Mountain Journal

Environment, news, culture from the Australian Alps


sustainable lifestyle

Valhalla showing in Melbourne

Valhalla.Two years in the making, Valhalla is the latest film from Sweetgrass Productions. The premise of the film is that as we get older we lose our passion for life, that sense of wonder we had as a child, but can find it again.

This is a tale about the search to rediscover the freedom of youth.

Valhalla is like a psychedelic version of ‘Into the Wild’, but with a bit of nudity, a lot of skiing and boarding, a happy ending, and a simple message: Go out there. Find yourself. Bring yourself back and find your place. It’s a homage to ‘70s era surfing and skiing films and counterculture lifestyle, with a sound track to match.

But as with any Sweetgrass film, its also got incredible skiing and boarding footage in some beautiful terrain.

We will also be showing a couple of short films from Sweetgrass before Valhalla: Desert River, a nice flowing piece set in Alaska, and Skiing the Void, about skiing and coming to terms with the loss of friends.

This is being shown as a fund raiser for climber and all round great guy Lincoln Shepherd and his family.  Their house was burnt down in the recent Grampians fire. Feel free to make a donation of any size.

This film is being shown at
318 St. Georges Rd.
North Fitzroy 3068
Tuesday 25 February

Arrive at 6.30 to get a drink and have a chat
Shorts start at 7 (Skiing the Void, Desert River)
Valhalla starts at 7.20pm

Please be aware that LongPlay only holds 35 people so please rsvp if you’re coming along. We have 14 rsvp’s by facebook and email, so please let me know if you’re attending.

Entry by donation – all money raised will go to Lincoln.

Further info:

The Little Things – A new snowboard film project from Marie France Roy

The following comes from Snowboarder Magazine. There is a trend emerging of snowboarders and skiers – who are often keenly aware of how climate change is already impacting on mountain environments – taking on a more vocal attitude about the need for change. This is one more example of this.

the little thingsMarie-France Roy has earned many accolades during her snowboarding tenure for her talent when standing sideways. She has put out some of the most influential video parts of the past decade and has chops in both the backcountry and the streets.

Last season, Marie embarked on a journey to give back to the sport she loves and create a film that would share the stories of snowboarders who are committed to living in a way that positively affects the environment as much as possible. The movie is called “The Little Things” and will follow Marie and the rest of the crew this season before culminating in a release in fall 2014.

You can see the trailer for the film here.

the Backyard Project – low carbon adventures

backyard project

In a world where a big part of living the ‘dream’ is to have the ability to travel wherever you want wherever you want, a decision to stay at home and enjoy your own back yard becomes a radical action.

Skiers/ boarders are as bad as anyone else in the rich world. And there is no doubt that the rest of the world offers mountains that we can only dream of. But the fact is that constant holiday travel by large numbers of people across the world is not sustainable.

Overseas travel is great, but so is the decision to stay at home, to really appreciate the challenges and opportunities that your backyard offers.

In this film featuring athlete Justin Lamoureux, who is sponsored by Arc’teryx, he sets out to ride all 30 mountains he can see from his backyard.

As he says:

“Our backyards are often overlooked for farther and more exotic adventures”.

Full points for walking (and paddling) the talk with a low carbon adventure. He lives in Squamish, British Columbia, which is surrounded by mountains, rising from sea level to 9,000 feet. This film follows his mission to try to ride them all in a single winter.

The first instalment is available here.

‘Worn Wear’. Don’t buy new stuff – love the stuff you already have

Image: Worn Wear website
Image: Worn Wear website

This 27 minute film comes from Patagonia.

Worn Wear is an exploration of quality – in the things we own and the lives we live. This short film takes you to an off-the-grid surf camp in Baja, Mexico; a family’s maple syrup harvest in Contoocook, Vermont; an organic farm in Ojai, California; and into the lives of a champion skier, a National Geographic photographer, and a legendary alpinist. It also features exclusive interviews with Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard.

Released as an antidote to the USA Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping frenzy, Worn Wear is an invitation to celebrate the stuff you already own.

You can read people’s stories about their favourite gear here.

Check here for an earlier post on the Worn Wear campaign.

The Drift – new publication

The DriftThe Drift is a collaborative newsprint publication between The Usual and Patagonia to celebrate all things snow.

Issue 1 features Patagonia ski and snowboard ambassadors Caroline Gleich, Josh Dirksen, Gerry Lopez, Kye Petersen, Liz Daley, Pep Fujas, Forrest Shearer, Taro Tamai, Alex Yoder, and Aidan Sheahan.

Pick up your Winter 2013/14 copy at select Patagonia stores worldwide.

For more information visit: and Follow us @theusualmontauk, @patagonia #pursuitofpowder

‘respect the mountains’

This is a nice little video about sustainable practises when you’re in the snow. It comes from a European group called Respect the mountains

image: respect the mountains

, which is undertaking a grassroots awareness raising initiative for visitors in the Alps.

Their blurb: ‘Many tourists visit the Alps every year, especially during the winter season. The damages are severe. Respect the Mountains is designed to make people aware of the uniqueness and importance of mountain areas and the simple measures you can take to reduce the negative impact. This to make sure that future generations can enjoy the mountains too, that nature is preserved and the economical situation can be secured’.

You can find the video here.

a chat with Deb Foskey, Cabanandra, East Gippsland

Deb at the Bowen River

“I’ve been a few things in my life – teacher, scholar, activist, candidate and Member of Parliament – but like most people I have ended up as a consultant….”

“It might be too late to change the world, but its a way of life for me. At the broad scale, I am pessimistic about the future of our planet and the wellbeing of its creatures, including us”.

“But I am heartened to see small groups of people everywhere making a difference, taking their local futures into their own hands. Groups of people well networked, sharing fun as well as work, whether its in Transition Towns type of movements, Boobook Declarations, producers markets, organic farming or community working bees are what is going to make the difference. Politicians seem pretty disinterested and unaware of rural communities, so they are likely to leave us alone to get on with it!”

You can read the story here.

An interview with Bob Rich, Moora Moora, VIC

“The forces of destruction grow exponentially, like compound interest. It is my hope that we can make the trends to sustainability also grow exponentially, at a higher rate. If we can do this, there may be a future.

Moora Moora from the air

Can we prevent disaster? No, because it has already started. The 173 Victorians killed by the Black Saturday fires were killed by climate change.

We can mitigate climate change, reduce the generation of deadly pollutants, nourish and maintain soil and water and other essentials of life. We can work to adapt life to cope with the changes that are inevitably on the way, that are here already. As I said, if the growth toward sanity can overtake the current growth toward insanity, then we have a hope of salvaging something, of creating the seed of a decent future.

But this needs a complete culture change. It means rejecting greed as the primary motive force.

We can do it in principle. In practice?”

The full interview is here.

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