Cocktails on Ben Lomond

Some things in 2016 were just meant to happen. Perhaps Brexit and Trump are the logical expression of rising inequality and anxiety about neoliberalism and globalisation? And perhaps the universe had plans to correct our absence from the ANU Mountaineering Club’s annual Cocktails on the Castle event by encouraging us to host our own in…

Main Range Extravaganza

What do you get when you throw together a kayak, a volleyball and blue food colouring, a packliner sack race, two firn-gliders and nineteen people in a tent? The Main Range Extravaganza! Quickly dubbed the most extravagant extravaganza yet, the 2015 Australian National University Mountaineering Club Main Range Extravaganza was run by our super-keen (and…

Three Miles to Four Mile Hut

Faced with a whole landscape of features with names unknown to the European settlers, they tended to resort to the always obliging literal. As I have previously lamented, this resulted in innumerable landmarks consisting of adjective + noun, more often than not drawing on either “big”, “little”, “rocky” and other generic terms. Up at Kiandra,…

Mid Winter Feast XVII

We tend to think of seasons as being external – after all, it only snows in winter, and it seems pretty safe to assume that the axis tilt of the earth is both real and beyond our control. Certainly, the earth does tilt, causing the changing lengths of light and dark hours and associated changes…

Nadgee Howe Wilderness

Taking out a spot in Australian Geographic’s Top Australian Bushwalks, and widely considered one of the best coastal walks in the country, the Nadgee Howe Wilderness Walk was something that I had actually never heard of before it was suggested that I walk it. In fact, I barely even Googled the trip before embarking on…

Crowded House on the Tongariro Alpine Crossing

In the world of an arts PhD candidate, living on less than minimum wage, it is worth making the most out of the one extra source of candidature-related finance available: conference funding. Last year I managed to wring enough out of two funds to get to a Victorian Studies Conference and Steampunk festival in England,…

Constructing the Roof of Indochina

The roof of Indochina – the last foothill of the Himalayas before the ocean and the highest peak of Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam – is a construction site. By the time you read these words, these images from Christmas Eve of 2014 will be almost irrelevant. The speed of change and the appetite for construction…

Raising the Winter Sun: Reflections on the Antipodean May Day

A long time ago, in a hemisphere quite a reasonable distance away, winter was a time of hardship, and the return of warmth was celebrated with the waving of handkerchiefs, the shaking of bells and the clapping together of sticks. These Morris dancers raised the sun of the turning season, yet – incredibly – they…