the Australian alpine community. Issue #2 is now available free at a wide range of city and mountain outlets (check here for locations) and has a great cross section of stories, largely focused on people who have turned their passion for the mountains into lifelong connection.

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