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  • News & Events

    Posted by Will

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    TAGS

    mexico, film festival, backcountry, japan, skiing

    Backcountry Film Festival @ The Mont Shop Canberra

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    News & Events

    The Mont Shop in Canberra, supported by Main Range Backcountry, is hosting a Backcountry Film Festival on the 11th of August on the Mont Big Screen.

    The night will feature a collection of short films from the backcountry; snow beyond the ski lifts. From Iceland, to Japan, to Mexico & more, epic powder days, gruelling ascents and endless turns back down.

    Tickets are available from the Mont Shop in Fyshwick and are only a gold coin (you can give more) that will go to the Mountain Critter Cause, a fundraiser to protect the Mountain Pygmy Possum.

    Tickets are limited and will go quickly, so hurry in to avoid disappointment!

    Plus we have lucky door prizes including the chance to win a two day avalanche awareness course valued at $300 with Main Range Backcountry.

    WHEN 6pm Thursday 11 August
    WHERE The Mont Shop Fyshwick Big Screen
    18 Pirie St Fyshwick ACT 2609
    PHONE 02 6162 1661
    EMAIL shop@mont.com.au

    Visit the Mont Shop Canberra for a complete range of backcountry & AT gear, expert advice & mountain knowledge.

    Backcountry Film Festival at the Mont Shop in Canberra. Poster. Photos by Tony Wehr of Doug Chatten in the backcountry, NSW Snowy Mountains

    Header image from The Weight of Winter by Ben Sturgulewski

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  • News & Events

    Posted by Will

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    TAGS

    film, backcountry, skiing

    The Winter Wildlands Alliance Backcountry Film Festival

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    News & Events

    ANU Mountaineering Club is hosting the Winter Wildlands Alliance Backcountry Film Festival.

    The Winter Wildlands Alliance Backcountry Film Festival is celebrating its 10th Anniversary with nine unique films aimed to inspire winter adventurers to seek the snow less traveled.

    When: 6:30pm Thursday, 23 July
    Where: Haydon-Allen Building, ANU, Canberra
    Tickets: $5 donation from students and $10 from non-students.
    All proceeds going to the Australian Himalayan Foundation.

    Lucky door prizes include gear from Mont Adventure Equipment as well as a guided backcountry day-trip voucher for up to four people with Main Range Back Country.

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  • Product spotlight

    Posted by Will

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    TAGS

    winter, cycling, canberra, skiing, mont ambassador, michael milton

    Michael Milton: Relationships on the side

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    Product spotlight

    I’m a married man with a secret and it’s time to come clean. I’ve been having a relationship on the side, actually two, and they’ve both lasted more than 20 years. But it’s OK. My wife knows about them and she’s cool with the arrangement.

    You see, when I find an item of clothing that I actually love I stay true for a long, long time. I’m fond of many pieces of gear in my wardrobe but two really stole my heart.

    The first is a slalom jumper, given to me way back in 1994 when I was 21 and competing in my third Paralympic Games. It was part of the Australian alpine team uniform and the last of its kind because full Lycra suits soon became the norm. It was made of pure wool, with quality padding on the arms and shoulders to protect me from the gates and had a very cool pattern in Lycra.

    It was love at first wear and I continued to wear it long after fashions moved on and full Lycra became the standard. The Lycra has worn off in some areas and some of it was left behind on slalom gates, but I kept wearing it, despite the jeers from teammates and rivals. It was warm, comfortable, and it offered great protection. I wore it for 18 years and, together, we racked up what must have been around 1000 days skiing and won a silver and a gold medal.
     

    “I wore it for 18 years and, together, we racked up what must have been around 1000 days skiing”

     
    In the last serious ski race of my life at the 2006 Paralympic Games in Italy, I wore it for the last time. By then it had regained a measure of respect on the slopes – it was old enough to be labelled “vintage”.

    Mont Ambassador Michael Milton in his slalom ski jumper

    The other great love in my wardrobe is a cycling jacket, which is a surprise to me because I’m not a big fan of riding in bad weather. I don’t like riding in the rain and I don’t like to wear clothes that don’t breathe well. If it is cold I would rather put on some warm layers and a vest to keep out the wind. However, some winter mornings in Canberra can be bitterly cold and, on those days when the wind can bring the temperature down to -10, I pull out the king of my cycling wardrobe, my own personal cloaking device - a Mont cycling jacket that I bought way back in 1995. It’s a unique design, made from wind-stopper fabric that was never really designed to be waterproof but that makes it super breathable! It keeps me warm and dry and, no matter how hard I work, the sweat just seems to disappear.
     

    “For 20 years my Mont jacket and I have been braving extreme winter conditions together”

     
    For 20 years my Mont jacket and I have been braving extreme winter conditions together and it’s still not showing any signs of wear. Every time I put it on I feel a real sense of security, knowing it will be there the next time I need super-protection and for many winters to come.

    Michael Milton, Mont Ambassador, wearing classic Mont Cycling Jacket

    We’ve all bought stuff that doesn’t work. Maybe it didn’t fit right or just didn’t perform like we hoped it would. Maybe fashions changed and we moved on. Experience tells me to focus less on the price and more on the quality, fit, durability and potential longevity. Really good stuff can last a long time and I might just love it enough to care less about fashions.

    Old reliable stuff, built to perform and to last. In a disposable, throw-away society, it’s good to own a few things I know I can rely on. The Mont cycling jacket is still in use and the slalom jumper is tucked away safely in storage. One day I might race masters and, together, we’ll stage a slalom comeback. We’ll both be more antique than vintage by then.

    As for my wife? Well, she’s pretty sure I’m sticking around for the long haul. After all, I am capable of a 20year relationship with a jumper!

