Mountain Journal

Environment, news, culture from the Australian Alps


snow sports

Backcountry film festival – Melbourne, May 30

As the Alps gets another blast of pre winter snow, I’m happy to be able to tell you that we have a date for this year’s backcountry film festival program in Melbourne!

The BC festival is the annual mini film festival that covers human powered winter adventure.

The Melbourne show will be held on Tuesday May 30.

Continue reading “Backcountry film festival – Melbourne, May 30”

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.

DELWP says:

You are invited to attend one of the Alpine Resort Futures Vulnerability Assessment workshops being held across the alpine region and in Melbourne during late April and early May.

Alpine resorts have a special place in the hearts of many Victorians, and we need to ensure they continue to maximise economic and social benefits for all Victorians. The Alpine Resorts Climate Adaptation Project delivers on government’s commitment to support the alpine resorts to adapt to climate change.

The Alpine Resorts Climate Adaptation Project begins with the Vulnerability Assessment. This part of the project will generate information which will be required when we come to planning ways to adapt to climate change. The next step will then be implementing those plans.

The Vulnerability Assessment workshops present a ‘hands on’ opportunity for stakeholders and communities to explore and think through the challenges facing the alpine resorts as the climate changes. The workshops are designed to begin the task of building a platform for action – both personal and organisational – to maintain and enhance the economic, social and cultural values of the alpine resorts.

The workshop will cover:
· Climate change adaptation concepts: we will discuss climate change adaptation, and reflect on how other alpine resorts around the world have adapted
· Exploring current values & climate change vulnerability: we will identify and discuss the current economic, social and cultural values of the Alpine resorts, and how these values might be affected by climate change
· Exploring adaptive capacity: we will identifying and discussing how best to harness the region’s strengths for adaptation, how the future might look through adaptation, and what adaptive actions might look like.”

To see more details and RSVP for one of the workshops please visit the Engage Victoria website at…/climate-adaptation

The workshops will be held as follows;

Mount Buller – Wednesday 26 April, 11:30am to 3pm.
Mansfield – Wednesday 26 April, 5:30pm to 8:30pm.
Falls Creek – Thursday 27 April, 11:30am to 3pm
Mount Beauty – Thursday 27 April, 5:30pm to 8:30pm
Mount Hotham – Friday 28 April, 11:30am to 3pm
Bright – Friday 28 April, 5:30pm to 8:30pm
Omeo – Saturday, 29 April, 1:30pm to 4:30pm
Mount Baw Baw – Monday 1 May, 11:30am to 3pm
Warragul – Monday 1 May, 5:30pm to 8:30pm
Lake Mountain – Tuesday 2 May, 11:30am to 3pm
Marysville – Tuesday 2 May, 5:30pm to 8:30pm
Melbourne – Friday 12 May, 9am to 12:30pm
Melbourne – 1:30pm to 5pm

If you are unable to attend, but still wish to express a point of view, we encourage you to register with DELWP “Stay informed” at…/climate-adaptation


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.


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”

Hakuba MountainLife Magazine

One of the influences for Mountain Journal was a great magazine from Colorado called Mountain Gazette, which existed in a number of forms from the early 1970s. It was an insiders view of life, landscape, and culture in the mountain states of the USA (it now exists as an online journal).

As a lover of regionally focused art and media, I’ve long enjoyed a range of magazines from around the world, mostly North America, which cherish and appreciate the mountain environment. There are lots of great sport-focused journals that have a strong emphasis on the natural environment where our adventures take place (some of my faves include Backcountry, Wild and Rock and Ice). The rarer ones focus on culture, landscape and the interaction between people and their surroundings (Orion is a brilliant ‘all round’ journal in this regard, but I especially loved Highline, which stopped production last year).

I was recently introduced to Hakuba Mountain Life magazine, a thoroughly beautiful homage to the backcountry in this part of the Japanese Alps (thanks Peter).

It is put together by Mio Tonouchi and Damian Banwell. Damian is an Australian backcountry guide. The magazine does have a focus on their business but extends way beyond, celebrating particular mountains, providing advice on backcountry adventures and avalanche safety, and touching on the human culture that inhabits the valleys around the Japanese Alps. It has great images. The magazine describes itself as ‘reflecting our love for backcountry life in our local mountains’. Damian and Mio are doing their best to Live the Dream, riding in winter and farming at other times.

Loving and appreciating place through any form of media is a great thing to do. But I do agree with the ‘contributers’ section of the magazine, which notes the contribution of The Mountains & Nature Itself: ‘do not confuse the moon with the finger that points at it’.

[IMAGE: Hakuba Mountain Life]

Last week to have your say on the Mt Baw Baw and Lake Mountain 2030 project

Both the Lake Mountain and Baw Baw alpine resorts have been going through an extensive planning process and are in the final stages of seeking community input to the various options that have been identified for each resort.

Consultation has led to the creation of Future Direction Papers, which will inform the recommendations that are presented to the Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change.

Continue reading “Last week to have your say on the Mt Baw Baw and Lake Mountain 2030 project”

Big snowfall on its way?

After a disappointing cycle these last few weeks of snow and warmer weather, it seems like there may be some good news on the horizon.

Snow forecaster The Grasshopper reports in MountainWatch that  a more “traditional” cold outbreak is currently steaming through the Southern Ocean, ‘ready to drop a healthy dose of snow on the Australian Alps’.

This event will start with plenty of rain, but:

“Strong to gale force north-westerlies on Tuesday herald a change to much colder and snowier weather as a cold front approaches from The Bight,” he continued. “Snow will arrive during the afternoon to leave 10-15 cm down to 1500m by Wednesday morning.”

But that’s only the entree, the best news is still to come: “A weak high will then build in for Wednesday while another low lines up in to the south-west. A blast of strong north-westerly winds on Thursday will cause further problems with wind hold before a heavier fall of snow Thursday night into Friday as a cold front crosses the Aussie Alps. I’ve got my antennae crossed that the models don’t back off this one as it has the potential to slam us with 20-30 cm of snow down to 1000m.”

Here’s hoping!

Recruitment drive for Lake Mountain ski patrol

Lake Mountain Ski Patrol (LMSP) is gearing up for the 2016 winter season and has launched a recruitment drive for more volunteers to join its weekend team.

Volunteer patrollers need to be 18 years and older, and be fit, competent cross country skiers with a minimum Level 2 First Aid qualification.

Continue reading “Recruitment drive for Lake Mountain ski patrol”

The Grasshopper prediction for winter 2016

It’s April: two months til winter… Which gets us all thinking about what type of season it will be.

Most Australian snow enthusiasts know about The Grasshopper, who writes snow forecasts for MountainWatch (‘resident meteorology sensei’ at MountainWatch).

The first prediction for 2016 has arrived.

Continue reading “The Grasshopper prediction for winter 2016”

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