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Mountain Journal

Environment, news, culture from the Australian Alps

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walking

Finding the beauty at home

So, chances are that not many of you are heading off for a skiing, walking or climbing adventure in the northern hemisphere this summer. Luckily we have lots of amazing country on our doorstep.

It’s a great chance to get out somewhere you’ve never been or go back to that place you’ve been dreaming about for years.

If you need a bit of inspiration, check here for some links to films on backyard adventures.

Where are you heading this summer and what are your plans for 2021?

Some of my plans:

  • a long walk on the central plateau of Tasmania
  • a winter camp out on The Twins
  • a long ski in over The Bluff to Mt Howitt
  • lots of hitting the groomers at Hotham
  • maybe a winter road trip to TAS to check out Ben Lomond, Rufus and Mt Field
  • an end of season trip and camp on Mt Loch

Please feel free to share yours.

No commercial development on ‘the People’s mountain’!

The Falls to Hotham Crossing is a lovely three day walk from the resort town of Falls Creek, across the Bogong High Plains, to Mt Hotham. Managed by Parks Victoria, you need to book to use the designated campsites near Cope Hut and Dibbins hut. It is a hugely popular walk.

There are also plans to extend and reroute the Crossing, turning it a five day ‘serviced hiking opportunity’ in the Alpine National Park. In the state budget for 2018/19, there was an allocation of funds to help make the project a reality. Now additional funds have been allocated to continue the planning for the project, including Stage 1 of the construction.

The proposal has been widely criticised because it will help open up previously undeveloped areas near Mt Feathertop and allow private development within the Alpine National Park. It will see a major upgrade of the route that currently follows Diamantina Spur up to the Razorback from the West Kiewa valley.

The Falls to Hotham Alpine Crossing is part of a ‘branded portfolio’ of four long-distance walks known as ‘Walk Victoria’s Icons’ and is being strongly backed by the Victorian government. Outdoor, nature based tourism is a great thing. It’s good for individual and public health, and great for regional economies. However, private commercial development within a national park is strongly opposed by many people. 

Continue reading “No commercial development on ‘the People’s mountain’!”

Support mountain businesses this summer

As 2020 races towards Christmas and New Year, lots of us are thinking about presents and holidays. Here’s a few ideas about some of the great businesses in north east VIC that you could support. As we all know, these regions were hard hit by last summer’s fires, two rounds of pandemic lockdown and a shortened ski season.

This is like #emptyesky for gear and adventure operators.

Continue reading “Support mountain businesses this summer”

Falls to Hotham Alpine Crossing ‘resurfaces’

The Victorian National Parks Association (VNPA) reports that ‘Originally proposed in a 2008 (and long obsolete) Nature Based Tourism Strategy, a Falls to Hotham ‘icon’ tourist walk has been re-invigorated yet again’.

For some background to this project, check this page for various articles from Mountain Journal.

Continue reading “Falls to Hotham Alpine Crossing ‘resurfaces’”

News from home

I feel lucky to be living in a small country town, with a Parks Vic reserve in the gully below us, and endless opportunities for walking and MTB riding. It’s been a mild and gorgeous autumn so far, with a good bit of rain. I’m keeping in touch with friends, family and workmates (although feel that I now spend most of my life in Zoom meetings) and I feel grateful to have a safe place to be during the pandemic.

But cabin fever is setting in. Its Easter, but we need to stay home and not travel for adventures (and the alpine parks are closed). We really don’t know what will happen with ski season – will it happen at all, or will it start late? (There are growing conversations about a ‘delayed’ ski season rather than an outright cancellation). Will the national parks be open if the resorts are closed? What about backcountry huts? So many unknowns. All we can do is wait. Be patient. Watch some films and read some stuff, and be kind to each other.

Continue reading “News from home”

A long solo walk. 660 km across the Alps.

The Australian Alps Walking Track (AAWT) is the premiere long distance mountain trail in Australia. It crosses the Victorian Alps from Walhalla to the NSW border, then passes through the Snowy Mountains before finishing in the ACT.

AAWT2Anthony Sharwood has just started the AAWT from the southern end. He is doing the 660 km trip solo, walking from Walhalla, Victoria to Tharwa, A.C.T. This trip is made more challenging by the fact that two sections of the track are currently closed because of bushfires.

Anthony has been posting images and updates as he goes.

You can follow his journey on twitter here.

Background info and links on the AAWT available here.

From Targangal (Kosciuszko) to Bilgalera (Fisheries Beach). Mapping the Bundian Way.

There has long been discussion about the trail that once linked the south eastern coast of NSW to the Snowy Mountains. It is called the Bundian Way. Prior to the invasion, Indigenous people moved between the coast, the Monaro Tablelands and the higher mountains. Nowdays called the Bundian Way, this route is a historical pathway between Targangal (Kosciuszko) and Bilgalera (Fisheries Beach) that connects the highest part of the Australian continent and the coast.

There is a book that explores the Bundian Way, called On Track: searching out the Bundian Way written by John Blay. Now the route has been mapped and can be found online.

Continue reading “From Targangal (Kosciuszko) to Bilgalera (Fisheries Beach). Mapping the Bundian Way.”

Meet Susie Hale, the new VMTC president

The Victorian Mountain Tramping Club is a legendary presence in the Australian outdoor community. It recently celebrated it’s 70th anniversary. Many clubs are aging, and in a refreshing move, the VMTC appointed 29-year old Susie Hale as its new president.

Earlier this year, Susie completed a 153-day solo trip on the 4,280km Pacific Crest Trail which she completed in 153 days. Other major accomplishments on her impressive walking CV include leading a VMTC group who completed the Australian Alpine Walking Track in 42 days.

There is a profile on Suzie and what inspires her, which is available here.

‘Save Kosci’ walk to finish next weekend

Since November 3, a group has been walking the 560 km from Sydney to the summit of Mt Kosciuszko, to highlight the damage being caused by feral horses. The walk is nearing its end! Join the walkers on the final day – 9th December (or the 8th depending on weather forecast) – from Charlottes Pass or Thredbo to celebrate the end of the walk and add your voice to the call to reclaim Kosci from feral horses.

Continue reading “‘Save Kosci’ walk to finish next weekend”

The Great Tasmanian Traverse

This guided trip, which will happen over 39 days, is an epic journey that seeks to ‘traverse’ Tasmania on foot and raft from north to south. While sections are covered by road and light plane, it does include a long walk from the north coast all the way to Lake St Clair. It then heads into Frenchmans Cap, does 8 days on the mid and lower Franklin River, before flying to Melaleuca on the west coast and one final, extended walk along the South Coast Track.

Continue reading “The Great Tasmanian Traverse”

The ‘Save Kosci’ protest walk – come and hear more

You are invited to a presentation on the 30+ day, Camino-style, walk from Sydney to Kosciuszko to seek repeal of the Kosciuszko Wild Horse Heritage Act and action on feral horses in Kosciuszko National Park. The walk will begin on 3rd November. The sessions will happen in Sydney on September 13.

Continue reading “The ‘Save Kosci’ protest walk – come and hear more”

Falls to Hotham Alpine Crossing Final Master Plan released

Several years ago, Tourism Victoria suggested that Victoria needed four ‘iconic walks’ in order to help ensure the state became a bushwalking destination. One of these was the ‘Falls to Hotham Alpine Crossing’.

After a great deal of work, the final masterplan for the walk has been released by Parks Victoria.

Continue reading “Falls to Hotham Alpine Crossing Final Master Plan released”

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