Mountain Journal

Environment, news, culture from the Australian Alps


snow sports

Mountain Journal magazine #3 is out!

For the third year, we have produced a print version of the Mountain Journal magazine, with content from the Mountain Journal website and many new stories.

You can read the magazine as a PDF here: MJ3.

Look for print mags in your local resort, valley town or favourite mountain hut soon.

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Final call for content – Mountain Journal magazine #3

As we inch closer to winter, I have finally started working on the 2023 edition of the magazine. The theme the first year was First Nations aspirations for the high country. In 2022, it was ‘giving back to the mountains‘. In 2023, the plan had been to honour and acknowledge the people who did the hard work of getting the Alps protected. I am now feeling that I probably lack the time to really do justice to this topic, although we will certainly make a start and already have some fantastic content.

I am looking for content for this edition:

Continue reading “Final call for content – Mountain Journal magazine #3”

Grollo family buy Mt Hotham airport

There has been much speculation about the future of the Mount Hotham Airport in recent months as the community waited to see who would buy it.

It has now been announced that the Grollo family has acquired Mount Hotham Airport for more than $6.5 million and ‘plans to develop residential accommodation for workers and staff at the nearby Mt Hotham and Dinner Plain ski resorts on the 105-hectare site’.

The airport is a significant section of higher elevation private land along the Great Alpine Road from Omeo to Dinner Plain/ Mt Hotham. Many in the community had hoped that the new owner (it was previously owned by Vail Resorts) would focus on building for the community good – that is, provide affordable accommodation for on mountain workers and their families.

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Climate change is driving fire and reducing snow pack

The country’s climate has warmed on average by 1.47C since national records began in 1910, according to the new State of the Climate report released earlier this week.

It reinforces what we already know about climate change impacts on mountain environments:

  • Since the 1950s, extreme fire weather has increased and fire seasons are starting sooner and ending later. We can see the impacts of this in burnt out snow gum woodlands and alpine ash forests in a state of ecological collapse.
  • Snow depth, snow cover and number of snow days have decreased in alpine regions since the late 1950s. (This decline has been known and reported on for years).

Continue reading “Climate change is driving fire and reducing snow pack”

“The world is on track to hit as much as 2.8C of warming this century”

Overall, the world has warmed on average just a little over 1oC since the start of the industrial revolution due to human caused climate change. We can see what this has done to winter in the Australian mountains. Snow pack has been in decline since at least 1957. Winter snowfalls are becoming more erratic. Climate change is already visible at lower elevation resorts in the Australian Alps. And recent climate research suggests that the Australian Alps may suffer from a loss of snow as climate change supercharges phenomena known as ‘atmospheric rivers’. These are long, narrow regions of high moisture content in the lower atmosphere that transport most of the water vapour from the tropics to the sub-tropics and midlatitudes,

A new report from UN Climate Change shows that while countries are ‘bending the curve’ of global greenhouse gas emissions downward, that these efforts remain insufficient to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius by the end of the century.

According to the report, the combined climate pledges of 193 Parties under the Paris Agreement could put the world on track for around 2.5 degrees Celsius of warming by the end of the century. That would mean the end of winters as we know them.

Continue reading ““The world is on track to hit as much as 2.8C of warming this century””

Alpine Resorts Victoria takes on management of VIC resorts

On Saturday 1 October 2022, recent amendments to the Alpine Resorts (Management) Act 1997 came into effect.

Those amendments include the abolition of the Mount Hotham, Falls Creek, Mount Buller Mount Stirling and Southern alpine resort management boards and the Alpine Resorts Co-ordinating Council and the establishment of Alpine Resorts Victoria (ARV) as a single entity to manage Victoria’s six alpine resorts.  This has been long planned and with winter over, ARV is now starting the job of managing the resorts.

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An erratic winter reminds us about the reality of climate change

We know that climate changes is already impacting on the mountains we love. Longer fire seasons, longer droughts, less streamflow, warmer weather. And, of course, declining snowpack.

As we come to the end of a winter marked by classic Australian ‘Boom and Bust’ snow conditions, it is clear that we are on a trajectory towards milder winters and less snow. Snowpack has been in decline in Australia since at least the 1950s. And there are decades worth of studies, reports and media stories which make it clear what’s happening (for instance this story from The Age in 2018).

A new story published by the ABC written by Thomas Saunders reminds us yet again about what is happening in spite of bumper snowfalls in any particular winter.

Continue reading “An erratic winter reminds us about the reality of climate change”

VIC backcountry festival happening this weekend!

After two years of cancellations due to covid restrictions, the stoke is building for the 2022 Victorian backcountry festival, which will happen over three days – September 2, 3 and 4 – at Mt Hotham resort and the surrounding terrain.

While the tours are now booked out (you can go on a wait list), there is still heaps to do.

Continue reading “VIC backcountry festival happening this weekend!”

A quick look at the Kosciuszko National Park Plan of Management

In 2021, the New South Wales government released its 40-year plan to turn the Snowy Mountains into a ‘year-round tourist destination’. There were two aspects to these plans – a draft Special Activation Precinct plan, which outlined options for future growth in and around Jindabyne, and proposed amendments to the Kosciuszko National Park Plan of Management (background available here).

The Park Plan proposed substantial new developments within the Kosciuszko National Park. Environmental groups expressed strong opposition to many of the plans outlined in the document. The NSW National Parks Association described the plan as ‘reckless proposals (which would) overturn more than 40 years of careful planning and management of the park.” 

Now, the final Kosciuszko National Park Amendment to the Plan of Management Snowy Mountains Special Activation Precinct has been released (available here).

Continue reading “A quick look at the Kosciuszko National Park Plan of Management”

Backcountry festival registrations are now OPEN!

After a long wait, registrations to the 2022 Victorian backcountry festival are now open!

Happening over three action packed days – with tours, workshops, massive speakers program, demo village, ski in outdoor bar and lots more, the festival is back in real life after two years of having to operate online. Mt Hotham resort and surrounding side country and Alpine national park.

Once you register you will be able to book in to tours.

You can register via the VBCF website.

Victorian backcountry festival 2022 – Lineup announcement

Not great news today with the massive amount of rain that has come through the mountains. However, we have some good news for you. We are excited to announce the program for the Victorian Backcountry Festival 2022

Continue reading “Victorian backcountry festival 2022 – Lineup announcement”

What should be in Mountain Journal magazine #3?

For the second year, Mountain Journal appeared as a magazine. This year, the print edition was produced as a collaboration with Mandy Lamont of Lamont magazine. It was distributed across resorts and valley towns during early winter.

The plan is to keep producing a printed annual edition, and I would really appreciate your feedback about this year’s edition and your thoughts on what should be in the 2023 edition.

Continue reading “What should be in Mountain Journal magazine #3?”

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