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Mountain Journal

Environment, news, culture from the Australian Alps

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walking

New hut opened at Frenchmans Cap

Lake Tahune sits beneath the main face of Frenchmans Cap in south west Tasmania and the hut, nestled slightly above the lake, can be a real God send in bad conditions. While the old hut certainly did the job of providing a dry space to gather and sleep in an often cold and wet place, it was as if it was designed to ignore its surroundings.

This new one is certainly a lot nicer looking and it honours the magnificent terrain it is located in, with much larger windows and lots more natural light.

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A new long distance walking trail for East Gippsland

The campaign for the Emerald Link park in East Gippsland aims to protect the more-or-less intact ecosystems that run from the coast to the mountains. A long distance walking trail is an integral part of the proposal. The proposed Sea to Summit Forest Trail would create a network of walking tracks linking the coastal town of Bemm River and the existing Wilderness Coast walk to the summit of Mount Ellery, the highest mountain in far East Gippsland.

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Walks & trails guide to north east VIC

The Alpine Shire has produced a great walking guide for the areas between Myrtleford and Mt Beauty to Dinner Plain and back to Harrietville. Operating through the ‘Bright & Surrounds‘ tourist info program, the guide offers descriptions for walks in and around key towns plus wilder destinations like the Alpine National Park, Mt Bogong and the Buffalo Plateau.

Paper copies are available from tourist information centres in north eastern towns or online here.

This excellent resource aims to get more visitors to the region out on walking tracks, and makes it easy for first timers by providing full details on the distance and difficulty and notes for more than 65 walks.

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.

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Myrtle Rust – an emerging threat to plant communities

People who have walked in Tasmania are probably familiar with the threat posed by Phytophthora, a fungus that attacks the roots of susceptible plants, in many cases killing the plants. In some native plant communities, epidemic disease can develop causing the death of large numbers of plants.

The fungus is now well established in many areas of moorland, heathland and dry eucalypt forest in Tasmania.

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Announcing the Buller huts trail

The high range of mountains that stretch from the western end of The Bluff to Mt Howitt then north to Mt Cobbler contain some of the best alpine country in Victoria.

Long a popular hiking destination, its always tempting to want to walk from one end to the other. But the logistics of doing a car shuffle are complex – it’s a long drive between the Howqua and Lake Cobbler. There is an obvious circuit you can walk, with Mt Stirling being a good start and end point. But the Howqua and King valleys are deep and the scrub along the Stanley Name Spur can be brutal. While there are many variations that are possible, any way you do it will be a serious undertaking, requiring good stamina and navigation skills, experience in backcountry travel, and at least five or six days.

Now the ‘Buller huts trail’, which links these mountains into a seven day circuit, has been launched.

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Walk the Border, ACT

Almost every community environmental organisation struggles to get the funds they need to do their work effectively. We’re always looking for new ideas for fundraising, and this ‘walk the border’ idea stands out as a great initiative. It’s a fundraiser for the Conservation Council ACT Region and also a walk through some wonderful country.

It’s a 21 day journey along the 300 kilometre border of the ACT. The organisers say ‘The route will take in some of the ACT’s roughest and most beautiful country, including the source of the ACT’s water supply’. The walkers are currently about half way through the walk.

You can find full details on the walk below (including details on donating or joining the walk).

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The 10 Peak Challenge

Through summer and autumn, seven year old Mt Beauty local Mack Hull has been working his way through a series of walks to the top of the 10 highest peaks in the state.

His 10 Peaks Challenge aimed to generate funds for Disabled Wintersport Australia (DWA). DWA assisted thousands of individuals with disabilities to participate in winter sports.

He has now raised more than $1,600!

There is still time to donate to the Challenge: All money raised will go to Disabled Wintersport Australia and can be made to the following Bendigo Bank account.
Mack’s 10 Peaks Challenge
BSB 633000
Acct 160028809

Having finished the Challenge, Mack is now focused on helping out DWA on the snow at Falls Creek this winter.

What a fantastic effort.

There’s a great set of photos of all the peaks on Mack’s ‘Challenge’ facebook page.

 

Is Instagram ruining the outdoors?

When it comes to being in wild nature, my general rule about social media is ‘don’t hike/ski/climb/ride and tweet’. I tend to take lots of photos but in terms of posting and viewing images, I find being even haphazardly engaged in the online world stops me from being deeply immersed in my surroundings. If I’m base camping somewhere with coverage, I will some sometimes post some things or check the news or weather, but generally try to keep my backcountry experience mostly in the real world.

I was recently on a multi day walk in the Alps. My 12 year old daughter had decided to stay at home with various friends and, a couple of times a day I would turn the phone on and check where she was. ‘While I was there’ I’d Instagram a quick pic. We were walking through some gorgeous country, in a section of the Bogong High Plains where I hadn’t been for years and it was fun to share some images and thoughts on these great places.

Continue reading “Is Instagram ruining the outdoors?”

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