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Keeping the weight down

January 25, 2023

Keeping the weight down

Recently I set out on a multi day walk to Tassie’s southern Cradle Mountain Lake St Clair National Park mountains. The mountains of the DuCane Range overlook a superb network of lakes called the Labyrinth. I have visited these mountains often over the years and the solitude and peace they generate is good for the soul.

Every bushwalker aspires to carrying a lighter pack and there is a continuing trend to travel ultra lightweight in our wilderness areas. This is fine if conditions remain clement but good weather in the bush is never guaranteed. In an attempt to keep my pack weight low I was taking my one man Mont Moondance I FN tent and the Mont Superlight Zero sleeping bag. This bag continues to impress me with the warmth it provides. The end result was a pack weighing just shy of 19kgs including 5.4kgs of camera equipment with food and fuel for up to 6 days. The Moondance I FN is a competent and roomy 1 person sub alpine 4 season tent and while still lightweight at 1.5 kgs I knew it would provide suitable protection on this trip.

I caught the Lake St Clair ferry to Narcissus Hut then began walking north, setting up camp later that afternoon with a stunning vista of mountains surrounding me.

It rained heavily overnight and the temperature dipped to 0.7ºC, but my tent kept me dry and I was snug in my sleeping bag.

The next day I walked up to a high point of 1500 metres and set up camp in a superbly sheltered setting under a large overhanging boulder. The only downside was a thick cloak of mist hanging over the mountains so it was a case of “view the mist and miss the view”…

That afternoon I went for a wander across the alpine plateau behind the tent looking for images in the mist. There were large areas of fragile cushion plants so walking was a process of threading my way between these beautiful mounds without walking on them as their crust is easily damaged.

By dawn the next day the sky had cleared and I was able to see the magnificent range of peaks to my north.

After a relaxing breakfast I made my way back down to another point that I had visited a couple of years ago. At that time I had thought to myself “what a wonderful place to camp in good conditions”. It was a very exposed location on top of a hill with a flat rock surface so the tent was held in place with rocks stacked on the pegs. The forecast was for near calm conditions so I was confident that it was a good time to stay.

Once again, the rain rolled in through the evening but the dawn was clear before the mist flowed across the mountains. It was an impressive morning.

Packing up camp I headed south again to catch the ferry in the late afternoon.

Life’s good :)

 

Geoff Murray
Mont Ambassador

 

 


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