Mountain Journal

Environment, news, culture from the Australian Alps


sustainable lifestyle

Highline Magazine signs off

One of the inspirations for Mountain Journal was a magazine that came out of Colorado called the Mountain Gazette. The Gazette lived through various incarnations from the early 1970s onwards and was, in the words of one of its founders, “generally about the mountains”. Quirky, alternative, sometimes very political, and with fantastic writing about life in the mountains and the landscapes that sustain and draw people to that part of the world. It had fantastic covers, with wonderfully evocative art work.

Continue reading “Highline Magazine signs off”

‘Wanderlust’ festival, Thredbo

Wanderlust events are gatherings that bring together yoga and meditation, music, artists, and chefs (with a focus on local and sustainable foods) for a ‘transformational retreat’ in a beautiful location. It will also feature a range of outdoor activities like riding, running and hikes. Generally there is a Speakeasy – a series of lectures on a range of topics. Xavier Rudd is preforming on February 20.

There will be a Wanderlust event at Thredbo, described as being ‘a 4-day celebration of mindful living’ from 18 – 21 February.

For further details on the program and cost, check here.

I Am Pro Snow

Like Protect Our Winters, I Am Pro Snow is seeking to mobilise people in the snow sports community to be active in reducing climate change. It is an initiative of the Climate Reality Project. They have been represented at the recent climate change negotiations in Paris, and have a range of ‘snow ambassadors’ who advocate for action in various forums.

It does seem a bit fluffy – focusing on awareness raising rather than hard asks – and light on in terms of providing suggestions about tangible actions that people can take. But at this point we need all hands on deck when it comes to finding solutions to the merging climate crisis, so all power to them.

Continue reading “I Am Pro Snow”

On Injury

After skiing for more than 35 years, I’ve had my first major injury. I broke my ankle at Mt Hotham in mid July. At this point I’m in a cast and waiting to see if I’ll need some work done on my leg. My brain is active, but the body is very limited. Having to sit out the rest of what has turned into a great winter is hard, but I’m doing my best to be Zen.

As a climber, mountain bike rider and general outdoors kind of person, I’ve broken various bones, got frost nip on the toes, and had many close calls in the mountains. An ankle isn’t that big an injury, but takes you out of the game in a very definite kind of way. Sitting on the side lines gives you lots of time to think and reflect, and I’m trying to work out the lesson I’ll take from this.

Continue reading “On Injury”

Climate change, snow sports and mountain environments

There can be little doubt that our fragile alpine environment is at risk from multiple sources, including feral animals and pests, inappropriate development, logging and climate change.

What is strange is that amongst major users of our mountain environments there is so little discussion about climate change. Ski resorts generally ignore the issue, while hunters, 4 Wheel Drivers and trail bike riders are no where to be seen. Many green groups are working to head off Australia’s contribution to climate change, but the snow industry is a stand out in it’s silence on the issue given they have so much to lose if predictions of dwindling snow falls are correct.

The following is a listing of articles from Mountain Journal that

  • cover the ecological and economic problems associated with climate change, and
  • initiatives by individuals, organisations and businesses to tackle the problem.

The Epicenter

The Epicenter is a great new cafe, opened in December 2014, that’s operating out of the ski school building at Telephone Box Junction on Mt Stirling.

Epicenter 2The Epicenter has a strong focus on mountain biking, and will be open throughout summer and autumn, then for the snow season as well. Along with Mountain Kitchen at Dinner Plain, this new operation is a stand out amongst alpine cafes: it’s small scale and friendly, with an authentic feel and commitment to adventure and mountain living.

Co-owner Hjalmar Arnold (Yully/Dingo) describes it as “the Riders Lifestyle in a shop, year round” and “the Gateway to the Alpine Backcountry”. There is no doubt that the MTB trails developed in recent years on Mt Buller and Stirling are some of the finest in the country. Yully helped build them, and is a great source of knowledge for first time riders.

They have great food, much of it made on the premises, and excellent coffee. Please drop by and support this great initiative.

There are additional renovations going on to extend the facilities at TBJ, which will be ready for winter 2015.

You can find their facebook page here.

the Dinner Plain Clean Energy Initiative

The Dinner Plain Clean Energy Initiative is a great new program. It aims to offer cheaper, pollution free electricity generated from renewable sources, as well as new technology alternatives to replace antiquated, polluting and expensive gas heating and hot water systems.

You can switch your electricity supplier here.

For every person that switches, Powershop will make a donation to the DP Community Energy project. You can also switch your Melbourne home using the above link to support the DP Community.

Continue reading “the Dinner Plain Clean Energy Initiative”

The Little Things boarding film launched

“We live in remarkable times. What is done, or isn’t done, in the next few years will determine the future”

– David Suzuki

“We need people to fall in love with the outdoors. Without that personal connection with nature it’s hard to get them to protect it”

– Jeremy Jones

Legendary snow boarder Jeremy Jones and environmentalist David Sukuki provide the narrative to the film The Little Things, which has just been released.

The Little Things is a snowboard movie project based on “environmentally conscious riders who are inspirational through their riding, as well as their sustainable ways of living and thinking”.

1233966_447889521993325_1612016137_nThe film is an initiative taken on by professional snowboarder Marie-France Roy and directed by Filmmaker Darcy Turenne in which all the riders are bringing to life the importance of protecting and living in balance with our environment.

100% of the proceeds from the film will be donated to Protect Our Winters (POW) and The David Suzuki Foundation (DSF). The film makers say that “the goal is to bring snowboarding one step ahead, while inspiring positive change that will secure the same lifestyle and quality of life that we have for future generations”.

You can see the trailer (and buy the film) here

getting more kids into the outdoors

Outdoors Victoria was established in 2012 as Victoria’s peak body for the outdoors community with a focus on advocacy.  Its purpose is to:

Build a valued and sustainable outdoor community for the benefit of the community and natural environment by enhancing, connecting, and advocating on behalf of outdoor education, outdoor recreation, outdoor therapy and nature based tourism.

Today they are launching their policy ‘asks’ for the Victorian state election.

Policy Priority 1 – Help kids get outdoors
Giving children better opportunities to learn and play in nature leads to lifelong improvements in their education, health and wellbeing outcomes.

Policy Priority 2 – Invest in the regional outdoor economy
Strategic investment in outdoors infrastructure and events, as well as ecosystem health, is a powerful driver of prosperity and wellbeing for regional Victoria.

Policy Priority 3 – Unlock the potential of the outdoor community
The full potential of commercial and community-based outdoor organisations can be realised through skills development, smarter regulation and research.

Full Policy Agenda

You can download a full copy of their policy agenda here and for more information please email them at

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