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Mountain Journal

Environment, news, culture from the Australian Alps

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Tasmania

Tasmania + summer = water adventures

I prefer my water frozen. But rivers are still pretty cool … and as spring and summer comes into focus, so does water related adventure.

And Tasmania has it all: tarns, huge lakes and dams, impressive rivers, incredible coastal inlets and harbors like Port Davey on the west coast.

Here’s a few obvious thoughts about the options on offer if you’re looking for an adventure:

Continue reading “Tasmania + summer = water adventures”

Alpine Tasmania

If you love the natural environment of Tasmania you need to subscribe to Tasmanian Geographic (TG), an online journal covering “exploration, research,science outreach, adventure & expedition journalism, educational mapmaking, documentary filmmaking, ecological & experiential & educational tourism, historical musings, museum studies, project updates, and more”.

In their most recent edition, there is an announcement about a book on the alpine environment of this island paradise.

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1,700 years of climate history in Tasmania’s King Billy Pine

This is a fantastic story. Anyone who has walked in the mountains of central and western Tasmania is probably familiar with the King Billy Pine (Athrotaxis selaginoides). Individual trees can live for more than 1,00 years. It is one of the conifers that are endemic to Tasmania and exists only within a very limited range of habitat. Fire threatens the species (one third of its habitat was burnt in the twentieth century), and climate change is expected to increase the severity of fire seasons in future.

The following article outlines a research project that used core samples from King Billy trees to develop a better understanding of climate in Tasmania in previous centuries. It is available here.

Continue reading “1,700 years of climate history in Tasmania’s King Billy Pine”

Skiing The Slot at Mt Field

Recent heavy snowfalls briefly created perfect conditions in the Tasmanian mountains for touring and some serious descents. One classic line with potential is a steep gully in Mt Field National Park called The Slot.

It was briefly in condition, and Ben Armstrong was out there to ski it.

These photos come from Ben via the Australian Backcountry facebook group.

Continue reading “Skiing The Slot at Mt Field”

Cable car up kunanyi/ Mt Wellington one step closer

The Tasmanian government continues to help facilitate the development of a cable car up the side of kunanyi/ Mt Wellington, above Hobart.

There will be significant environmental impacts of this project and visual scarring of the mountain. Close to 1,500 people recently signed a petition against the proposal. A large majority of the 850 submissions made to a recent government process also opposed the plan. Yet the government continues to provide support for this damaging project: it has now tabled the legislation which will allow for the acquisition of public land for the cable car. The Govt has added the word ‘kunanyi’ into the title and little else has changed despite all the feedback it received on the draft legislation.

In an interesting development, the Hobart City Council says that a key reason given by the State Government for its legislation paving the way for a cable car on kunanyi/ Mt Wellington has ‘no weight’.

Tasmanian people: please make sure that your voice is heard by contacting the Legislative Council members to urge them to vote against the Bill. They will have the final say.

For further information check the page for Respect the Mountain.

Help stop the cable car on Mt Wellington/ kunanyi

Mountain Journal has often reported on the long campaign against the proposal to build a cable car up the face of Mt Wellington/ kunanyi, in Hobart.

If you’re a Tasmanian, please sign this petition which opposes the recently tabled Mount Wellington Cable Car Facilitation Bill 2017, which intends to facilitate the acquisition of land for the cable car. It calls for the Bill to be rejected.

You can sign the petition here.

You can find extra info on Mountain Journal or through local resident’s group Respect the Mountain.

TAS government legislation would bring Mt Wellington/ kunanyi cable car closer

The ongoing attempt to build a cable car up the face of Mt Wellington/ kunanyi in Tasmania is at a turning point. This project would cause major visual scarring to the mountain and many localised ecological impacts. It represents an old fashioned ‘Disneyland’ approach to tourism and is widely opposed by the community in Hobart.

Mathew Groom, member for Denison and also a close friend of the cable proponent, has now released legislation which would allow for land to be acquired on Mt Wellington. This would bring the project much closer to being realised. There is a short window of time to express your concerns about this legislation. Please see below for details.

Continue reading “TAS government legislation would bring Mt Wellington/ kunanyi cable car closer”

Blade Ridge, Federation Peak. In Winter.

The iconic ridge on an iconic mountain – Blade Ridge on Federation Peak in south west Tasmania. Any climber who has been in there will have marvelled at that incredible spine of rock. Normally the thought of just getting to the base of the ridge through relentless scrub is enough for you to put it in the ‘Yeah. No’ category of dream trips.

But one group of climbers have been in to the Blade to climb it, in winter. They are now making a film about the trip and have launched a crowdfund campaign. Check below for full details.

Continue reading “Blade Ridge, Federation Peak. In Winter.”

Time for that Tassie trip?

As some forecasters suggested early in the year, 2017 seems to be turning into a less than average and slightly erratic season. The ephemeral joy of winter snow seems even more fleeting than usual this year, with the lesson that you should get out and enjoy it wherever and however you can when it arrives.

The most recent fronts appear to have brought the most snow to the southern mountains of Tasmania, which also got me thinking about the ephemeral wonder of Tassie’s peaks after heavy snow.

Continue reading “Time for that Tassie trip?”

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