Though Mount Twynam is a rarely climbed mountain peak in the Snowy Mountains of Australia, it is one whose summit gives the climber an extravagant view of the Western Falls and the Blue Lake Cirque. It is situated on the Main Range in the Great Dividing Range in New South Wales, Australia. It is the third highest mountain in Australia, rising to 7,201 feet above sea level, and one of the ten peaks inside the Kosciuszko National Park. The climb is relatively easy from Blue Lake, giving some climbers the impression that this peak is just merely a huge hill. The trails are clearly marked all the way to to its summit, and the best time to climb is said to be in summer and early fall.
The Kosciuszko National Park is situated in the Alpine area of New South Wales, Australia, and Mount Twynam is but one of the 10 notable peaks to be found inside the same national park. The Australian Aborigines used to inhabit the Blue Lake area, as they seasonally gathered bogong moths and left when supplies dwindled. There were probably other food sources that the aborigines gathered here, such as the typical native vegetation and wildlife that were part of their diets. In 1840, Edmund Strzelecki, a Polish explorer, discovered and climbed Mount Kosciuszko. As in other firsts, the mountain may have been climbed by other explorers beforehand and their feats undeclared. The land was a cattle grazing area before it became part of the Kosciuszko National Park.
Mount Twynam is inside the 690,000-hectare Kosciuszko National Park. Everything in the park, which includes 10 mountain peaks, have cultural and social significance, both locally and internationally. It allows for research and observation opportunities, and some of the adjacent attractions are Blue Lake and Hedley Tarn. The Blue Lake is the main tourist destination for the nearby local communities. Winter skiing and ice climbing are two activities that attract tourists to the area. Summertime affords camping and rock climbing activities. Blue Lake, which is just below Mount Twynam, is the only dimictic lake in Australia. The area around Mount Twynam has the rare feldmark ecotope, and acts as a watershed for the Geehi and Snowy Rivers.
Mount Twynam and its neighboring Blue Lake have a varied flora community that supports boulder flora, tall and short Alpine herb fields, heaths, fens, and bogs. In wintertime, snow patch felmark marks the area as well. As of last count, 48 introduced plants have been identified in addition to those native. These introduced plants are currently under the weed control program. The local fauna, meanwhile, are as varied as the flora. The reptiles here include copperheads and white-lipped snakes. Skink species include alpine water, mountain log, and southern water skinks. The Blue Lake itself has only the native mountain Galaxias among its fishes, while there are two frog species. Namely, these are the Alpine Tree Frog and the Eastern Common Frog. Migratory birds from Asia also visit the area, most notably the Latham Snipe.
Threats and Disputes
Mount Twynam is in the Alpine zone of the Kosciuszko National Park, and everything in it thrives in low alpine temperatures. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate change, a slight increase in temperature due to climate change would result in a 27 percent decrease in snowfall in some areas of the alpine zone in the Australian Alps, including those located in the Kosciuszko National Park. Cloud-seeding to improve precipitation for increased snowfall is also a chemical threat to the environment. Drought is another threat that brings bush-fires, and these often mean the loss of flora and fauna populations. As a result, lake water gets contaminated by ashes. Tourist activities also bring erosion, vegetation impacts, soil damages, and littering.
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