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Mountain Journal

Environment, news, culture from the Australian Alps

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VIC State of the Environment report – what does it say about the future of the Alps?

We all know that climate change is already affecting Australia’s mountains. From more intense fire seasons, less rainfall and higher temperatures, we are already locked into a changed future.

What we do now will influence how much additional change the Alps experience in coming decades.

The Victorian government’s Commissioner for Environmental Sustainability has just released their State of the Environment Report for 2018. These are produced every five years.

The report tells Victorians about the health of our environment – our land, our water, our air, and our ecosystems. Using 170 different scientific indicators, the report shows us where we’re doing well and where we need to improve. It has specific information on alpine environments, and the following is lifted directly from the 2018 report, which is available here.

Continue reading “VIC State of the Environment report – what does it say about the future of the Alps?”

Backcountry film festival – Melbourne, April 30

The Backcountry Film Festival is produced each year by Winter Wildlands Alliance as a celebration of the human-powered winter experience and a gathering place for the backcountry snowsports community.

In 2019 it features a program of ten films, including productions from Colorado, Washington state, California and China. There will be a screening of the classic splitboarding film Ode to Muir, featuring Jeremy Jones and Elena Hight.

Tuesday April 30

Get there early for a drink: Bar from 6.30pm. Films from 7pm – 9.30pm.

Co-hosted with RMIT Outdoors Club.

Storey Hall (RMIT), 342-344 Swanston St, Melbourne.

Suggested donation: $8 conc & students/ $15 waged. Tickets at the door. There will be plenty of room. Sorry, cash only sales.

There will be a bar run by the RMIT Outdoors Club before the films start.

Facebook event page for Melbourne available here.

You can check the trailer for the 2019 season here.

Full listing of films available here.

This screening is family friendly.

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Vail Resorts to Acquire Falls Creek and Hotham Ski Resorts

After months of speculation, it has been confirmed that Vail Resorts will acquire Mt Hotham and Falls Creek resorts. They bought Perisher resort in 2015.

It should be noted that ‘The acquisition, which is subject to certain regulatory approvals, is expected to close prior to the commencement of the Australian snow season in June 2019.’

The following media release comes from Mt Hotham resort:

Continue reading “Vail Resorts to Acquire Falls Creek and Hotham Ski Resorts”

Outdoor and snowsports industries stand united against climate change

The Trump administration’s sustained attacks on conservation areas in the USA has mobilised the outdoor industry in unprecedented ways. Now the key forces in the outdoor and snow sports industries – the National Ski Areas Association (NSAA), the Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) and Snowsports Industries America (SIA) have joined forces to step up action on climate change solutions.

Continue reading “Outdoor and snowsports industries stand united against climate change”

10 US-based ski resorts showing the way on sustainability

We all know that ski resorts have a large environmental footprint. As Outside magazine recently noted, ‘with sprawling mountainside villages, water-guzzling snow machines, and high-powered chairlifts, it’s no secret operating a ski resort can be a dirty business.”

Here in Australia some resorts have taken small steps to reduce their impact, but its still fairly dismal when you consider their overall operations. Outside have recently listed the best 10 US-based resorts when it comes to environmental responsibility. While the bigger resorts that come with having a much larger population have greater financial capacity to change their operations, these examples do provide some ideas for any resorts here who are serious about taking their environmental and climate responsibilities seriously.

Continue reading “10 US-based ski resorts showing the way on sustainability”

‘Stopping Climate Change Is Hopeless. Let’s Do It.’

Auden Schendler is well known to many skiers and riders as being a key figure in snow industry efforts to move towards sustainability. He is the Vice President of Sustainability at the Aspen Snowmass resort in Colorado.

Just before the IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C report was released, Auden co-authored an opinion piece in the New York Times with Andrew P. Jones. Given Auden’s pivotal role in the snow community, I thought it was worth sharing some excerts from it here which underscore the political challenge we face if we are serious about resolving the ‘climate problem’. The full article is available here.

Continue reading “‘Stopping Climate Change Is Hopeless. Let’s Do It.’”

Thredbo to offset all of its lifting and snowmaking electricity

As we all know, resort riding and skiing is an energy intensive recreation. While resorts have generally been a bit slow off the mark to reduce their greenhouse emissions here in Australia, there are some heartening developments happening.

One example of leadership comes from Thredbo resort in NSW.

Continue reading “Thredbo to offset all of its lifting and snowmaking electricity”

Boothy’s Blog – 5 Ideas to Make Skiing in Australia Better

There are many good reasons to love Mountainwatch. From the snow season forecasts from The Grasshopper to the ‘every snow cam you need to see in the one place’ coverage of resorts, to lots of snow community news, there is always lots going on.

I recently spotted this post from Chris Booth, who asked five ‘snow personalities’ about what would make skiing in Australia better. The response I liked best was that we should tow Australia 15 degrees south towards Antarctica.

Continue reading “Boothy’s Blog – 5 Ideas to Make Skiing in Australia Better”

Protect Our Winters at Mt Buller with Chris Davenport

Chris Davenport is a Protect Our Winters POW board member and is widely regarded as one of the premier bigmountain skiers in the world today. Among his many mountaineering achievement Chris was the first person to ski all fifty-four of Colorado’s 14,000 foot peaks in less than a year. He has also guided and skied on Mt Everest. This month he visits Mt Buller for the first time.

Chris is visiting Australia to spread the word on “why we need winter’ and will speak at the Mt Buller cinema on Tuesday 24th July 2018 at 7pm. The talk will be followed by a screening of the new Teton Gravity Research film ‘Rogue Elements’ in which Mt Buller’s own Mitch Reeves features.

Continue reading “Protect Our Winters at Mt Buller with Chris Davenport”

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