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    tasmania, geoff murray, tent

    Review: The New Moondance 2FN Tent by Geoff Murray

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    "Last week I received a new tent from Mont, the full nylon version of the Moondance II. This tent has had a number of updates, the most obvious one being that the inner is now full nylon rather than mesh making it more suitable for use in less clement and colder weather. It also has a longer centre ridge pole and cross pole giving more internal room as well as now being symmetrical so pitching is simplified. It was very good to pitch before but is even easier now.The poles are also redesigned so that connecting the poles to the tent is simpler. All in all a really nice tent to use.
    So overall it has a bit more space inside and still only weighs a fraction over 2kgs.

    Moondance 2FN Lemongrass Tent in Walls of Jerusalem National Park, Tasmania by Geoff Murray

    I walked up to one of my favourite Tasmanian highland areas and found a spot for the tent. Conditions were cool but the walking was much easier than my previous trip to this location a month or two ago when the snow was a metre deep.

    Moondance 2FN Lemongrass Tent in Walls of Jerusalem National Park, Tasmania by Geoff Murray

    Towards evening the temperature started dropping so that by the time I was cooking my dinner it was a bit below zero degrees. Through most of the night it hovered around -3 but at some stage it took a dive and my little temperature sensor hanging off a tent guy outside shivered its way down to -8 :) I didn’t notice the temperature nicely snuggled into my Spindrift sleeping bag.
    In the morning it was good to see minimal condensation in the tent. It has some nicely placed ventilation points that seem to work really well.

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    I was awake at 4.45 and shortly after I was walking across to a suitable vantage point for sunrise. Conditions were clear and cold and the grass and bushes were white with frost. After finding a couple of images there I worked my way up through a stand of Pencil Pines to a south facing cliff that still harboured a mini frozen waterfall. After a couple of hours I wandered back to my tent to cook breakfast and have a snooze before packing up and walking out.

    The location was sensational, the weather perfect and the tent performed superbly.

    Gear used Mojo shorts, Odyssey jacket, Icicle jacket, Slinx top, Spindrift XL sleeping bag and Moondance II FN tent."

    By adventure photographer and Mont Ambassador Geoff Murray

    Moondance 2FN Lemongrass Tent in Walls of Jerusalem National Park, Tasmania by Geoff Murray

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  • Product spotlight

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    Review: La Sportiva Skwama Women's

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    The new La Sportiva Women’s Skwama technical climbing shoe was released in the middle of 2018. Mont Adventure Equipment in Canberra was kind enough to give me a pair from their first shipment, just before I left to compete at the New Zealand Lead Nationals in Auckland, in late August.

    The women’s Skwama have the same rubber as that on the men’s Skwama and the La Sportiva Python’s, this provides huge amounts of grip on all surfaces. Compared to the men’s Skwama, the women’s shoe is slightly softer with a thinner mid-sole. When competing in New Zealand a few days after getting them, I decided to wear them despite only having one light training session in them just before leaving. The upper surface of the Skwama is made from materials which mould to the foot removing excess space and making the shoe fit really well. Despite only having an hour or two in them, they felt comfortable enough to compete in, showing just how quickly they broke in to my foot shape.

     

    "This rubber pad is amazingly sticky when positioning toe hooks. It gives you a solid pad to place on the hold and makes you feel like your toes are glued to the hold."

    La Sportiva Skwama Women's

    My finals climb in Auckland was a steep, pumpy route and at one point I needed to pull in hard with a heel to enable me to get a rest. By using the same S wrap of rubber behind the heal and under the sole, La Sportiva have made the heal in the women’s Skwama deep and secure, but also able to be stretched and moulded to the climbers’ foot. Having such a confidence inspiring shoe lets you put lots of trust in the fact that the heel isn’t going to just pop off. Being designed for steep technical climbing, the Skwama also have a rubber pad on the upper, stretching from the big toe up to the Velcro, becoming narrower as it gets closer to the opening. This rubber pad is amazingly sticky when positioning toe hooks. It gives you a solid pad to place on the hold and makes you feel like your toes are glued to the hold. When climbing modern comp boulders, which often feature co-ordinated dynos, having the ability to land such a solid toe allows you to jump for a hold without having to cut your feet.

