Dave: Manager, Web Sales 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 to Hanoi (Vietnam) by bike, after which he ditched the bike continued overland to Latvia, by train, bus and foot.
Courtney: Assistant Manager
Courtney was born and raised in the country town of Mildura, in Victoria's arid north-west. After finishing school, Courtney travelled to Canada, where she lived for two years in the heart of Banff National Park in the Canadian Rockies. There, she worked at an outdoor gear store and as a ski technician, and developed a taste for hiking. After returning to Australia, Courtney moved home for a few months before doing a Diploma in Outdoor Recreation starting in mid-2016. Nowadays, she works at Bogong Equipment and enjoys hiking and climbing. In June 2019, Courtney travelled to Iceland and climbed Eyjafjallajökull, an active volcano. Waking at 4am, she and former Bogong staff member Thorstein summited at 10.45am and celebrated with Barbecue Shapes at the top.
HP: Height Safety Manager
Hans-Peter (aka 'HP') grew up in a scouting family, north of the border in NSW. At school, he earned a gold-level Duke of Edinburgh Award. After leaving school, HP did a traineeship in outdoor recreation, where he learned to climb. Over the next six years he worked and furthered his studies in the outdoor industry; working as a group leader, climbing instructor and a trainer and assessor.
At some point, he met and married his equal. Together, they took off on a two-year honeymoon in Europe, where HP learned how to climb mountains (in the European Alps!) and kick ice. It was during winters in London that he fell into retail, working for a leading outdoor retailer in the UK.
In 2011, HP joined Bogong. Five years later, he took a brief hiatus to work as a rope access technician, gaining practical experience in the rope access industry before returning to our hallowed halls. He is back in-store as part of the management team, personally overseeing the expansion of the industrial rope access side of the business too.
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.
Francisca: Customer Service and Admin
Originally from Chile, Francisca (Fran) loves nature and the outdoors. She began skiing when she was three years old, and worked for 10 years as an alpine ski instructor in Chile and the US, and became a telemark skiing addict.
Fran then decided to work as a trekking guide in Chilean Patagonia. Her guiding experience in Patagonia helped her decide to pursue a Masters Degree in Biodiversity Conservation, which changed her life forever.
Today Fran is devoted to biodiversity conservation and the outdoors. She came to Australia first to complete a Master of Environment and has remained living in Melbourne since then. She loves the Victorian weather and biogeography. She says it is quite similar to the South of Chile, where she has always dreamt of living.
Fran loves rock climbing, camping, trekking and birdwatching around Australia’s national parks. She loves working at Bogong as she is able to share her passion for meaningful tourism every day. If you need a hot tip on travelling around South America, and Patagonia in particular, Fran is always willing to help.
Georgia: Customer Service and Admin
Georgia was born in the Northern Territory, where her parents were teachers in an aboriginal community called Wadeye. From age three until she was 20 years old, Georgia lived on the other side of big red sand, in Perth. She moved to Melbourne in January 2017.
Growing up, her family went on many a camping trip each year, doing hikes along the Bibbulmun Track. But, throughout her time at school, Georgia was mostly a music nerd. It wasn't until she started climbing that she really got into the outdoors. Now, she's mainly a climber.
Having climbed for four years, when it comes to her favourite discipline, she goes through phases: pinballing between bouldering and trad climbing. She's done a lot of climbing around Western Australia, but probably her most notable pursuit was driving across the Nullabor to camp in the Pines at Arapiles for three months. As such, she's always happy to have long chats about how great Arapiles is (remember that, if you catch her in-store).
Georgia's other interests are playing the flute and guitar, and just laughing a lot and being hilarious (she told us to put that bit in). She's also currently studying biochemistry at the University of Melbourne.
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.
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.
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.
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; skied 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.
Tamara: Customer Service
Tamara was born and raised in Sydney. After school she studied Pharmacy at uni and worked in a hospital, specialising in women’s and children’s health. She wasn’t a big fan of the daily grind and moved to Melbourne last year after taking time off to travel and backpack around Scandinavia, South America and Nepal.
Tamara's love for hiking was ignited after a 4WD camping trip through the Kimberley and the Top End. Her main pursuits are hiking/bushwalking. She prefers to get away from the crowds with long multiday walks in remote areas, but still enjoys classic tourist walks. She's done many of those, but her favourite trails have been the Arctic Circle Trail in Greenland and the Ausangate Trek in Peru.
