My wife and I are fortunate to live on a 10 acre bush block in southern Tasmania. From our front verandah, we can see two mountains to the south-east, Collins Cap and Collins Bonnet, both a part of the Wellington Range. Collins Bonnet, in particular, is a fine-looking mountain and it is currently dusted with a good covering of snow and ice, so it seemed like a suitable destination for a short sharp trip.
I left home around 1 pm. It’s only about 40 minutes drive from our home to the car park where a track leads to the mountain. After an hour climbing up through pleasant rainforest, I popped out onto a fire trail which I then followed to a location that I had found on Google Earth. It looked like it might offer a good tent site, but this was a real act of faith as it is not really possible to know whether it was suitable or not.
This time I was in luck. A short wander through the bush and I had found my clearing. It was mostly filled with clumps of pineapple grass, but there was one clearing that was a perfect size for my Dragonfly tent. I stamped a flat platform in the snow and set up camp.
Conditions were pleasant rather than spectacular, but I still found a nice bit of light towards the evening before cooking dinner and slipping into the luxury of my sleeping bag. It wasn’t a cold night, only just dropping to -1°C.
I was up at 6.30 am for the sunrise that didn’t happen; then it was time for breakfast. After breakfast, I packed my pack and walked back to the car. I was home by late morning.
A brief trip in the backyard that I really enjoyed.
By Mont Ambassador and wilderness photographer Geoff Murray
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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.