    Mont Ambassador Michael Milton

    Michael Milton is a Paralympic gold medallist, speed skiing world record holder, was included in the Australian Institute of Sport’s 25 Best of the Best Athletes for their 25th anniversary year, has won a slew of awards, continues to compete in races of multiple disciplines, and regularly skis, mountain bikes and spends time in the outdoors.

    What piece of adventure clothing do hold dear to your heart?

    See more blog posts from Michael Milton here

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  • Expert outdoor advice

    Posted by Will

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    TAGS

    Snowy Mountains, Paralympian, canberra, mountain biking, skiing, mont ambassador, michael milton

    Michael Milton: 2014 in review

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    Expert outdoor advice

    I love setting myself new goals and challenges but it’s also fun and interesting to look back on achievements. Reviewing adventures, events and even holidays can be a useful tool when thinking about new activities. What went well? Which adventures were the best and why? What would you do differently?

    So, here’s my top five adventures from 2014. Perhaps one of them will inspire your next challenge?

    Coaching in Socchi
    After years and years as an athlete, it was time to give back. I worked as a coach with the Australian team in the months leading up to the Winter Paralympic Games in Socchi, Russia and then during Games time. What a great adventure! I’d never been to Russia before and the mountains in the Caucasus were as big and beautiful as anything I had seen in central Europe.

    It was not a smooth ride for the team but I really enjoyed the challenges that come with being a coach and I got a new perspective of elite sport. What did I learn? Coaches work much harder than athletes and the results don’t always reflect the effort or the talent.
    Sochi 2014

    Ski, Camp, Ski
    We (my wife and I and our two kids aged five and seven) had a great season skiing in Thredbo. With both kids finding their ski legs the previous winter, we were keen to ski as much as possible and make good use of our season passes.

    However, we quickly learned that day trips are tough. With no place to stay at the snow, we decided to give camping a go. We swam and showered at the pool in Thredbo after skiing, had dinner and headed off to our tent at Thredbo Diggings. Some recent falls down low meant we were on the snow and, although I’m certain it’s not on my wife’s top five list for 2014, the kids and I loved it! We pulled camp early for our second day of skiing. Perfect!
     

    “although I’m certain it’s not on my wife’s top five list for 2014, the kids and I loved it!”

     
    Canberra to Bungendore
    Late August and my family was driving to the coast for the weekend. I have wanted to explore the back-country route between Canberra and Bungendore for ages so this was the perfect opportunity. I wanted to get away by 1pm and meet up with the car in Bungendore before sundown but I got busy, left two hours later than planned and found myself riding alone in the dark from around 5pm, wondering how and when I was going to find my family, or if they could find me. I really wasn’t in any danger as there were plenty of properties around, I had my GPS and quality bike lights. The temperature dropped, but as a skier, I quite like the cool air and as long as I kept riding, I was fine.

    I got charged by a wombat, had to wade through a swollen creek and got flagged down by an old teacher of mine who got a call from someone who passed me on the road (crazy one-legged guy riding alone in the dark can only be one man apparently!). Just as I was tiring, my rescue car found me around 7.30pm and I was pretty happy to climb in.

    I think this adventure will make it on to the 2015 list…. Just so I can do it in daylight!
    Running out of light on the mountain bike ride to Bungendore
     

    “Crazy one-legged guy riding alone in the dark can only be one man apparently!”

     
    The Mountains from the Other Side
    As a skier, I haven’t spent a lot of time outside the resorts so, when I got an invitation to join a mountain biking trip on the western side of the range from Munyang Power Station to Geehi Dam, there was only one answer – YES!

    Viewed from the south west, the mountains are so much bigger and quite awe-inspiring. Our starting point had a big climb parallel with a Snowy Hydro tunnel, the first 6km was all uphill and pretty steep. As a one cylinder engine in a two cylinder race, I’m often the slowest, especially on hills. I had to get off and hop a few times which takes the gas out of the tank and slows me down. The scenery was incredible though and my companions were fantastic and very patient. They didn’t seem to mind waiting for me to catch up. We ended the ride at Geehi Reservoir after 3 hours.

    I love to end an adventure with a bracing dip but the water was surprisingly warm in Geehi reservoir. It was a very cool adventure in unexplored parts of the Snowy Mountains.
    Running out of light at Geehi Resevoir

    Circumnavigation of Canberra, ACT
    When Canberra’s Centenary Trail – a 140km self-guided loop around greater Canberra – was first finished two years ago I wanted to ride it straight away. However, the day it was officially opened I was in Colorado working with the Australian Paralympic winter team. Clearly this was one dream that would have to wait, so I surfed the internet and read tales from friends about their days out on this new Canberra attraction.

    Finally, in January 2014, on a break home between training sessions in western Europe and the winter Paralympic Games in Socchi, I got my chance. I couldn’t find two consecutive days to ride the whole trail but that’s the best part about it: it’s designed to be ridden in sections and it’s so easy to access from just about anywhere in the bush capital.

    I managed ride the whole thing over about three weeks. I regularly ride some great sections along the northern ACT border and the trail next to the river from Kambah Pools to Tuggeranong is also a favourite. The Centenary Trail is a great asset for Canberra and one that will draw big numbers to the region in coming years.

    I have a list for 2015. Do you?
    Mont Ambassador Michael Milton
     
    Michael Milton is a Paralympic gold medallist, speed skiing world record holder, was included in the Australian Institute of Sport’s 25 Best of the Best Athletes for their 25th anniversary year, has won a slew of awards, continues to compete in races of multiple disciplines, and regularly skis, mountain bikes and spends time in the outdoors.
     
     
     
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    Mont. Trusted in the Wild.

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