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gear for serious adventuresAustralia's Leading Store For Outdoor Equipment

  Stephen: Manager
Stephen joined Bogong in 2004. A keen trail runner and road runner, his accomplishments include completing the Melbourne Marathon in under three hours, successfully completing the Bogong to Hotham ultramarathon, as well as having run over all the tallest mountains in Victoria numerous times.

Stephen has also spent a lot of time winter climbing in Scotland – widely regarded as amongst the most challenging ice climbing in Europe. He has also climbed in Spain, Sardinia, UK and Australia, and has completed a solo ascent of Mt Aspiring in New Zealand. These days Stephen enjoys getting away camping with his wife, Sam, and young son, Callum. One such family trip involved three weeks of hut-to-hut walking through the Austrian Alps.

Check out Stephen walking in the Zillertal Alps here.
  James on The Endless Pitch in Moonarie. Photo: Simon Madden
James: Assistant Manager
At age 14, James first set foot on rock in his hometown, Canberra. At 15, he led his first climb, up the granite slabs of Gibraltar Peak. Amongst his climbing friends James is known as “Bogong James” and little wonder considering our longest-serving staffer first stepped in the door here at 374 Little Bourke Street in 2001.

James’ encyclopedic knowledge of all things climbing, plus his self-confessed leanings towards “gear nerdism” and a love of “tech-talk”, make him our most revered gear-go-to man.

But, he's not your average punter. James is approaching roughly 1000 days of climbing on real rock and has climbed in 16 countries. In 2007, James embarked on a two-year world climbing trip, which included living in Sheffield and working at Outside – a gear store in Hathersage known for its expertise in climbing and mountaineering.

During his travels, James' most memorable route was Levitation 29 (5.11b/c) at Red Rocks, Nevada – two-hour walk-in and walk-out and 10 pitches, all of which he onsighted. His favourite crag is his beloved Grampians, where he loves to climb with his wife and two kids.

See James' 5 favourite climbing areas here.
See James present the La Sportiva Otaki.
  HP: Assistant Manager/Industrial Access
Hans-Peter (aka 'HP') joined Bogong in 2011 after a two year honeymoon in Europe, during which he worked for a leading outdoor retailer. He has dedicated his life to the many disciplines of roped activities, stemming from his experiences that include rock climbing in the UK, mountaineering in the European Alps, and most recently working as a rope access technician. After a brief hiatus from Bogong in 2016 to gain some practical experience in the rope access industry, he is back in-store as part of the management team, personally overseeing the expansion of the industrial rope access side of the business.
Sal: Customer Service and Admin
Sal was born in Singapore but grew up in Western Australia. He completed a degree in biotechnology after which he found work in a lab for a while before deciding to run his own photography business. He then worked for Paddy Pallin in Perth, eventually becoming a manager.

Sal is a self-confessed gear junky. His primary interest is in climbing and has climbed in New Zealand, Thailand and of course the Grampians and Arapiles. Sal's other outdoor interests include scuba diving and mountain biking. Some of his escapades include riding Mammoth Mountain, walking the Huayhuash with British Mountaineer Simon Yates, completing his Technical Mountaineering Course (TMC) in NZ and learning how to skydive.

  Dave: Websales and Customer Service
Dave's interest in the outdoors was sparked by his dad, who took the family camping, bushwalking, rockclimbing and skiing throughout childhood. His first overnight bushwalk was down to Sealers Cove at the Prom.

Dave completed an engineering degree, but has given that away for the time being to become the Bogong webstore aficionado.

Bushwalking and cycle touring are Dave's key areas of interest. He cites his most memorable trip as Ho Chi Minh City – Hanoi (Vietnam) by bike, after which he ditched the bike continued overland to Latvia, by train, bus and foot!

See Dave cycle touring in Indonesia here.

Dave on an epic trip in the Western Arthurs in winter.

Scott: Customer Service
Scott hails all the way from the USA – the city of St. Louis Park in Minnesota, to be exact.

Scott became an avid mountain biker and cross-country skier and was a keen participant in the Boy Scouts of America – bless him! Through the Scouts, he was introduced to rockclimbing and that was the beginning of a lifelong passion.

During high school in the USA, Scott worked as an indoor rockclimbing instructor for three years. Later, in New Zealand, he worked at an outdoor retail shop for two-and-a-half years, followed by three-and-a-half years as a lead guide, ice climbing instructor, and team leader at Fox Glacier Guiding in New Zealand.

Scott says he came to work at Bogong to keep himself in-tune with the outdoor community, and because he loves sharing his passion for the outdoors with customers, as well as being able to suggest products that enable them to enjoy their outdoor experiences.

