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Mountain Journal

Environment, news, culture from the Australian Alps

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snow sports

Mountain Journal print edition available

Mountain Journal started back in the summer of 2010. Inspired by great magazines like Mountain Gazette, the plan had always been to produce a print version. But I never got around to it – until now!

The first print edition is hot off the press, and will be (covid lockdowns permitting) surfacing in cafes, mountain huts and public spaces across the Alps soon.

The aim is to produce an Annual, taking content from the website, including some new content, and covering the key mountain/ environment issues of the year.

Continue reading “Mountain Journal print edition available”

POW launches new campaign: #weallmisswinter

Protect Our Winters Australia has launched a new campaign, drawing the link between winters missed and climate change.

POW says:

‘Winter 2020 was one like no other. With limited or no access to our favourite mountains. It was difficult no being able to see our shred buddies, no fresh morning mountain air and for those who did manage to get some on-snow time, what snow did fall was well below average. But what if Winter 2020 was a look into the future? What if missing winter was the new norm?’

Continue reading “POW launches new campaign: #weallmisswinter”

Chillfactor 2021

2020 was the ‘Year that Wasn’t’ for many of us mountain lovers. Essentially no ski season in Victoria in the resorts, alpine parks closed, and no international travel to get to higher mountains elsewhere.

That had a huge impact on snow based and snow reliant businesses. As was reported recently in The Age, ‘During the 2020 snow season, Victorian alpine resorts received about 90,000 visitors, a 90 per cent decline on the previous year. The visitation collapse dealt a heavy financial blow, with economic activity plummeting to $109 million compared to more than $1 billion generated in the 2019 Victorian snow season’.

One small mountain business that made it through was Chillfactor, which is an essential part of Australian skiing culture. And the 2021 issue of the magazine is a great reflection on the winter that wasn’t.

Continue reading “Chillfactor 2021”

Fourth Victorian backcountry festival – September 3, 4 & 5

Backcountry festival back at Hotham in 2021

 The fourth Victorian backcountry festival will happen at Mt Hotham over September 3, 4 and 5. This is a media release from the group organising this year’s festival. Continue reading “Fourth Victorian backcountry festival – September 3, 4 & 5”

Mountain winter events 2021

Recent snowfalls across the Alps has got every snow lover excited about winter. Here is an initial list of snow related events happening across Victoria, NSW and the ACT this winter.

Please check here for a list of tour guides, all avalanche training providers, and gear hire options.

Continue reading “Mountain winter events 2021”

Get the skills you need for a Winter of Awesome

Last winter was pretty ‘ordinary’ in terms of the snow pack, and many people were unable to get into the mountains because of lock down. However, in the places where outdoor adventure was allowed, it was clear that there was a boom in visitation to side country (areas in or near ski resorts) and backcountry (more remote areas).

It has been the same this winter in North America, with some significant results. The New York Times reports:

‘In the throes of a pandemic that has made the indoors inherently dangerous, tens of thousands more Americans than usual have flocked outdoors, fleeing crowded cities for national parks and the public lands around them. But as these hordes of inexperienced adventurers explore the treacherous terrain of the backcountry, many inevitably call for help. It has strained the patchwork, volunteer-based search-and-rescue system in America’s West’.

This winter we have to expect lots of new and inexperienced people getting out of resort and into the higher peaks.

This will bring lots of impacts to our precious high country – especially around human waste (check here for our Let’s talk about poo guide to managing human waste in the backcountry). It also brings risks to inexperienced skiers and riders, and others in the mountains who may need to assist people and groups in difficulty, and put strain on police and volunteer search and rescue groups like Alpine Search and Rescue and the SES.

Here are some ideas on getting skills if you’re planning to head out into higher mountain environments this winter.

Continue reading “Get the skills you need for a Winter of Awesome”

Victoria’s alpine resort management boards to be merged into Alpine Resorts Victoria

The Andrews government has announced the establishment of a new management structure for Victoria’s alpine resorts.

Alpine Resorts Victoria – set to start work by July 2022 – is intended to ‘make Alpine Boards more efficient’. It will be created by merging Victoria’s four alpine resort management boards, and will govern Falls Creek, Mt Hotham, Mt Buller, Mt Stirling, Lake Mountain and Mt Baw Baw resorts.

Continue reading “Victoria’s alpine resort management boards to be merged into Alpine Resorts Victoria”

Victorian Alps relief auction

Your chance to give back to Victoria’s Alpine Region, hit hard by bushfires and Covid-19. 

The Victorian alpine community has a special place in all of our adventure hearts, filled with beautiful mountains, great people and businesses, amazing food and memories shared through generations. 

But the community we all love is hurting – first with the bushfires, then the cancellation of the 2020 ski season due to Covid-19. They need our help. 

Which is why the team at Amer Sports have brought the Australian outdoors and snow industry together to create an online auction for you to support the alpine businesses doing it tough in Victoria. 

Continue reading “Victorian Alps relief auction”

2020 VIC backcountry festival cancelled

Due to the new COVID-19 restrictions, we are sad to announce that the Victorian Backcountry Festival has been cancelled for 2020.

However do not despair, as the VBCF organisers have two exciting dates for you to put into your calendars right now.

  1. Victorian Backcountry Festival 2021 will be at Hotham again. It will be a three day festival, held on Friday 3rd, Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th September 2021. Plan to come up on the Thursday night so you can take advantage of all the festival activities. And, if you can, aim to stay the Sunday night to hang out with your new snow buddies.
  2. In lieu of the 2020 festival that was scheduled for 4-6th September, the organisers are planning a weekend afternoon full of backcountry speakers, seminars and workshops to be held over Zoom. This will happen on Saturday September 5.

We are in the early stages of organising the program, and would love to hear from people about suggestions for potential speakers. If you have a great snow adventure story, a backcountry skill you can teach over Zoom, or want to suggest an author/ athlete/ mountaineer/ etc you want to hear speak, let us know: admin@backcountry-festival.com

Hope to see you all virtually at the online event next month – and in person next year up at Hotham.

Keep an eye on the website for updates.

 

Full steam ahead for the 2020 VIC backcountry festival

The 3rd Victorian backcountry festival is planned for Friday – Sunday September 4, 5 and 6, 2020 in and around Mt Hotham. Sure, with the pandemic, everything is up in the air, and lots of things could happen between now and September. But we are planning in the hope it can go ahead.

Continue reading “Full steam ahead for the 2020 VIC backcountry festival”

VIC ski season update – what’s open

With the announcement that Mt Hotham and Falls Creek lift operations will be closed ‘until at least 19 August’, and other resorts about to make announcements, the season has suddenly changed (again).

Here’s what’s known as at July 12.

Continue reading “VIC ski season update – what’s open”

MSC kicks off the 2020 Backcountry Conditions Reports

Mountain Sports Collective is a membership based not-for-profit user group organisation for human powered alpine sports in Australia.

In winter it produces a regular ‘Backcountry Conditions Report’ covering three areas: North East VIC, the Central Alpine Ranges in VIC, and the Main Range in the Snowy Mountains. The reports cover alpine snow and weather conditions and travel and terrain advice. It is generally updated as conditions change significantly.

This winter MSC has set up a ‘community observation’ page that allows backcountry users to contribute information about conditions. You can add your observations here.

Now that proper winter conditions have finally kicked in, the Reports will be updated on a regular basis.

Please check the reports before heading into the backcountry.

 

You can support the efforts of MSC by becoming a member.

 

 

 

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