Australian
Bag

Tag Archives: bushwalking

  • Expeditions & Adventures

    Posted by Will

    0  Comment

    TAGS

    tasmanua, bushwalking

    Western Arthur, Tasmania

    Posted by Will 0 Comment

    Expeditions & Adventures

    “After a substantial hiatus from the trails of Tassie I was starting to dream of the divine hiking down there. Plus, nothing softens the memory of those lung busting climbs and infamous Button Grass swamps like sitting on the mainland watching your trusty Mont Backcountry pack (now 18 years old) gather dust in the shed. In order to scratch the itch, a trio of us planned to have a crack at the glorious Western Arthur traverse in South West Tasmania.

    Gail ascending

     

    "...swollen creeks, visibility down to about 10m and epic wind whipping up whitecaps out on the lake"

     

    Moondance 1 Tent

    Armed with a Moondance 1 Tent, Helium 600 Sleeping Bag, Backcountry Pack, an Austral Jacket and a strong disregard for personal hygiene for the next week or so, I set off with my walking buddies from Lake Pedder into 2 days of sunshine and 360 degree views. It was pure bliss looking down on some of the country’s wildest places, with the only thing to be heard being my whimpering as I lugged myself up Moraine A onto the range. The following day, we scored occasional misty glimpses of Mt Hayes overhead, the plains far below and brooding views descending into the famous Lake Oberon. After that was a different story, with swollen creeks, visibility down to about 10m and epic wind whipping up whitecaps out on the lake. Despite being stuck in the tent for nearly 2 days waiting for the weather to clear, I was stoked to find that the new Moondance 1 was both roomy and stable. Extra points for the ridge pole pushing drip lines out to give a lovely wide vestibule which can be comfortably cooked in during foul conditions.

    Gail in mudbath

    With the weather continuing to deteriorate and worse forecast, it was time to bail out the way we came instead of risking it on the extremely exposed central section of the range. We scored some quality horizontal rain, a free whole body mud bath and some profoundly undignified faceplants on our way out – definitely a classy exit. Although we didn’t get the bluebird traverse we were planning for, the weather is the boss in the South West and my hiking itch was satisfied. For a few weeks anyway…”

    Mont staff member Gail

    READ MORE>

  • Expeditions & Adventures

    Posted by Will

    1  Comment

    TAGS

    walls of jerusalem, tasmania, geoff murray, bushwalking

    Walls of Jerusalem, Tasmania. By Geoff Murray

    Posted by Will 1 Comment

    Expeditions & Adventures

    Tucked away in Tasmania’s Central Highlands is a jewel. Compact, photogenically outstanding and an easy place to travel, it is The the Walls of Jerusalem National Park. I have visited The Walls many times over the years, and in all seasons.

    I saw my coldest Tasmanian temperature here one chilly Winter’s night, -13ºC. But the next day was sensational; Deep, firm snow, a crystal clear atmosphere and scenery that filled the soul with joy.

    I decided it was time to pay another visit. Packing all of the necessary items into my Mont Backcountry pack (plus a few luxuries) I left home early one morning for the 4 hour drive to the Walls carpark.

    The carpark is deep within the Mersey Valley, at the end of a rough, dusty road. Isolated, you would say. I turned into the carpark, and was greeted with 24, yes 24 cars! This island and its superb bushwalking is becoming more popular.

    Anyway, hoist the pack on and up the hill. The ground alongside the track was dry, bone dry. Creeks that never fail, dry. Tassie is in the midst of a desperately dry period, clear testament to the awful effects of climate change.

    A couple of hours later, I was in the Walls, a superb amphitheatre of mountains with a scattering of alpine tarns within. Bright green cushion plants sat in between the Scoparia. Alpine grasses made walking easy and I made good time across to the far side. Finding a quiet spot for my tent, I set up camp. I had brought my Mont Epoch tent with me, a mountain tent as tough as they come, and a genuine pleasure to use. I value it very highly.

