Mountain Journal

Environment, news, culture from the Australian Alps



Whiteroom offers Avalanche courses in Australia

With more and more Australian skiers and riders getting into the backcountry, both here and overseas, there is an ever growing awareness about the need to have good skills to stay safe in unmanaged terrain. This includes the ability to assess and avoid avalanche risk, and to carry out rescues.

There are now a number of businesses running avalanche courses, including the Jindabyne-based Main Range Backcountry and a new operator at Mt Buller called Mountain Safe. (See below for details).

There are also international instructors coming out here to offer courses. This includes Whiteroom, who are a company that offers guided ski and snowboard tours, ski and snowboard holidays, mountain guiding, instructional tours, and group travel in Japan, New Zealand and North America.

This comes from Ronan Maguire, who is running the Whiteroom courses in Australia. Ronan has done eleven seasons at Mt Hutt as well several in America, Canada and Japan.

Continue reading “Whiteroom offers Avalanche courses in Australia”

Managing development in the Kosciuszko alpine resorts

If you’re interested in the future of the alpine resorts in the NSW mountains and how they interact with the surrounding environment, you currently have an opportunity to comment on the management plan.

The Parks Service says:

The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) is looking at better ways to measure and regulate the environmental carrying capacity of alpine resorts in Kosciuszko National Park. Currently, carrying capacity is addressed using ‘bed limits’.

Continue reading “Managing development in the Kosciuszko alpine resorts”

‘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.

2015 Thredbo Cannonball MTB Festival –  Dec 4th – 6th

The Cannonball Festival is back for 2015. Hosted at Thredbo ski village, the organisers say it “promises dirt, vert and freewheeling action as some of the world’s best mountain bike riders mix it with rising stars and amateur enthusiasts to take home their share of the massive $45,000 in cash and prizes up for grabs”.

“Thredbo is Australia’s home of Gravity Mountain biking, and the five events across three days showcase the diversity of the terrain on offer in the Snowy Mountains. The line-up of events includes the side by side Sram Dual Compressor, RockShox Pump Track Challenge on Thredbo’s new look pump track, the ODI Whip Wars Big Air, Maxxis Flow Motion Cup and the jewel in the crown, the Toyota Australian Open Downhill”.

Full details can be found here.

‘Unite for POW in Paris’

Mountain Journal has often covered the various sustainability initiatives by ski resorts and the snow/ outdoor industries.

It has also noted the fact there here in Australia, the resorts and industry have either given up all pretense of even caring about climate change or simply have never done anything on the issue. In theory most resorts at least support the ideas behind the ‘Keep Winter Cool‘ initiative, but when was the last time you saw any of them promote climate change or sustainability measures in their materials?

It will be interesting to see if the sale of Perisher Resort in NSW to Vail Resorts will have any impact on the local industry. Vail has at least signed on to some initiatives like “Target 10” aiming for a 10% reduction in energy use.

As we get closer to the climate negotiations which will happen in Paris in late November, the stakes keep getting higher. With the current global agreement (the Kyoto Protocol) due to expire shortly, it is essential that world leaders agree on the framework for the agreement which will replace it.

Continue reading “‘Unite for POW in Paris’”

Thredbo carbon offset scheme

The snow season may be pretty much over, but it’s worth mentioning this initiative to reduce greenhouse emissions related to travel to Thredbo resort. It’s also heartening to see Thredbo offsetting emissions from some of its operations, including snow groomers, snow mobiles, buses and work trucks. This came via Adventure Pro.

Continue reading “Thredbo carbon offset scheme”

‘Flow Nation in Thredbo’.

Image: Damian Breach / Flow
Image: Damian Breach / Flow

This is a nice 5 minute video from Flow magazine about riding in the Thredbo area which is available here.

Flow is a great, homegrown Australian MTB magazine, available in newsagents. More info here.

Flow says:

“Thredbo has held a very special place in Australian mountain bike folklore for over two decades now. Lord knows how many of our most famous downhillers cut their teeth on the legendary Cannonball Run downhill, or how many National Round after-parties have run wild in the village…

But despite its strong history, over the past ten years it had started to become clear that Thredbo’s lustre was fading a little; other alpine resorts were investing heavily in mountain biking and Thredbo was losing ground. Simply having ‘the hill’ was no longer enough. Thankfully, rather than allowing the mountain biking program to slip metaphorically downhill, Thredbo too have launched a program of rejuvenating the mountain bike side of their operations. Since our first trip to Thredbo over 15 years ago, we’ve held this place in high esteem, and so we had to come see for ourselves just what changes were underway at Thredders”.

Backcountry Demo Day in Thredbo

revGWilderness Sports presents first ever Backcountry Demo Day in Thredbo10th of July 2013

From Mountainwatch

This coming weekend Wilderness Sports will host the First EVER Backcountry Demo Day to be held in Australia @ Thredbo on Sunday July 14 from 9.00am. (Further details shortly and part of a series)

In partnership with Thredbo we will offer an opportunity to try out the latest equipment for free and talk with experienced industry people as well as Wilderness Sports Backcountry guides about enjoying the mountains safely and how to explore more of the rugged and unique Snowy Mountains.

This is a part of a series of Backcountry Events to be hosted by Wilderness Sports and partnering companies such as First Light Snowboards and Protect Our Winters in order to encourage and educate safe and responsibly travel in the backcountry.

The Event will feature Split Boards; Alpine Touring gear; Snowshoe and Telemark Equipment. Clinics as well as backcountry gear for safety and education.

Split Board Brands – Voile; Venture; Volkl;
Alpine Touring Brands – Kastle; Liberty; Black Diamond; PLUM; Scott;
Telemark Brands – 22 Designs; Rottefella; 75mm and NTN;
Snowshoe Brands – Crescent Moon; MSR;
Backcountry Accessories – Black Diamond; One Planet; Osprey

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