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Mountain Journal

Environment, news, culture from the Australian Alps

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Victorian Alps

Summer events in the Australian Alps

Mountain Journal often advertises high energy events like trail running, road riding, cross country races, etc. But summer is also a good time to relax, take it easy, and chill out with friends. Here are some listings for festivals, low key nature events, and social gatherings that are happening in the Alps over summer 2017/18.

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Weatherproofing the Buffalo Chalet

The Mt Buffalo Chalet was built in 1910 and run for many years by the Victorian railway authority. It is an incredible building in a remarkable location, just near the Gorge in the Buffalo National Park.

It has been closed since 2007 and fallen into disrepair. Sections of the building have been demolished because it would have been prohibitively expensive to renovate the whole complex.

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Second tunnel at Mt Hotham to link Mountain pygmy possums

Mountain pygmy possum populations separated by the Great Alpine Road in Victoria will soon have a new, specially-designed tunnel to help them meet a mate. There is already one tunnel on the slopes of Little Higginbotham. The new one will be at Cherokee Corner. The project needs $300,000 of funding to make the tunnel a reality.

The following article is from Nicole Asher of the ABC.

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A new road on Corn Hill?

Since 2008, the Mount Buller Mount Stirling Alpine Resort Management Board (MBMS ARMB) has been trying to build a Link Road between Mount Buller and Mount Stirling via Corn Hill. Mountain Journal has reported on this proposal.

In November 2015, the Planning Minister rejected the Link Road. And the Environment Minister stated “I don’t anticipate any further proposals of this nature.”

Now, Friends of Mt Stirling report:

Guess what ? We now have a new road across Corn Hill.

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Audax Alpine Classic

The Audax Alpine Classic is a series of road rides to a number of locations in the Alps.

In 2016 it will be held on Sunday 24 January.

This is a huge event. There are a range of rides, including the 320 kilometre ‘Ultimate’. It is billed as the “longest, toughest, single day Alpine road ride in Australia”. This is an extremely hard ride, going over 4 of the “7 Peaks” in one day, leaving Bright for Mt Buffalo, then doing a huge circuit from Bright to Mount Hotham, then Omeo, Anglers Rest and over the Bogong High Plains to Falls Creek and back to Bright.

There are also a number of shorter rides (60 and 70 kilometres). All rides start at Bright.

There is an ‘early bird’ special if you register before January 8.

For full details, please check here.

Bushfire impacts on snow pack

People who visit the Australian high country know how badly it has been impacted by bushfires over the past decade.

In Victoria, we experienced the Eastern Alps fire of 2003, which burnt 1.3 million hectares, and also in 2006/07 which burnt almost 1.3 million hectares. Then over the summer of 2012/13, the Aberfeldy-Donnellys Creek and Harrietville fires also burnt large areas of the mountains. Some sections have been burnt three times in a decade, with loss of significant stands of Alpine Ash and snow gums.

I have often wondered what the fire impact might mean in terms of snow cover. Obviously where there is the classic open canopy of a mature snow gum woodland, at least half the ground is at least partially shaded from direct sunlight. Often snow will stay in better condition under the trees when its getting sun affected in the open areas. And equally you will often get snow lingering in the forests once it is mostly burnt off in adjacent treeless areas.

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Vale Ern Mainka

Many people will know the work of Ern Mainka. His photography was hugely popular amongst nature enthusiasts, and I must have seen his images in hundreds of places over the years.

Apart from capturing our wild places so well, Ern played a significant role in raising awareness about the many threats posed to these places. Many of these landscapes are now protected, and Ern played a big part in many of these victories.

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Victorian government tables bill to protect National Parks

Earlier this week the Andrews Labor Government put an amendment before Parliament to implement its election commitment to prevent large-scale private development in national parks by removing the ability to grant 99 year leases.

This is a good move given the previous government’s interest in allowing new and potentially intrusive developments in the park system.

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Demand up for native Australian food mountain pepper

Anyone who has walked in the High Country will be able to relate to this one. Mountain Pepper is a common shrub that has a strong and spicy taste. Its about some farmers in Gippsland who have started to cultivate Mountain Pepper to sell at markets.

Mountain Pepper (Tasmannia lanceolata) is found in cool wet habits from sea level to alpine areas in Victoria, New South Wales and Tasmania. It grows in mountain gullies and mountainous areas

The story below comes from the ABC by journalist Laura Poole.

Continue reading “Demand up for native Australian food mountain pepper”

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