    Mont Epoch Tent in the Walls of Jerusalem National Park Tasmania

    Time for a wander through this alpine wonderland. Up over Damascus Gate, a quick scamper up onto The Temple for a superb view, then a slow walk down through the ancient Pencil Pine forest in the general direction of Dixon’s Kingdom Hut. Some of the pines here are over 1,000 years old, craggy and ancient, beautiful and haunting and they watched silently as I walked amongst them. Like walking through a living cathedral.

    macro photo of flower in Tasmania

    A quick yarn to some walkers camped at the Hut then it was time to return to my tent for a meal and a deep sleep.

    Up at 4am the next morning to allow time to walk across to the Pool of Siloam for sunrise. The silence was absolute, the stillness complete as I arrived at the Pool. I waited for the light to grow, the sun’s rays slowly fingering down the mountainsides as the day was born.

    lake at walls of jerusalem

    Images appeared before me, to be captured through the lens. A good start to the day. The rest of the day was spent almost aimlessly wandering around, searching for images that please.

    Late afternoon and back at the tent, a meal, then sleep. A simple existence in the wild.

    The third day was the last. Time to go back to civilisation but recharged and refreshed.

    I packed up, and tramped off in the direction of the carpark. Another good trip.

    Geoff Murray

    December 2015

    READ MORE>

    VIEW COMMENT>

  • Expeditions & Adventures

    Posted by Will

    0  Comment

    TAGS

    overland track, tasmania, geoff murray, bushwalking

    The Overland Track, Tasmania. By Geoff Murray

    Posted by Will 0 Comment

    Expeditions & Adventures

    A couple of months ago my wife told me she wanted to walk through Tassie’s Overland Track. She last walked through 6 years ago with her brother but wanted us to walk it together. I hadn’t walked that trip for something like 18 years so I was curious to see what it would be like.

    Liking our solitude, we resolved to camp away from the huts, something that was ok’d by Parks staff, just as long as we were discrete and did the right thing.

    Loading our gear into our packs, we tried to keep the weight to a reasonable level while at the same time remaining comfortable. I was going to use a new Mont Backcountry pack, a serious 85 litre canvas pack suitable for the toughest trips while Lyn had her well used Mont Escape pack. I was carrying 27kgs, Lyn had 15kgs. My pack was a bit heavier than most due to my photographic equipment.

    Our first day was a short one walking, but a long day overall as we first had to drive for 4 hours from our home to the track start. We left Ronny Creek and headed up the main track. The packs felt good and so did life!

    Goeff Murray on the Overland track 2015

    After negotiating Marion’s Lookout (and helping a couple of lost Asian tourists find the way down) we worked our way across the face of Cradle Mountain to find a campsite on Cradle Cirque in the late afternoon sun. There was a cool breeze as I set up our new Mont Moondance 2 tent. This is a superbly compact and light tent for 2 people, quick to erect and as usual for Mont, full of innovative ideas in its construction.

    A mist descended over the mountaintops in the evening and we watched as a well spread out group of four weary trekkers trudged slowly past in the gloom. We slipped into our tent and were soon warm and cosy in our sleeping bags.

    The next day dawned fine and cool and we quickly packed up and dropped down to Waterfall Valley hut where we met one of the track rangers. After yarning for a while we moved on in the gathering heat towards Windermere Hut. The scenery was brilliant, towering dolerite mountains reaching up into a blue sky dotted with fine weather cumulus clouds. We had a great view of Lake Windermere from a lookout before continuing south and reaching Windermere hut in the mid afternoon.

    Cumulo nimbus clouds above the overland track, tasmania. by Geoff Murray

    On the way Lyn had a snooze on a rock while I wandered around finding some superb red barked Tasmanian snowgums to photograph.

    The new Overland track huts are a far cry from what was there when I last walked through, veritable mansions easily able to cater for the 34 independent walkers allowed through each day but still built sensitively so that they assimilate into their environment. Sometimes compromises need to be made to cater for larger numbers of people and it has been well done.