     

    "Skwama are well known to be fantastic for steep climbs, but they are just as amazing on slabs."

     

    Skwama are well known to be fantastic for steep climbs, but they are just as amazing on slabs. The women’s shoes are slightly thinner than the men’s shoe, this allows lighter climbers to feel and position their feet more accurately on small edged holds. This ability to stand on the smallest edges, definitely showed when I was recently competing at the NSW State Boulder Titles. One of my boulders was a thin, technical slab with small and slippery footholds. The rubber on the Skwama is so sticky and fine that I could feel the holds perfectly, it gave me the confidence to put all my weight over tiny foot jibs, freeing up my upper body to keep in balance.

    For a competition climber like me, where I need to be able to compete on a wide range of boulders, the women’s Skwama is pretty much the perfect shoe. They have the feel and grip you need when trying the trickiest of slabs and the most amazing ability to stick heals and toes for when the setters decide they want to make you work hard on the steep stuff.

    Lis Andres
    Mont sponsored athlete and 2018 Youth C Australian Lead & Boulder Champion.

    Shop Women's Skwama
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    Lycan, La Sportiva, etienne Blumstein-Jones, trail running

    Review: La Sportiva Lycan Trail Running Shoe

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    By Mont Sponsored Trail Runner and Australian Mountain Running Team member Etienne Blumstein-Jones.

    First Impressions:
    Very light to pick up and very light during wear. During my first run in them I noticed how responsive they felt, especially while running faster. There isn’t a lot of tread but they still very grippy while running down technical trails and running uphill on rocks like on Mt Tennent. What I really like with these shoes is that they don’t feel bulky like regular trail shoes, the best way to describe them would be road shoes with some tread and a bit of protection over the toes. 

    La Sportiva Lycan Women's

    After One Month:
    After a month and a half of using these shoes. The tread hasn’t changed at all and the shoe doesn’t feel sloppy in the cushioning. They still feel the same as the first run! They feel great running technical descents and going up long climbs. I’ve done long runs, training sessions and easy runs in these shoes and they’ve been great in every one of those different runs.

    La Sportiva Lycan Trail Running Shoe sole

    

I recommend these shoes for any sort of trail and mountain races you could think of from the short distance trail race to the ultra. These shoes would also work well as a door-to-trail shoe where some road or bike path is required; they feel just as good on those surfaces.

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    Review: La Sportiva Akasha Trail Running Shoe

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    By Mont Sponsored Trail Runner and Australian Mountain Running Team member Etienne Blumstein-Jones

    First Impressions:
    They looked really good. They were comfortable straight out of the box and were light.

    After first use:
    I used them on a 30km mountainous run straight out of the box and they felt comfortable (I didn’t have any issues with hot spots on my feet the whole run). They worked perfectly even while running in snow. They were responsive and felt light while running which are two things I really look for. They drained well; drying quite quickly when swapping from the snow to rock. They had great grip (which is something that I have come to expect from La Sportiva shoes) when running on rocks and even when swapping from snow to rock.

    new-akasha

    After further runs:
    They are still just as comfortable. I have only done long runs in the Akashas and a total of 73.5 kms but there is no wear on the tread at all. They also have the right level of cushioning which is great for when the fatigue really kicks in. I tried them on parts of the Hounslow Ultra course (Skyrunning race in Blackheath) and I am now certain they will be my shoes of choice for this race.

    These shoes are made for ultras, though they are great for any distance where you want that extra bit of cushioning. Technical terrain is especially where they come alive and I would use these for any distance over 20 kms.

    Shop Women's Akasha
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