Photo: Michael and Libby Rouse skiing at Dingo Dell, Mt Buffalo around 1980

How things have changed

By Libby Rouse

Back in the 80’s I was fortunate to have winter holidays at Mt Buffalo Chalet. Run by Vic Rail, it was a quirky and wonderful place. Porters were there year on year, carrying bags, stoking fires, providing supper. The entertainment crew, always the same, would double as ski instructors. They organised games and movie nights, it was hilarious and incredibly special. Relationships were developed, staff became good friends. Holiday anticipation was immense.

Rail tickets substituted as lunch vouchers at the ski field Dingo Dell. A place with one poma, a beginner rope tow and some very tame slopes. I look at it now and think…that’s so small! I always laugh. My whole family loved it. Thankfully, I will always have those memories but I would like to hit repeat.

Something strikes me with particular interest as I remember those times. Mountains of snow, waterfalls, moss. Lake Catani iced over and people would ice-skate. But those days are gone, the lake unskate-able since the early eighties.

Since that time I had a break from skiing the Victorian Alps to return in 2010. From then, I sensed a change. For some time I couldn’t determine the difference. It was so unlike what I experienced when young. The vegetation didn’t look right. What was it? Then it dawned on me. Where’s the water? The moss, waterfalls, lush vegetation?  The mountain flora looked parched. That was the difference. Suddenly, I could see the dry.

Now I think, that’s climate change. Australia’s temperature has increased by 1.4 degrees since 1910. What a huge difference that makes to our alpine environment. We can see the effects in our treasured landscapes. Perhaps we will need to forget snow sports. You can’t freeze water above zero degrees. And what about habitat? Disappearing. All these things I lament.

In light of this I am driven to take action on the climate crisis. Therefore, I am writing a letter to Sussan Ley as part of the Mass Mailout For Climate campaign ending 30th September.

This is a national campaign encouraging citizens around the country to write letters to their chosen federal representative to help galvanise and deliver a united message to parliament in support of Zali Steggall’s Climate Change Bills. Will you join me? We can do this together.

For further information https://massmailoutforclimate.org

Photo: Michael and Libby Rouse skiing at Dingo Dell, Mt Buffalo around 1980