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  • Expeditions & Adventures

    Posted by Will

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    ice clombing, rolwaling valley, nepal, icicle jacket, mont ambassador, chris warner

    Ice Climbing in the Rolwaling Valley, Nepal

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    Expeditions & Adventures

    By Chris Warner

    1st January 2014

    We have been here in the village of Bedding at 3700m nearly a week now. There's no snow on the ground and the water ice routes look amazing all up the narrow valley. We plan to spend 2 weeks here at the guest house going out each day to climb the ice and maybe discover some new lines. For winter in the Himalayas it's surprisingly mild with clear blue skies.

    1-chris-reactorChris in a Mont Reactor Tee, Oasis Cap and Power Dry Silk Weight Thermals

    Our first route we did was just 15 minutes walk from the lodge and went up 6 pitches to a walk off. A great line of around WI3+. From the top we could see across the valley at the other routes we wanted to do, and try to work out the best access across the river at their base.

    3-DSC_0241

    We climbed over the next few days 3 of the 4 main routes in this group previously named 'The Cousin Brothers'. It was the shady side of the valley and noticeably colder. Each route was about an hour approach following local paths or up the frozen creek beds. We did some great 3 to 9 pitch routes up to WI4+.
     

    Chris keeping warm in a Mont Icicle Jacket Chris keeping warm in his Mont Icicle Jacket

    So far we are the only ones up here climbing ice. The village is very quite with most of the locals away for the winter. In a few days we will walk higher up the valley to the village of Naa at 4200m. From there we want to climb some bigger lines and get on the Great Wall.

     

    7th January 2014

    4-Kristy-icicleKristy in the new Mont Icicle Jacket in Skydiver Blue. Same great Hydronaute XT fabric with new higher lofting Durable Water Repellent down.

    We just came back from spending 3 days at Naa. The village is empty for the winter but stayed with a local who walked up from Bedding to open their house for us. Naa is a larger village in a more open part of the valley. Stonewalls criss-cross everywhere with large Yaks eating what’s left of the winter grass. There are 10 Sherpa climbers here as well practicing on the ice for the guide course they start in a few days.

    5-ice-mogles

    We headed over to the Great Wall the first day. It’s a huge wide flow of ice over 100m at the base. We climb a stunning line on the left hand end, which takes us up 4 pitches of WI4. We climb another route nearby dripping wet at the bottom with mushy ice in the middle. On the last pitch the ice is clear blue with the water behind pounding down between the rock and ice. A beautiful thing to watch as you're swinging your axes and crampons into the thin ice.

    Now back at Bedding we have one day climbing left. We will try to climb the long route in the small canyon only a few minutes walk from the village. It’s been to wet to climb so far this trip but we have had some colder days now. The following day we will start our 3 day journey back to Kathmandu and the head over to Pokhara to paraglide for a few weeks in the winter sun.

    7-water-and-ice

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    Mont. Trusted in the Wild

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  • Expeditions & Adventures

    Posted by Will

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    TAGS

    epoch tent, tasmania, kayak, geoff murray, mont ambassador

    A Pleasant Coastal Paddle

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    Expeditions & Adventures

    By Geoff Murray

    Having returned from a fantastic solo expedition in Greenland in September last year, I was wondering what to do next.

    My home state Tasmania is a superb paddling destination so I thought why not do something a little closer to home. After all, Greenland is almost as far away as I can get from home!

    So now the plan is to paddle from Marrawah on Tasmania’s NW coast, across the north of Tassie and down the east coast to Hobart, a distance of 740km. Solo.

    I started the first of several legs this week, Bridport to Devonport, and I did it in a relaxed 3 days. 100km altogether. I did the reverse direction due to the wind forecast, 100km into a headwind isn’t fun…

    I used my “old faithful” Rockpool GT. We crossed Bass Strait together 3 years ago. She is a great rough water expedition boat, as sea kindly as you could wish for.

    Of course, stashed into the hatches were a couple of essentials. My Mont Lightspeed jacket and Latitude pants. Tassie being Tassie, it’s always wise to have some top quality waterproofs accessible and these are perfect. Lightweight but tough, very breathable and superbly cut, you could wear them into a top restaurant and not have a problem then walk outside into a monsoonal downpour and stay dry as a bone.

    The other essential item for a coastal trip, or a mountain trip, or anywhere else where strong winds are possible, is a good, stable stormproof tent. I took my Mont Epoch, a genuine 4 season alpine tent. I can’t give this tent enough praise. It is rock solid, has excellent access to the symmetrical inner from either end. It is roomy enough, both in length and headroom for my 185cm and it has to have the best ventilation of just about any tent out there. This makes it entirely suitable for hot weather use but it is equally at home battened down ready for a storm. And the person, or persons that designed it so obviously sat down and thought “how can we make this tent as user friendly as possible, what can we do to make it better in every way”. There are so many little touches that make it better. Double loops and toggles to hold the doors open..twice as good. 4 pockets instead of 2, a gear loft, reflective guys, a footprint that runs to the ends of the vestibules, the list goes on. Once you are snuggled into this tent you feel invincible and spoilt :-)

    The Mont Epoch. 4 season, 2 person The Mont Epoch. 4 season, 2 person

    So far I have only had the chance to spend about 14 nights in this tent, but I think it will be used for many more nights in the years to come.

    Parking the car at Bridport in Tasmania’s North East I packed my kayak and paddled west under a scorching summer sun. That night saw me set up tent amongst the she oaks at Lullworth, an easy 32km along the coast. This is a tiny holiday village full of people in holiday mode. The mosquitoes were friendly too but the tent was my haven.

    Lullworth camp Lullworth camp

    Rising to a red sunrise I once again went through the ritual of eating, packing, dressing, launching and pointed my bow west again.

    Waiting for my turn to launch Waiting for my turn to launch

    This time my destination was West Head, a small but rugged finger of land jutting out into Bass Strait. I had previously spotted what looked like a good place to camp on dear old Google Earth and that’s just what it was. Perfect. Another good evening. with a wander across to the western side for the sunset.

    Sunset over Badger head from West Head Sunset over Badger Head from West Head

     

    Delightful camp at West Head Delightful camp at West Head

    The third and last day was forecast to be a bit windier so I expected to be able to sail and travel quickly. The wind gradually built up through the morning until the seas over the shallow bays became quite “busy”. This made for a quick trip and I landed at Devonport just after midday having covered another 34km.

    Section 1 done! Section 1 done!

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  • Product spotlight

    Posted by Will

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    TAGS

    batwing tarp, moondog jacket, flyte backpack, nick covelli, brainsick productions, franklin river, video, tasmania

    The Flyte Backpack on the Franklin River

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    Product spotlight

    The Mont Flyte Backpack on a rough and tumble trip down the Franklin River, Tasmania with a kayaking group from La Trobe University and Brainsick Productions.

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  • Expeditions & Adventures

    Posted by admin

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    TAGS

    mountaineering, broad peak, mont ambassador, high altitude, chris warner

    Chris Warner on Broad Peak 2

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    Expeditions & Adventures

    We have now established camp 2 on Broad Peak at 6300m.  Marty, Denali and I sat out 3 days of strong winds, comfortable in our tent playing long games of cards and acclimatizing. We have a great little tent spot protected by some rock pinnacles on the windy side and one metre away to the other side a 1000m drop, where beyond we watch the weather change over the nearby K2.

    We did attempt to climb to camp 3 over the 3 days at camp 2 but the wind proved too much and the visibility too poor.

    Everyone is feeling good on the mountain.

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