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Environment, news, culture from the Australian Alps

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Thredbo

Thredbo to offset all of its lifting and snowmaking electricity

As we all know, resort riding and skiing is an energy intensive recreation. While resorts have generally been a bit slow off the mark to reduce their greenhouse emissions here in Australia, there are some heartening developments happening.

One example of leadership comes from Thredbo resort in NSW.

Continue reading “Thredbo to offset all of its lifting and snowmaking electricity”

Thredbo Dedicates a Weekend to Environmental Awareness, Sustainability & Education

Some significant announcements from Thredbo resort:

  • Thredbo Announces 100% of its lifting and snowmaking electricity will be offset for winter 2018 thanks to a unique partnership with Arnhem Land Fire Abatement Project (ALFA)
  • POW Australia to launch with a Hike to Kozzie and an information night lead by international free-skiing legend and POW board member Chris Davenport in Thredbo
  • To support National Tree Day (Sunday 29 July) Thredbo will be encouraging all guests to offset their journey emissions by matching all guest tree purchases / donations over the weekend thanks to Thredbo’s vehicle offset partnership with Greenfleet

Continue reading “Thredbo Dedicates a Weekend to Environmental Awareness, Sustainability & Education”

Hike for POW with Chris Davenport

Thredbo, Protect Our Winters and Chris Davenport present a day of raising awareness around POW and the importance of protecting our beautiful and unique environment.

You can join a hike to the summit of Mt Kosciuszko  on friday 27 July at Thredbo, followed by a discussion night with Chris.

Continue reading “Hike for POW with Chris Davenport”

Australia rallies to Protect Our Winters

An Australian chapter of Protect Our Winters (POW) will be officially launched this week, with a visit from pro skier Chris Davenport.  Chris is a POW board member and will be visiting Thredbo and Mt Buller as part of his trip.

Chris will speak at Mt Buller on July 24 and at Thredbo on Friday July 27. There will also be a ‘Hike for POW’ to the summit of Mt Kosciuszko during the day on the 27th.

The following media release comes from POW Australia:

Continue reading “Australia rallies to Protect Our Winters”

Guided walks to Kosciuszko

The walk up Mt Kosciuszko is not challenging. It is a pleasant hike from the Charlottes Pass Road or a harder climb up from Thredbo village. Many people take the easy way out and catch the Kosciusko Express chairlift from Thredbo, which means you miss most of the elevation gain of the walk. From there it’s a wonderful stroll through alpine landscape to the summit. The very last bit of the walk passes through boulderfields. The views are incredible.

Thredbo is offering guided hikes every Saturday from 4/11/17 until 28/4/18. If you haven’t been out on the Main Range before, this is a good way to get familiar with the terrain.

Continue reading “Guided walks to Kosciuszko”

Auden Schendler on climate change – skiers can make a difference

After a decade of inaction, the Australian snow industry is finally starting to engage meaningfully on the issue of climate change. With Perisher having been bought by the Vail Resorts group, it has been swept along in that companies efforts to achieve carbon neutrality for it’s operations by 2030. And Thredbo recently became the first Australian resort to formally join Protect Our Winters (POW) the activist group seeking to mobilise the snow sports community.

There is, of course, still plenty of room to move. Many resorts, like Mt Hotham, are still effectively in denial about climate change, opting for the ‘we’ll just invest more in snow making capacity’ option. But as the recent visit by POW founder Jeremy Jones showed, there is a significant interest in the snow community about climate change.

We are starting to see some great leadership from prominent skiers and riders like Nat Segal, who is a vocal advocate for climate action. The interview below comes from Powder magazine and features a conversation with Auden Schendler of the Aspen resort. Auden is often seen as a key global spokesperson on climate because of his work at putting Aspen on a sustainable footing. This reflection has some significant things to say about what is and what isn’t possible in the resorts and what is required if we are to take effective action to limit climate change.

Two salient points that stand out for me from this interview are:

“We have to acknowledge or understand as a starting point that to be sustainable has got to mean solving climate change.

On climate, if you’re not at risk politically or from public criticism, and if you don’t feel uncomfortable, if it doesn’t hurt, you’re probably not doing enough on climate”.

The take home message from Auden is that making your operations greener is not an end point. It’s part of the pathway to solving climate change. This is going to involve sustained and public advocacy for the adoption of policies which will tackle climate change in a meaningful way – ie, engagement in good old fashioned politics. As he eloquently puts it, it means advocating for ‘systemic change’.

He reminds us that the current option adopted by most resorts is simply not going to work:

‘You can’t adapt to where we’re headed … we’re headed toward four degrees Celsius’.

Continue reading “Auden Schendler on climate change – skiers can make a difference”

The ‘Good Vibes’ snowboard camp – getting at risk youth to the snow

This is a great initiative: getting at risk young people up to the snow to try snowboarding.

“Every year The Good Vibes Foundation works together with Youth Off The Streets to take 20 kids aged 14-16 years old snowboarding for the 1st time!!.

We spend 2 full days on snow at Thredbo where the kids have lessons and learn to snowboard with instructors and a group of amazing volunteers.

To keep this amazing program running we need to raise money to help pay for costs such as, petrol, accommodation and food”.

You can donate here.

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”

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