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Bushwalkers Weather Alert! By Geoff Murray

October 20, 2021 5 Comments

Moondance 1FN in Tasmania.

I had planned to walk into one of my favourite areas again, the Walls of Jerusalem but on the morning that I intended to head in, the Bureau of Meteorology issued a Bushwalker’s Weather Alert. This didn’t match with what my preferred forecast program Windy said and I have found that program to generally be very accurate. So I started the climb up towards Trappers Hut with a sense of curiosity to see what the day would bring.

Tasmania

Certainly, it was cool, probably 2 or 3 degrees up on top with occasional light snow or hail but it was quite pleasant with little wind and it was only as I approached Dixon’s Kingdom Hut that I put on gloves and my Mont Odyssey jacket over Mont Power Dry thermals.

I continued past the hut and started heading south to a location that I had spotted on Google Earth that looked like it might have some flat clear areas for a tent.

My research certainly paid off as I came across a perfect campsite, fairly sheltered, with great views and water not too far away.

It was minus 1°C as I set the tent up and the temperature bottomed out at minus 5.4°C through the night with a light coating of snow greeting me in the morning.

I was in the Moondance 1 FN Tent for this trip. A spacious and quite warm 4 season 1 person tent. It’s a great tent for light trips as it only weighs a fraction over 1500g.

I was carrying summer bushwalking gear on this trip including my Helium 450 sleeping bag and a Guide Primaloft synthetic jacket. This gear is suitable for all but midwinter in Tassie and I was warm and comfortable.

While the ice still coated the vegetation in the morning I wandered around getting a few images. The sun soon dried the tent and then it was time to pack up ready for the walkout which almost became too warm as the temperature rocketed up to 6 or 7 degrees.

And the Bushwalker’s Alert? Nope.

Geoff Murray
Mont Ambassador

Disclaimer: All weather warnings should be taken seriously and judged alongside your individual experience in the wild and preparedness.


5 Responses

Geoff Murray
Geoff Murray

November 24, 2021

In reply to Stephen’s very legitimate concerns. I agree that Bushwalker’s Alerts need to be taken seriously, however sometimes the forecasters don’t quite get it right and as was stated above, with suitable experience, good equipment and a willingness to adapt to conditions as they present themselves it is reasonable to make one’s own judgement with the right information, bearing mind that the BOM uses the same weather models that Windy uses. I am always willing to terminate a walk if conditions dictate it, in fact on one occasion a few years ago a severe weather warning (not a bushwalker’s alert) was issued while I was driving towards the Walls carpark. I reached the carpark, assessed the very strong winds that were present even down in the forest where I was, and drove back home. It’s never worth taking an unnecessary risk.
Geoff Murray

Mont Adventure Equipment
Mont Adventure Equipment

October 27, 2021

Dear Stephen,

Thank you for your comment and for your concern.

We agree that weather warnings are serious and should be observed. You will see that there is a note at the conclusion of the article indicating this. This note has been there since the article was published.

The Mont Ambassadors are chosen based on their experience in the wild, on the extreme calibre of many of their expeditions, on their exceptional character, and on their sensible approach of taking the best equipment available into oftentimes severe wilderness conditions.

Geoff is a very responsible bushwalker with over 40 years of experience walking and camping in the Tasmanian high country. After receiving conflicting weather reports, with his preferred weather platform indicating no warning, he assessed the situation, packed appropriate equipment and went ahead with his planned walk. Had both weather reports indicated severe weather, we’re very confident he would not have gone. Had he ignored matching weather warnings from two different weather reports and gone ahead with his walk, please rest assured we would not have published the resulting article.

Thank you again for your comment.

Regards,
Mont Customer Service

Ax
Ax

October 26, 2021

Love the walls.
Lovely pics.
Have you ever entered from the east?
Along Pine River or Powena Creek.
Much less of a climb and more scenic but perhaps a little further.

Stephen Yam
Stephen Yam

October 25, 2021

Bushwalkers Alerts needs to be taken seriously as any accidents not only puts bushwalkers at risk but also rescuers.
You should be actively discouraging activities when such Alerts are issued, instead of promoting or writing about it.

Ciaran Andrew Cook
Ciaran Andrew Cook

October 22, 2021

Great write up, nice pics. A very inviting camp area.

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