Watch Scott talk through features of Grivel's North Machine Carbon Ice Axe.
  Mike: Customer Service and Ski Technician
Mike Wasley has been around a bit. He has lived in Whistler, Chamonix, near the sea cliffs of Cornwall, the Pyrenees, and has now settled in Buxton.

Having worked in the outdoor industry as a guide on rock, snow, whitewater, and as an educator-trainer, Mike has a deep sense-of-place for most of Victoria's special destinations.

And, while not climbing frozen waterfalls or ski-mountaineering any big peaks for the time being, as he is putting in some quality parenting time: on his days off, you might spot him skiing around Mt Hotham, Lake Mountain or the High Plains. Or, in other seasons, climbing at his local crag (the Cathedrals) or biking the Buxton Trail. Mike also has a passion for randonnée skiing and all facets of climbing.
  Gareth: Customer Service
Gareth has been bushwalking for as long as he can remember and is now a keen multi-day hiker. He has a particular interest in lightweight and minimalistic approaches and is continually perfecting his hammock and bivvying techniques.

When he isn't at Bogong you're most likely to find him pursuing his postgraduate study in environmental science, falling off a bouldering problem, following a remote trail somewhere in Australia, pining for the fjords of Scandinavia, or thinking about ways of making better coffee in the bush.
Anna: Customer Service
Anna has always loved the outdoors, having grown up on a property outside of Melbourne, riding horses and building tree houses. She still rides competitively and takes on the odd challenge like the Oxfam Trailwalker and the Gran Fondo.

Anna's outdoor achievements have been rather serendipitous. Having stumbled into mountaineering on a solo trip across Ladakh in 2009, she swore that her foray up to 6000 metres would never be repeated. Fortunately for us, she has conveniently forgotten that resolution on countless occasions and has now climbed many peaks in Nepal, New Zealand, Europe and Alaska.

Anna joined Bogong 2014; she loves helping people get the best gear to realise their intrepid travel plans.

See Anna mountaineering in Europe.
Tom: Customer Service
Tom was born in London; however, he moved to Melbourne soon after. He discovered a passion climbing during some world travels after completing his first degree.

On his return to Melbourne, he enrolled in a degree in forest science and ecology. But, more importantly, began climbing regularly with the Melbourne University Mountaineering Club. He also enjoys alpine climbing, skiing, snowboarding and occasionally hiking. Despite being something of a late convert to outdoor pursuits, he is interested in all aspects of the outdoors; the gear, and the idea of getting away from everything and heading out on an adventure.

See how Tom fared on his latest trip to NZ.
Anja: Customer Service
Anja was born in Norway and caught the travel bug at a young age. Her father was in the Norwegian merchant fleet, taking her to South America, South Korea, Germany and many other countries. Upon finishing school, she travelled to the high Arctic and Svalbard Archipelago where she spent a winter working, skiing, sled-dog minding, as well as exploring by boat, kayak and snowmobile.

She has now moved to Australia to work and travel and has become fascinated with australian bush, desert and indigenous culture. Her continued hobbies are rockclimbing, hiking, cycling and camping. And, she has now completed a degree in natural systems management and is currently undertaking research honours in palaeoecology.
Katie: Customer Service
Katie grew up in Perth, which has given her the opportunity to camp and fish all along the western coast of Australia. While she has a range of interests in the outdoors, her primary interests include ultralight hiking and paddling (she has completed the Avon Descent – just). Having completed many of the iconic walks of Western Australia, Victoria, Tasmania and New Zealand, she is now itching to do PCT end-to-end…if anyone is willing to dogsit her furry baby for eight months?
Francisca: Customer Service
Originally from Chile, Francisca has skied all her life. In 1999 and 2000 she completed a Level 1 and 2 Alpine Ski Instructor course and for the next 10 years worked as a ski instructor, following winter across the hemispheres, between Chile and Lake Tahoe in California, United States. During this time, Francisca began telemark skiing, which got her into mountaineering. Among her most memorable achievements are ascents of volcanoes and glaciers in central Chile, including Cerro El Plomo, La Paloma Glacier and San José Volcano, which are all high-altitude at over 5000 metres. As if all this wasn’t enough, 12 years ago Francisca also worked as a trekking guide in Patagonia for three seasons, river kayaking and ice trekking on Grey Glacier in Torres del Paine National Park.

Francisca loves nature and recently completed a Master of Environment at The University of Melbourne. In 2008 she also completed a Master of Biodiversity Conservation at Universidad Catolica in Chile. Studying the relationship between ranchers and pumas led to incredible 10-day trips into the mountains, looking for puma scats!

