My last trip of the Covid winter was to the Du Cane Range in Tassie’s Central Highlands, often regarded as the most beautiful alpine scenery in Tasmania. After paddling the length of Lake St Clair, I changed to hiking and snowshoeing mode and trekked into the verdant lushness of Pine Valley, surely one of the most exquisite forests in Australia.
My Odyssey Jacket (Men's, Women's) and Austral Pants (Men's, Women's) were severely tested during 3 days of intense weather - rain, sleet, snow, gale-force winds, and that incessant rainforest drizzle - and I have to say that I have never felt so protected from the elements. Tassie conditions demand not only the best in waterproofing, but you really can’t get by without that all-time Aussie bushwalking classic - the long-length jacket. With its fully-adjustable hood, multiple ventilation options and all of the other great features you’d expect on a Mont shell jacket, I was covered for any eventuality.
And the Du Cane range didn’t disappoint. I snowshoed up onto the flanks of the Acropolis and into the mystical Labyrinth, pocked with mountain tarns and hemmed in by an arc of imposing peaks among Tasmania’s highest, undoubtedly some of the most spectacular landscape I’ve ever seen. I spent only a day up in this maze of wonder before being chased out by a lashing gale, back down to the shelter of Pine Valley Hut.
My winters are usually spent guiding backcountry trips on the Main Range, but the Coronavirus forced us to cancel. I will remember this winter for a long time, not only because of the pandemic and its global carnage but because of the wonderful string of winter adventures here in my own back yard, always with my Mont clothing to keep me warm and dry.
Eric Philips OAM. Mont Ambassador, backcountry guide, polar guide and explorer.
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As summer approaches, I keep looking through my list of past walks to see which ones I want to do again.
In September 1986 I walked from Lake St Clair, up past Little Hugel to Mt Hugel. I then continued down the western slopes to Lake Hermione, followed a valley up to Lake Petrarch and walked back down to Lake St Clair. A good partly offtrack bushwalk. This time I only had two days, so the plan was to camp next to a tarn up on the Mt Hugel plateau.
One of the biggest jobs at Mont is customer service, with the inbox sometimes a little overwhelming! But the emails are overwhelmingly positive; questions about our gear, emails about how well a customers gear worked, and fun stories and photos from the wild.
It isn’t all smiles, though, negative emails do occasionally pop up. But not to let that get us down, often these emails highlight a failure of communication on our part or provide information for us to reflect upon and improve.