Josh Worley is a Brisbane mountain climber who is undertaking a world mountain climbing initiative titled Vertical Year
The aim is to climb more than 30 mountains in 2018 with a goal of raising $100,000 for ReachOut Australia and the Climate Council.
Over 140 days, Josh will climb 33 separate peaks – eight of them greater than 6,000 metres – and travel more than 34 vertical kilometres of technical terrain. The trip spans ice climbing in the Canadian Rockies, the Peruvian Andes, big wall rock climbing in the Sierra Nevada and alpine routes in New Zealand’s Southern Alps.
‘This trip is about conserving the amazing environments I love and promoting how they can have such a positive impact on our personal development and mental health’.
He is currently in Canada and reports that “one of the most confronting things I have seen on my trip so far is the impact climate change is already having on the world around us.
Here in Canada, warming temperatures and decreased snowfall have already forced glacial retreat, meaning popular trails are now too difficult to trek.
Climate change awareness has actually increased visitor numbers to many of these places, as people want to see these beautiful environments before it’s too late – which is sad as, if we all act now on climate change, we can protect these special places”.
He also warns about the impacts of climate change on alpine environments in Australia.
As is often reported here on Mountain Journal, unchecked climate change poses an existential threat both to our alpine terrain and the economies that are dependent on it.
Our ski seasons are short enough as it is and most resorts depend on that entire season to cover yearly costs. Moreover, as less money is made from shortened ski seasons, more money will need to be committed to the creation of artificial snow.
Alpine tourist locations are hugely important for Australia, not only for the economy but also for our own recreation and enjoyment. Every year almost three million people travel to south-eastern alpine resorts and the benefits of that cannot be underestimated.
Unless we start to act on climate change, our much-loved ski industry could suffer tremendously in the years to come.
You can follow his adventures here.