Tamara's other outdoor interests are diving and canyoning.
Sam: Customer Service
Sam was born in rural Far North Queensland, in a town called Atherton. Growing up, Sam was a competitive swimmer: competing at local events, state and even national championships. These days, Sam is predominantly a trail runner and has run a good number of hills in Tassie (nearly all '60 great short walks')! Recently he's become curious about the world of fastpacking, and also is keen to tick off some trail events now that he's back running after injury. When Sam isn't on the trails, you'll often find him sitting with a book somewhere – he's really into philosophy. Sam has also been pretty seriously involved in the Melbourne avant-garde music scene for many years. Sam is working on a PhD at Monash University that engages with philosophy of music.
Will: Customer Service
Will was born in England, in a town called Ipswich. He moved over to Australia when he was 9, to the Mornington Peninsula where his family has lived since. Like most of the staff here at Bogong, Will enjoys walking in beautiful places. However, he is mostly a climber: he boulders, as well as climbs sport and trad. He's climbed in the Blue Mountains, various spots in NSW (on a road trip), and of course the Grampians and Arapiles. He cites Red Parrot Chasm (an Araps classic) as one of his most hilarious experiences climbing. Will loves talking about climbing gear, so working at Bogong sure scratches an itch for him. Will is also a bit of a music geek. Before working at Bogong, for three years Will was a barista. It's where he developed his caffeine addiction.
Annie: Customer Service
Annie was born and raised Melbourne. Growing up, she was into skiing and was really sporty in school. She studied nursing and photography, but chose to work in outdoor education in NSW. She has hiked the Australian Alpine Walking Track twice (in 2013 and 2018), the Pacific Crest Trail in 2016, the Continental Divide Trail in 2019, hiked in the Vic Alps and Kosciuszko and skiied two seasons in Japan. When not out hiking, Annie likes reading, collaging, collecting records and spending time with her cat.
Mitch: Customer Service
Favouring the High Country and less visited wilderness areas, Mitch is into bushwalking. Recently he's also gotten into fishing, and plans on doing more trout fishing on future trips. Mitch has been big on solo trips in the bush ever since a couple of years out of high school, he rode a small, 250cc motorbike from Rye on the Mornington Peninsula (where he's originally from) to Mission Beach in Far North Queensland. He camped in the bush most of the way up the East Coast. Mitch is an SES volunteer in the Dandenong Ranges and is currently studying Masters in Geospatial Science and hopes to work in conservation or sustainable agriculture.
Ross: Customer Service
Ross’ love for the outdoors and adventure began with his upbringing on a farm in the Yarra Valley. After serving in the Australian Army for seven years, Ross spent over two years travelling the world, trekking and mountaineering in the Himalayas, Kyrgyzstan, Europe and South America. Ross is a health and movement specialist as well as a mountain guide, with over 10 years of experience preparing (physically, mentally and technically) and guiding groups on Mt Bogong, Feathertop and in the Himalayas. Ross’ pursuits include bushwalking, mountaineering, rock climbing, trail running, obstacle course racing and martial arts. His next objective is summitting Ama Dablam – a 6812m technical peak in Nepal.
Tom: Customer Service
Tom started his life in regional Victoria where his parents quickly introduced him to skiing and the High Country. Early adventures in mountains and camping in valleys sparked his passion for the outdoors.
Since then, Tom has dabbled in rock climbing and kayaking, competed in several trail running events and completed a solo trail marathon, hiked around the Buller-Howitt region, Bogong High Plains, Main Range, Wilsons Prom and parts of British Columbia (Canada). During winter he has delved into Telemark and AT skiing, making backcountry trips to Mt Bogong, the Main Range and Mt Stirling, in addition to spending a season at Whistler and two at Mt Buller.
When he isn’t outside, Tom is studying environmental science and international studies at Monash University.
Craig: Customer Service
Craig is originally from Christchurch, New Zealand. There, he developed a love for tramping and downhill skiing. Craig is definitely a winter person. When he moved to Melbourne, Craig picked up cross-country skiing and rock climbing. Also a keen bushwalker and camper, Craig is keen to give long-distance dog sledding in Greenland a go, as well as walk one of the Caminos. For his previous job, Craig had the privilege of travelling to Europe and America.
