Huw Kingston reports;
I'm super excited to launch my Alpine Odyssey project taking place this winter.
Alpine Odyssey will see me skiing the length of the Australian Alps, a journey of over 600km and 50 days. But there's a twist as, along the way, I plan to ski at each of the 12 snow resorts in the alpine country. There is, of course, another purpose too - I'm aiming to raise $50,000 for Save the Children's Our Yarning project.
Starting in late July, I'll traverse some of the most rugged country in Australia, diverting to ski at Lake Mountain, Mt Baw Baw, Mt Stirling, Mt Buller, Mt Hotham, Dinner Plain, Falls Creek, Mt Buffalo, Thredbo, Charlotte Pass, Perisher and finally Selwyn Snow Resort which reopens this season after having been devastated in the Black Summer bushfires.
As a long time Ambassador, my relationship with Save the Children began, as many of you know, when they were the beneficiary of my year-long, 13,000km human powered circumnavigation of the Mediterranean Sea from Gallipoli back to Gallipoli in 2014-15.
Storytelling and the passing down of knowledge is important in all cultures. In Australia our First Nations people have a complex and rich vein of stories linking them to the land, the oceans, the sky and to each other. Holding onto these stories, firstly passing them onto Aboriginal and Torres Strait children, but also to the wider population, is vitally important.
Literacy is also important in any modern nation for both economic and social well being. So I was pretty excited to hear about Our Yarning, a project producing books for Indigenous Australian children, written and illustrated by Indigenous authors and illustrators, telling their stories, their way.
How can you help? As well as making a general donation, I'm also 'selling' each of the resorts I ski at along with the highest peaks. Imagine being the new owner of Mt Buller or Thredbo perhaps? Or standing atop Mt Kosciuszko or Mt Bogong, master or mistress of all you survey! You'll even receive a Title Deed for a Good Deed done!
All donations are, of course, tax deductible (at least here in Australia!)
In 1997, 25 years ago this season, I completed a similar ski traverse, not skiing the resorts though. It was bloody tough with blizzards, rain, thick bush, navigational challenges, river crossings and distance all stymying progress. For over 2 weeks at the beginning, I didn't see another soul. But of course, blue-sky days, moonlit nights, snow covered ranges and old mountain huts easily balanced the ledger.
It will be a challenge pushing my ageing body through it again a quarter of a century on, but I want to celebrate the Australian snow country that has been so good to me for so long. To celebrate not only the backcountry, but the resorts and communities that live for the white stuff, communities that have suffered much these past 2 years. Also to consider such things as climate change and the changes to our Alpine environment.
Supported by The North Face and by many of the resorts I visit, the success of the Our Yarning fundraising is as important to me as the success of my journey.
I'd like to share some words from the amazing Dr Julie Owen, Cultural Advisor for the Our Yarning project and Nurrunga/Ngarrendjeri woman.
'We are very excited to share in the excitement and generosity of Huw's Alpine Odyssey. With stories from the sea, the desert, the mountains and along the river, the books capture the imagination and hearts of children to learn to read, and to love stories that portray their own lives and heritage. I look forward to cheering Huw on up in the cold country, from warm sunny Broome.'
Full details on Alpine Odyssey at www.huw kingston.com/alpine-odyssey with the Fundraising page at https://our-yarning-save-the-children-huw-kingston-fundraiser.raisely.com/
I'm very happy to hear of other places, beyond the resorts or the highest mountains, that you might like me to sell for Our Yarning (those favourite spots in the Alps or other mountains you might like to buy!). Happy to hear too of other fundraising ideas.
You'll be able to follow my journey on my Facebook and my Instagram pages. I'll also send out occasional emails ahead of and during the journey. You are on this list, because our paths have crossed during one or many of my other initiatives, but please be sure to let me know if you want to unsubscribe from this particular list.
Thanks, as always, for your support and fingers crossed for a big, cold winter!