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Mountain Journal

Environment, news, culture from the Australian Alps

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Snowy Mountains

The MSC ‘Slay Safe’ backcountry academy

Mountain Sports Collective will be running a series of FREE Introduction to Advanced Backcountry sessions this season. These events are for participants who are eager to step beyond the patrol lines and learn the skills required to pursue extended ski touring (both skiing and split boarding). This is nominally everything you need to know to travel over a variety of alpine terrain (Skiing / Skinning and ALPINE Climbing) and overnight (the eDVANCED bit).

Continue reading “The MSC ‘Slay Safe’ backcountry academy”

Reclaim Kosci petition ceremony at NSW parliament

The Reclaim Kosci group have been running a fantastic campaign to gain protection of the Snowy Mountains through securing removal of the large numbers of wild horses in the Kosciusko national park.

This week they will present a petition to NSW parliament calling for the Repeal the Kosciuszko Wild Horse Heritage Act.

Continue reading “Reclaim Kosci petition ceremony at NSW parliament”

Alpine Access Australia

Alpine Access Australia started as a guiding company and now provides a range of snow safety programs and avalanche training. Many in the backcountry will know Dave and Pieta Herring and instructor Luka Panik. AAA operate both in the Snowy Mountains and a growing number of mountain areas in Victoria.

AAA are the avalanche safety course providers at this year’s VIC backcountry festival (September 8 and 9) and will be offering courses in the Hotham area before, during and after the festival.

Continue reading “Alpine Access Australia”

Snowy Mountains Backcountry (SMBC)

With a growing number of businesses and groups offering backcountry tours and skills, we will run some profiles to give you a sense of what’s available.

Check this earlier profile of Lets Split and check below for details on Snowy Mountains Backcountry. More profiles of other businesses coming soon. You can check here for details on all the courses and touring companies that I’m aware of here.

Continue reading “Snowy Mountains Backcountry (SMBC)”

ACT government to consider declaring feral horses a pest

Wild horse populations are a problem right across the Alps. While there are plans to reduce numbers in Victoria, the NSW government has opted for a bizarre position that believes that ‘the cultural significance of brumbies needed to be recognised’, and hence culling in alpine national parks has been reduced. As a result, the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service has not undertaken any feral horse control in alpine areas for more than 18 months. This has meant that the large existing wild horse population continues to grow, and continues to adversely impact on alpine ecosystems.

Continue reading “ACT government to consider declaring feral horses a pest”

NSW’s inaction on horses causing problems in ACT

Have you ever lived next to a bad neighbour who doesn’t care how their actions impacts on you? If so, then you probably know how Victoria and the ACT feel about NSW’s unwillingness to control the herds of wild horses that range in the Snowy Mountains.

The enormous environmental impacts of wild horses are widely documented. In spite of this, the NSW government has aligned itself with the ‘brumby lobby’, which wants to keep wild horses in the Kosciuszko national park for ‘cultural reasons’. They have legislated to protect the horses from culling. Given that there is no fence between the mountains in NSW and adjoining states, this negligence is impacting Victoria and the ACT.

Continue reading “NSW’s inaction on horses causing problems in ACT”

Volunteer Hawkweed eradication programs in the Snowy Mountains

Mouse-ear hawkweed (Hieracium pilosella) is an invasive perennial herb in the daisy (Asteraceae) family. It is native to Europe and Asia but now occurs as a serious weed in New Zealand, Canada and USA.

A small infestation of mouse-ear hawkweed was discovered in December 2014, near Charlottes Pass in the Main Range of Kosciuszko National Park. The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) has an active control-and-detection program under way to eradicate this threat.

The National Parks and Wildlife Service in NSW is organising a volunteer program in the Snowy Mountains from January until March 2019. Volunteers help with identifying the location of hawkweed infestations.

Continue reading “Volunteer Hawkweed eradication programs in the Snowy Mountains”

Save Kosci walk underway

Over a hundred people joined the Save Kosci full distance walkers on the morning of Saturday 3rd November as they left The Domain in central Sydney.  The walk intends to highlight the negative impacts of wild horses on the alpine environment of the Snowy Mountains. The walkers have just completed their 3rd day and reached Liverpool, with a group of 14. Morale is high and the walkers are getting sympathetic reactions from people they meet along the way.

They are on schedule, so far, to reach the summit of Kosciuszko around 7 to 9 December. If you drive past them in their bright yellow safety vests, give them a friendly toot.  Continue reading “Save Kosci walk underway”

Something craggy and life priorities

Antony von Chrismar describes a mission to the Main Range with long time friend Lach to ride big lines on the western face. “The stoke was high … a rare treat it was to slay such perfect stable powder on a complex Aussie mountain face.”

Continue reading “Something craggy and life priorities”

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