A lover of camping, bird watching, rock climbing and riding her bike, Francisca looks forward to getting more into bike touring and backcountry telemark skiing in Australia.
Richard: Customer Service
Born in Melbourne and raised in the Central Victorian country towns of Gisborne, Maldon and Bendigo, Richard grew up with the freedom of exploring his family's bush property. Also enjoying lots of family camping trips and cycle-touring, Richard ended up completing a Bachelor of Arts (Recreation Management) at VUT and a Diploma of Outdoor Recreation at Swinburne TAFE. Richard's main loves are hiking and skiing – all disciplines, although he's qualified in Nordic ski instruction. He's worked six seasons as a ski instructor, including two in Europe as a ski host in the Italian Dolomites and driver/handyman in France. He's also made two trips to Japan to study avalanches. Richard has been guiding and educating in the outdoors since 2004.
Peter: Customer Service
Hailing from Melbourne's Bayside area, Peter's defining outdoor experience was as a 15-year-old, setting off with a school friend on a multiday hiking trip over and around Mt Bogong, Victoria. That trip taught Peter a lot about self-reliance and sparked his passion for solo multiday hiking in remote wilderness. At school, Peter studied art and design. At university he completed a Bachelor of Design and after that, worked as a graphic designer. Currently, Peter runs his own business as an architectural photographer, in addition to working at Bogong Equipment. In outdoor retail, Peter has over 12 years' experience. He has over 30 years' experience venturing into the wilderness. He's hiked in Tasmania, the Victorian Alps, the Blue Mountains and Scotland; trekked in the Everest/Gokyo Lakes and Annapurna regions of Nepal; skiied in Victoria, New South Wales, Japan and the United States; rockclimbed in Victoria and New South Wales; done a mountaineering/ice climbing course in Kosciusko National Park... as you can see, Peter is a well-rounded individual. He enjoys passing his knowledge and experience on to our customers.
Andriana: Customer Service
Born in Johannesburg, South Africa, Andrianna has lived in Melbourne since she was five years old. Her parents were keen outdoors people, so Andrianna has been heading outdoors since she can remember. She progressed from teeny, tiny hiking boots to normal-sized ones; and from baby backpacks through to carrying all her own gear. Over the course of her life, Andrianna has been hiking in the Drakensberg, western Tassie, Nepal and, of course, Victoria.

Recently, Andrianna has gotten hooked on rockclimbing – trying to squeeze in as much time at Arapiles and in the Grampians as she can.

Andrianna applied to work at Bogong Equipment because she loves the outdoors and has always been amazed by the knowledge of Bogong's staff. Hearing it from behind the counter, she's now doubly so. She learns a lot during every shift and has found herself dealing with a new hobby – becoming a gear nerd!
Merv: Gear Guru and Skiing Legend
Merv joined us in 2005. He has had a long and illustrious association with many facets of the Outdoor Industry. For several decades he worked as a teacher for the Education Department training outdoor educators and developing curriculum. Following this Merv went on to run his own retail businesses. Over the past 40 years he has also been heavily involved with Bushwalking Victoria’s Bush Search and Rescue Unit, initially as a Searcher, then as a Field Organiser. Now he holds the role of Police Liaison Officer within the unit

At one time Merv was a cross country ski instructor with the Australian Ski Federation, which later merged into the APSI. Cross country skiing really has been one of Merv's lifelong passions. In recent years he has skied the 15 long distance races in various countries around the world required to earn the Global Loppet Master Award. Merv was the 137th recipient of this award which is highly prized on the international circuit. In addition he skied two sets of ten international races to achieve two Gold Loppet Masters. Of the 20 Hoppets held at Falls Creek over the years Merv has participated in all but one of them - missing out due to illness. Merv's other interests include rogaining, mountain running and cycle touring. He has cycled south to north across Australia, through the Flinders Ranges and the Birdsville Track, as well as overseas. He has AT skied the Haute Route in Europe and walked the Australian Alpine Walking Track end to end!
Chelsea: Web Content and Marketing
Chelsea was introduced to outdoors through adventurous school trips – the most memorable being two trips to Nepal in the early 2000s to walk part of the Annapurna Circuit and volunteer at Lamosangu School. Prior to this, she spent a week at Outward Bound in Sabah, Borneo, where she did her first overnight hike and paddled rivers on rafts fashioned out of sticks and tyres.

Since then, her choice of equipment has improved: these days Chelsea enjoys whitewater kayaking (after spending a few days at New Zealand Kayak School), but her great love – aside from her husband, young daughter and three-legged cat – is rock climbing. Chelsea is of the “school of Arapiles”, and loves long, wandering climbs in the Wimmera and taking in views of endless yellow canola fields from lofty belays. She is also a keen boulderer and can occasionally be spotted dabbling on easy classics in the Grampians.

Chelsea is an editor by trade and has written for local and overseas climbing magazines. She also co-authored a rockclimbing guidebook to Cape Woolamai, which you can take a look at here.

Read Chelsea's review of the La Sportiva Mythos.