    After having dinner at Windermere hut, we packed up and walked for another two hours as the sun eased towards the horizon, finally setting up camp in the forest near the Forth Valley Lookout.

    After listening to a couple of possums having a real ding dong and another creature that had a call like a running zip (no kidding) we entered the world of slumber. Cosy again ☺

    Our next day was normally one of the longest days on the track but we had shortened it nicely to an easy 14kms. The day was hot and we walked a little slower in the shady forested sections, savouring the relative coolness out of the sun.

    Our campsite this time was next to the Old Pelion Hut. This hut is no longer allowed to be slept in by walkers due to its heritage value but it was pretty handy when a thunderstorm rolled in and the heavens opened. It was crowded in the tiny hut with at least another 6 or 7 walkers sheltering from the downpour.

    After the storm had rolled through the air was vibrant and cool.

    The next morning was magic! Mist floated ethereally over the hills and through the valleys as the sun weakly filtered through. The dew clung to the grasses, saturating my boots and gaitors as I wandered around looking for “the image”. A great start to the day.

    mist on the Overland Track, Tasmania, by Geoff Murray

    A day that involved a long slow trudge up to Pelion Gap, at 1126metres, one of the highest points on the track. A platform has been built at the top of the climb, with an unusual sign warning bushwalkers that the local Currawongs (birds) have worked out how to undo pack zips. And in fact we even heard of a fastex buckle being undone!

    The descent was much easier and it wasn’t long before we came to Kia Ora hut. Dinner again and we move a little way down track to find a tent site. This was our 4th night and we only expected to spend one more night in our Moondance tent before heading home.

    Mont Moondance 2 tent and hut on the Overland Track, Tasmania, by Geoff Murray

    The fifth day was the hottest day of the trip, reaching somewhere around 27 degrees in the mid afternoon, no fun when you are carrying a pack. We arrived at the new, very impressive Burt Nichols hut which had been built to replace the much smaller Windy Ridge hut. Dinner again and onwards. This time it was a little difficult to find a tent site offtrack and being late, we ended up pitching our tent right on the track. No-one came past so it was no problem.

    old hut on the overland track, tasmania. By Geoff Murray

    The final day we only had 6 kilometres to walk then it was “Narcissuss Hut to Ferry base, come in please” over the radio and we had our boat ride to Cynthia bay and civilisation organised.

    The boat trip is a great way to finish the trip, zooming down Lake St Clair looking back at the mountains we had threaded our way through and feeling just a little chuffed at the fact that this pair of “oldies” (60 years for one and a little less for the other) had easily traversed this stunning wilderness.

    A trip well worth doing, made all the easier with superb equipment.

    Geoff Murray

    Want more? Sign up to the Mont Newsletter to get gear reviews, news, product releases, great photos and advice on all your outdoor needs.

    Mont. Trusted in the Wild.

    READ MORE>

  • Expeditions & Adventures

    Posted by Will

    0  Comment

    TAGS

    nullarbor, brindabella, moondance 1, bushwalking, fund raiser, terra lalirra

    The Happy Walk

    Posted by Will 0 Comment

    Expeditions & Adventures

    Terra Lalirra is on a one woman walk around Australia to generate greater awareness of depression and prevent suicide through understanding, community support and discussion. Over 7 years Terra hopes to raise $1m for Lifeline Australia.

    Terra Lalirra in the Nullarbor with her Mont Moondance 1 Tent

    Terra is currently walking across the Nullarbor with the help of her Mont Moondance 1 Tent and Brindabella Sleeping Bag.

    You can learn more about this journey and see more great photos at The Happy Walk website.

    And to give donations to this great cause see the donation page.

    Terra Lalirra on the Happy Walk with her Moondance 1 Tent and Brindabella Sleeping Bag

    Want more? Sign up to the Mont Newsletter to get gear reviews, news, product releases, great photos and advice on all your outdoor needs.

    Mont. Trusted in the Wild.

    READ MORE>

page 1 of 1