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Mountain Journal

Environment, news, culture from the Australian Alps

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sustainable lifestyle

Community offer on solar in north east Victoria

You can significantly reduce your energy use at home by installing a CO2 heat pump or solar hot water system.

Sustainable Upper Ovens is working with Solar Integrity, Indigo Power and the North East Community Energy Network to roll out this community offer across North East Victoria.

They will be at the Bright Community Centre at 7pm, Wednesday 28th August to tell you all about it and answer questions.

They will also be doing an information session in Harrietville in 3 to 4 weeks.

Check the Sustainable Upper Ovens facebook page for extra details.

 

In praise of the Home Range

 

We all know that air travel has a huge environmental impact. Taking a long-haul flight generates more carbon emissions than the average person in dozens of countries around the world produces in a whole year. As a keen skier and walker I love an overseas adventure as much as the next addict. But having done lots of overseas trips I figure I’ve consumed well beyond a fair share of carbon, and try to stick close to home for my adventures nowadays (despite falling off the wagon and visiting Colorado a couple of times in recent years).

There is, of course, the allure of skiing new mountains (and the fantastic snow that comes with higher altitude and latitude, and grander terrain) but there is also the allure of staying at home, of deepening connection with the local hills and valleys. Even here in the south east, there is lifetimes worth of terrain to walk and big patches to ski and ride. Factor in Tasmania, and you have several lifetimes worth. I’m still yet to make it into the Cobberas in winter, am long overdue for another visit to the ‘interior’ ranges of the Howitt Plains and Mt Clear in the central Victorian Alps, or walk the Overland Track in peak snow conditions.

Continue reading “In praise of the Home Range”

RePete Goods – reducing impact in the wilderness

RePete is a great new local initiative based in Canberra which aims to help make environmental best practice the easy choice when managing waste when travelling in the wilderness. RePete has launched their debut product, the ROW bags (recycling, organics, waste), which is a system of three reusable, lightweight and durable bags that enable optimal waste management in the backcountry.

You can read a background, and purchase the bags, here.

Does wild nature create activists?

The primary purpose of this website is to celebrate the mountains of south eastern Australia and Tasmania. This includes getting out and enjoying them – walking, skiing, riding, climbing, paddling, or simply just taking it easy. I have a deep belief that getting people out into wild nature makes them more likely to feel engaged in protecting wild ecosystems.

There has been some interesting conversations of late about whether this assumption is actually correct.

Continue reading “Does wild nature create activists?”

Sustainable small towns

Totally Renewable Yackandandah is a volunteer run community group, formed in 2014, with the goal of powering their town with 100% renewable energy and achieving energy sovereignty by 2022.

One of TRY’s standout projects is the TRY Perpetual Energy Fund (PEF), which raises funds from donations that are reinvested in community projects around Yack to increase energy efficiency, generate renewable electricity and for storage. Loans are repaid from the savings made on electricity bills and the Fund is perpetuated for community sustainability projects. The first project was with Yackandandah Health Service (YHS). In 2015, TRY raised $5,000, which was loaned to YHS for the energy efficiency improvements. The connection of a 90kW solar-panel system at Yackandandah Health Service (YHS) replacement of 276 light fittings with low maintenance LED lights.

TRY is a great example of community controlled initiatives which are designed to transition to a more sustainable basis while also building a sense of community power.

Continue reading “Sustainable small towns”

Winter 2017. (Almost) done.

Wow. What a winter. Some forecasters were predicting a ‘slightly better than average’ season, and opening weekend saw skiable snow in the resorts, but then things slowed down for several weeks until we started to get serious snowfalls in July. We had four epic storm fronts during the season, variously called The Blizard of Oz, Snowaggedon 2.0, etc, with the best snowpack in September for 17 years. Most resorts extended their season a week until October 8, and there is still many weeks’ worth of skiing in many parts of the backcountry.

As the season winds down, like most snow addicts I’m already thinking about next year. Personally I had an awesome winter, with a highlight being a road trip from the Snowies to Mt Hotham. But I did a lot of ‘weekend warrior’ drives and now that the snow frenzy is dissipating, I feel like I’ve woken up after a big bender with a hangover and a slight sense of guilt…

Continue reading “Winter 2017. (Almost) done.”

Lamont magazine

Any skier, rider or MTB enthusiast who has travelled in North America will know that there is a wealth of mountain themed magazines and media on that continent. Journals that celebrate the people and culture of mountain towns, the outdoor life, and the landscapes that make it all possible. Australia, with a much smaller population and a lot fewer mountain towns, has traditionally been a bit sparse when it comes to this type of media.

So, it’s a real delight to see a new magazine which is seeking to explore and celebrate the ‘mountains and the people whose lives and loves are in them’.

Lamont magazine is the brainchild of Jindabyne-based photographer Mandy Lamont, and describes itself as a ‘mountain lifestyle magazine’. Having worked hard to make her life in the high country sustainable through pursing a range of ventures, she is now sharing her love of the mountains with others through this magazine.

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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.

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