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  • News & Events

    Posted by Will

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    TAGS

    sochi 2014, winter olympics, olympics, skiing, mont ambassador, michael milton

    Preparing for Sochi. By Michael Milton

    Posted by Will 0 Comment

    News & Events

    I fly to Munich tomorrow and I don’t know where I’m going once I arrive at the airport.

    I’ll turn my phone on as soon as I get there. Hopefully I’ll have an SMS from the head coach of the Australian Paralympic team telling me where they’re training. Then I guess I’ll catch a train or a bus or something to wherever.

    Plans change often and quickly. This is something you learn as a winter athlete. The original plan was to be in Abtenau, just south of Salzburg in Austria, for a few weeks but the conditions haven’t been great there and, as a result, races and training have all been cancelled. The coach is in Italy now looking for an alternative. Fingers crossed he makes a decision before I get to Munich or I might be bedding down in the airport!

    It’s probably not at the top of his priority list but I hope he finds a place with good internet access and a decent television so I can watch the Olympic Games. As a Paralympic athlete (and now as a coach) I’ve missed a lot of Olympic moments over the years as those three weeks of competition are always the final and most important weeks of training before the Paralympic Games. Sitting around watching Olympic athletes (many of whom are friends) compete really does eat into training time. Still, I hope to get a little couch time over the next couple of weeks… maybe at Munich Airport while I wait for that SMS!

    The Paralympic team has had some great results this year. Vision impaired skier Jess Gallagher and her guide Christian Geiger have improved from sixth to first in the world in slalom. Mel Perrine and Andy Bor have also improved their rankings in three events and made their first world cup podium in three years. We’ve also qualified three snowboarders for the sport’s debut in the Paralypmic Games in Boardercross. Fingers crossed I will lose my title as Australia’s most recent winter Paralympic gold medal winner (from the Salt Lake Games in 2002).

    So I am returning to winter after seven weeks at home enjoying the summer. Still, it’s a good time to head off with temperatures edging 40 degrees in Canberra this week plus it won’t be nearly as cold as Colorado was in December. I have all the right Mont gear to keep me warm in the snow wherever I’m going in Europe and then in Sochi for the Games. I’ve packed my favourite merino and down combo.

    Enjoy the Olympics on TV but don’t watch too much. Leave some energy in the tank to tune into the winter Paralympic Games starting on March 7. You will see some great skiers and snowboarders in action. And make sure you tune in to 666 ABC Canberra Radio early most mornings for my updates from Europe during the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

    See you back here in Canberra for autumn… if I ever leave Munich Airport!

    See Michael's previous blog post about his time coaching the Australian Paralympic Alpine Team in Colorado, USA.

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  • News & Events

    Posted by Will

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    Mont: Official FashFest Designer 2014

    Posted by Will 0 Comment

    News & Events

    Mont is proud to announce that we will be taking part in FashFest 2014 as an Official Designer.

    Over the coming months we will bring you pictures, news and information about the event. Watch this space!

    Steph in the Moonshadow Jacket and Tempest Overpants, Sam in the New Skydiver Blue Icicle Jacket, Reactor Tee and Latitude Overpants and both sporting the limited edition Vermont alpine glasses by Julbo. Steph in the Moonshadow Jacket and Tempest Overpants, Sam in the New Skydiver Blue Icicle Jacket, Reactor Tee and Latitude Overpants and both sporting the limited edition Vermont alpine glasses by Julbo.

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  • News & Events

    Posted by Will

    1  Comment

    TAGS

    mojo daypack, colorado, coaching, winter olympics, sololite, dr80 canvas, olympics, skiing, mont ambassador, michael milton

    Coaching in Colorado. By Michael Milton

    Posted by Will 1 Comment

    News & Events

    Over the northern winter I’ve been working as a coach with the Australian Paralympic Alpine Team in Colorado. I came home just before Christmas and will head to Europe early February and then on to Sochi for the Paralympic Games.

