March 2011

stream at Telephone Box Junction, Mt Stirling, VIC

Well, time really does race when you’re having fun. It’s hard to believe that Mountain Journal is a year old, emerging as it did from my late summer doldrums in March 2010, when winter seemed like it was still lifetimes away.

And what a winter it was – big storms, flooding rains, and enormous dumps of dry powder. Roads closed, communities snowed in, land slips.

From the original idea of having a mountain-orientated on line journal, influenced by such luminous paper versions of the idea as the Colorado-based Mountain Gazette, it has evolved in various directions: as a forum for various environmental concerns, like alpine grazing and snow mobiles in the back country. As a place to comment on what’s happening across the Alps, and appreciate fun things, festivals, and human-powered activity. Judging by the response (most folks are shy and email me rather than posting comments on the site) it seems that I am not alone in appreciating the various aspects of mountain culture that the Australian Alps offer.

I really enjoyed doing a series of interviews with a range of people connected to the mountains – they shed some light on good work, good ideas and incredible commitment. It has also been a forum to educate and mobilise people, such as with the case of logging near Glen Wills. It became a place to advertise the Australian launch of Protect Our Winters (POW), another side project of mine that will hopefully gather some momentum in 2011.

The most visited sections over the past year have been:

·    the Alpine grazing alert
·    the ‘side country’ skiing guide to the Hotham area
·    the logging alerts
·    the proposal to put a ‘skyway’ up onto the Buffalo Plateau
·    the launch of POW
·    the interviews
·    the story on traditional owners of the Alps

But primarily, it has been my way of writing a love story for the mountains that give so much meaning and joy to my life, building on an earlier site on the Alps and broader ‘Bogong bioregion’.

My original vision had been to expand the journal into a ‘real world’ paper version, but the beauty of this project is that it is overtly not commercial in focus, and so the effort of chasing advertising to cover printing costs was all a bit much. So for at least the foreseeable future, this will remain in (green energy powered) cyberspace.

Thanks again for your encouragement and support on the journey so far.

Please feel free to contribute to this project, with news, links, stories, photos, reviews, poetry or any thing else that’s mountain-related.

Here’s to an early winter and deep snow! Regards, Cam