Nick: Warranties and Customer Service
In the late 1960s, Nick's parents helped build a ski lodge. So, at the tender age of two, Nick started skiing. Having skiied from an early age, he developed a deep respect for the mountains. In later years, this transformed into a love of long-distance bushwalking, telemark skiing, ski-touring and rockclimbing.
But, Nick's main interest is long hikes. Getting away from it all, getting into the rhythm of walking in remote landscapes, is peaceful and reflective, he says. Over the years, he's walked all over Victoria, and been on countless trips to New Zealand, Tasmania and other parts of Australia.
Now that Nick has two young children, he says the 'rules of engagement' have changed a little: these days, his walks are a lot shorter and less steep. But, he enjoys having new eyes through which to see the world.
When Nick's not in the bush or helping with warranties at Bogong Equipment, Nick can be found tending to his garden.
Chelsea:Digital 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 partner, 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.
Merv: Gear Guru and Ski Legend
Merv joined us in 2005. He no longer works at Bogong day-to-day but continues to be involved by running in-store training sessions. 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.
Matt Crehan: Bogong Supported Athlete
Matt Crehan started running relatively late in the game. Not an overly sporty kid, in high school Matt used to swim on and off, and was a volunteer surf life-saver. Through his 20s, Matt continued swimming sporadically, and in 2015 during a spell of swimming every day, Matt went on a field trip to New Zealand for university and I couldn’t swim each morning. Instead he started running around the dramatic landscapes of New Zealand’s South Island. Soon he was hooked.
With a new-found love for running and a background in swimming, triathlon was an obvious next step. Matt dabbled with the long distance format – completing a bunch of halves and one full Ironman – but eventually realised triathlons are more about cycling. Matt enjoyed the variety in training, but preferred to spend long days out on the trail rather than on a road bike. Eventually his focus shifted from doing triathlons in the summer and trail running in the winter to only competing in trail races year-round. Starting with relatively short distances, Matt progressed to ultras and found his sweet spot in events 50–100km long.
In 2019, Matt competed in 14 events, at distances ranging from a marathon to 100 miles. He was fortunate enough to do a couple of events in early 2020 before coronavirus wreaked havoc to the race calendar and was grateful to get back on the start line for Surf Coast Century in December 2020.
Top Recent Results
- 2021 Brisbane Trail Ultra 100 miler – 1st (CR)
- 2021 Ultra Trail Australia 100k – 4th
- 2021 Alpine Challenge 100 miler – 1st
- 2021 Cradle Mountain Run 80k – 1st
- 2020 Surf Coast Century 100k – 2nd
- 2020 Razorback Run 64k – 1st
- 2019 Marysville Marathon – 1st
Follow Matt on Instagram@mattcrehan
Ashlee Hendy: Bogong Supported Athlete
Ashlee became a ‘climber’ when she was 12 years old, visiting indoor facilities in Melbourne multiple times per week and entering in climbing competitions throughout her high-school years. Over the next 20 years, her interest quickly turned into an obsession and eventually a lifestyle. She now lives in Natimuk (Western Victoria) where she finally feels at home, just 10 mins from the base of the world-famous Mount Arapiles and within day trip distance of all the best crags in the Grampians.
Slow and steady progress has been the key to Ashlee’s ongoing success and love for climbing. She likes to challenge herself physically and mentally on the Wimmera’s finest hard sport and trad routes, but also enjoys a social day at the crag with lifelong climbing buddies just as much as sending a long-term project. Ashlee works at Deakin University and has a degree in Exercise and Sports Science, and a PhD in Neurophysiology, a career that provides her with training knowledge that helps her progress and avoid injury.
In late 2021, Ashlee began a new journey. She is currently learning the challenges of climbing throughout pregnancy, and is looking forward to family crag days with partner Chris and their next-generation crusher due in June 2022.
Over the years, Ashlee has built up an impressive tick list including some of the countries best routes, as well as a handful of respectable achievements while travelling the USA in 2019:
The Grampians: Serpentine (29), Eye of the Tiger (29), Anaconda (28), Touchstone pictures (28), Venom (28), Monkey Puzzle (28), Not Too Bad (28), Desert Crack (27)
Arapiles: Slinkin’ Leopard (28), India (28), The Great Escape (28), Required (28, climbed at 12 weeks pregnant), Mind Arthritis (27)
USA: Fight Club (30), Disposable Heroes (30), Paradise Lost (29), Snooker (28 – flash), and many more!
Follow Ashlee on Instagram@ashleehendy