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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