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Mountain Journal

Environment, news, culture from the Australian Alps

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ski resorts

Action now means more snow later

We all know that winter is in trouble. Climate change is already impacting on snowfalls and winters are becoming more erratic.

A recent report commissioned by the Alpine Resorts Co-ordinating Committee (ARCC) confirmed, yet again, the grim prognosis facing the snow industry and snow lovers if we don’t take serious action to radically reduce our contribution to global warming.

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Early open at resorts

The Alps received some fantastic snow falls in the last couple of days, prompting at least two resorts to announce they will open a week early.

Perisher has announced it will open a week early (Saturday June 3). Queen’s Birthday weekend is the traditional start to the season in the resorts.

Mt Buller has also been promoting its new snow making technology. The resort spent $1.6m on its ‘Snowfactory’, which is already making and stockpiling artificial snow, and is now spreading this to create a base for operations.Mt Buller will start operations from friday night (June 2).

Hotham has also invested $4.4 million in snowmaking over the past two summers, with the new system, covering more terrain, ready to go. Most resorts have started making snow on the back of this recent weather system. There is a nice summary of how the resorts fared in terms of snowfall on Mountain Watch.

The question, of course, is: is this the start of the 2017 snow pack, or the last autumn snow fall?

Snow forecaster The Grasshopper suggests that 2017 will be a ‘slightly worse than average season’ but it now looks like we will skiing/ riding opportunities over the Queen’s Birthday weekend, at least in the resorts. And unless there is some kind of rain event disaster in the next couple of weeks, it looks like this is the beginning of the base for the season.

The 2017 Alpine Industry Conference

In early May, the Alpine Resorts Co-ordinating Council (*) (ARCC) hosted the ‘Alpine Industry Conference’ in Marysville.

While many participants were understandably focused on the imminent announcement about what will happen to the alpine resort management boards, and the overall theme of the conference was ‘managing a changing landscape’, a key issue was the threat posed by climate change to the very survival of the ski industry.

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Reducing the impact of our snow obsession

Outside magazine recently posted a great piece on the environmental impact of skiing/ riding. Well, one particular aspect – the amount of carbon pollution we produce through driving or flying to get to ski destinations.

They tracked and collated the travel mileage during winter of their most snow-obsessed staff, then consulted a carbon offset specialist, who estimated they would have to plant 704 trees to sequester all the carbon generated.

Continue reading “Reducing the impact of our snow obsession”

Have your say on the future of alpine resorts

The Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) is inviting the community to attend workshops into the future for Alpine Resorts in the state. They will be held in April & May.

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The 2017 Alpine Industry Conference

The Alpine Resorts Co-ordinating Council (ARCC) holds an Alpine Industry Conference each year. They are described as ‘bringing together government, government partner agencies, researchers, and private industry to provide participants with valuable and relevant information to assist with the planning and strategic decision-making in a changing environment’.

The conference will feature 3 facilitated panel sessions that will broach major issues facing the Victorian alpine industry.

In 2017, the conference will be held 4 – 5 May, in Marysville. The theme is ‘Managing a Changing Landscape’, with a focus on the impacts of climate change on the alpine environment and what this will mean for businesses which are reliant on snow fall.

Full details here.

 

Chair of Mount Buller and Mount Stirling Board resigns

It has recently been reported in regional media and The Age newspaper that allegations had been made that members of the Mount Buller and Mount Stirling Resort Management Board had misused their position and public funds.

In late March 2017, the Victorian Ombudsman released a report into the allegations of improper conduct by officers of the Board.

The report implicated officers of the resort in the misuse of public funds and public resources.

Continue reading “Chair of Mount Buller and Mount Stirling Board resigns”

Time to make Mt Stirling part of the Alpine Park

With a review of alpine resorts being carried out by the Victorian government, the Victorian National Parks Association (VNPA) has renewed its campaign to have Mt Stirling incorporated into the Alpine National Park.

There is a small window of time remaining to provide input to the review, supporting the call for the inclusion in the park. The following information from the VNPA explains how to have input into the process.

Continue reading “Time to make Mt Stirling part of the Alpine Park”

Whistler Blackomb asks what the future holds for skiing

Over the past year, more than 30 North American ski resorts have set targets to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions via voluntary programs.

Whistler Blackcomb, in British Columbia, which is consistently rated as North America’s #1 resort has also developed some interesting sustainability measures.

As part of the resorts 50th celebrations, it commissioned an interesting project which considered the question ‘what does the future hold for us in the next 50 years?’.

Continue reading “Whistler Blackomb asks what the future holds for skiing”

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