    It’s been a challenging role, working with some great people and athletes all committed to getting the best possible results at the Games. As much as I hate to admit it, it’s often the disability that increases the challenge. Like able-bodied athletes, those with disabilities have their own type of skiing, approach to training, the thing that makes them tick. There are varying skill levels, like any other sport, different goals and a million ways to get there. But then there are the disabilities. No two athletes are the same. The team training in Colorado included a vision-impaired skier and her sighted guide, a xxxx and a xxxxxx.

    Then there’s my disability. It can be a tough day on the hill setting a course then standing on one leg for hours, changing position, standing again. It’s not really skiing. It’s just using a ski to get places. I don’t even take outriggers. My normal everyday walking crutches are enough. Most days I start with a pack containing all the day’s equipment, including some warm gear, a thermos of tea, a cordless drill and spare batteries, a foot-long drill bit, timing gear and video camera. It weighs about 15kg before I add a bundle of gates (15 to 20kg) and it starts to get pretty weighty, especially after a few hours lugging it around. Setting up for training can take a while and I work up quite a sweat. Then I get to stand still and watch training for a few hours and, in -26ºC or thereabouts, I rapidly start to freeze. I never make excuses but give me a day’s training as an athlete over a day on the hill as a coach any day!

    Deciding what to wear is really important. Get it wrong and you could literally freeze to death or, on the flipside, be forced to carry the extra weight around. I’ve learned over many years but I still see people buying poor quality gear or choosing the wrong items to wear.

    The polar freeze hit while we were in Colorado just before Christmas. We were training and competing in Vail and Copper Mountain (8150 feet and 10,000 feet respectively at the bases areas). It was one of the coldest weeks I have ever experienced. The coldest day dropped to a low of -24ºC max, closer to -40 overnight. We were on the hill at first light so you can imagine how bitterly cold it was. I hit my all-time layering record that day – eight layers on the top and five on the bottom. Standing and filming with one hand out of my glove for around 45 minutes was awful. I got some nip on my cheek. I decided then that female athletes are THE BEST! We had just three girls on the hill competing that day, and no Australian guys. In ski racing, the girls always go first and I gleefully skied down toward the warmth past coaches from other countries who would be standing there waiting for at least another hour until the guys were all done.

    They all looked incredibly cold... and envious. Perhaps they weren’t wearing the right gear. Most days I start my layering with a Mont wool t-shirt and Mont long sleeve shirt, followed by a mid-weight wool top and fleece. Then over the top I put a down insulator and then a ski jacket. On very cold days I add another thicker down jacket and an extra mid layer. On the bottom I wear compression tights, wool thermals, fleece thermals, pyjama bottoms or track pants and ski pants over the top. All those spare left legs get tucked in together into the waistband of my ski pants for an extra few layers on my stump and other vital areas in that region!

    One day I counted the number of Mont items I had with me in Colorado (it was cold outside and I had nothing better to do). I had 18 items of clothing, from undies right up to down jackets plus a big duffel bag, loads of other cool accessories and (my prized possession) a new sample Mojo 35 litre pack that I borrowed just to try out. It will be available later in the year?

    Thanks Mont for your support and for keeping me warm.

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  • Product spotlight

    Posted by Will

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    TAGS

    sketches, dr80 canvas, trance, java, daypacks, sentinel

    Sneak Peek: New Daypacks

    Posted by Will 5 Comments

    Product spotlight

    For the past few months Nick Robinson, the Mont pack designer, has been busy sketching, cutting, sewing, testing and developing the forthcoming daypack range.

    The new range will include total redesigns of the Trance, the Transit, the Java and Sentinel daypacks.

    With a raft of new features like the re-worked hip-belt, improvements to old features like the improved media-pocket fabric, and as always the highest quality Nylon webbings, Cordura Fabric and Australian made DR80 Canvas attached to SoloLite Harnesses; these daypacks are built tough with function-first modern styling.

    Mont Technical Packs: world class and ready for years of adventure.

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    Keep your eyes peeled with an expected arrival date in early April.

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    Mont. Trusted in the wild.

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