Dave: Manager & Web Sales
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 (Wilsons Promontory).
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.
Lockie: Floor Manager
Lockie grew up in outer eastern Melbourne and was introduced to a love of the outdoors on yearly trips to Wilsons Prom and throughout the Yarra Ranges. Since then, Lockie has hiked thousands of kilometres on trails throughout Australia while working within the adventure retail industry sharing his passion for gear and nature.
In their entirety Lockie has walked the Bibbulmun Track, Alpine Walking Track, Heysen Trail, Larapinta Track, Great Ocean Walk, Great South West Walk and much more. If you are planning on hiking one of Australia's longest distance trails, Lockie is happy to share his experience and give you some great advice!
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 6 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 2-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. 5 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 & 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.
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.
Sal's other outdoor interests include scuba diving and mountain biking.
Francisca: Customer Service & Admin
Originally from Chile, Francisca (Fran) loves nature and the outdoors. She began skiing when she was 3 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 Equipment 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.
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 (India) 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 Equipment 2014 and 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 as well as completed a degree in natural systems management and is currently undertaking research honours in palaeoecology (the study of the composition and distribution of past ecosystems and their changes through time on scales of decades to hundreds of millions of years).
Her continued hobbies are rockclimbing, hiking, cycling and camping.
Shannon: Customer Service
Shannon, originally from Canada, moved to Melbourne in 2007. She's had various careers before finally deciding to follow her passion for the outdoors and complete her Diploma in Outdoor Leadership.
Shannon has had a love of the outdoors since a young age but she didn't get into long multi-day hikes until moving to Australia.
Places she has hiked in include Hattah Kulkyne National Park, Gammon Ranges, The Alpine National Park, Wilsons Prom and The Overland Track. She's also spent 30 days walking in all Tasmania’s favourite hiking spots with her 5 year old daughter.
Shannon started her foray into trail running by signing up for a New Years Eve 50km race thinking it was a hike! She ended up finishing as first place female and the addiction was born. Shannon has since completed 19 ultras including the 2020 Tarawera NZ 102km.
She's very excited to share what she's learned to help you prepare for your next trail race!
Jon: Customer Service
Jon is often referred to being a gentle giant, he is a seriously big fellow. He found a passion for the outdoors at an early age - white water kayaking, hiking, and cross-country skiing as a teenager. He also accompanied his father on climate research field trips into the high country throughout Australia.
Later he found a passion for backcountry snowboarding. In 2007, he headed off to New Zealand spending a few weeks back-country snowboarding in the majestic New Zealand alps.
Jon is a passionate hiker. His hikes include the Cathedral Ranges, Hattah Kulkyne National Park, Gammon Ranges, Alpine National Park, Wilsons Prom and more. Over the years Jon has worked as a surf coach and snorkelling instructor.
He has also spent time working in remote villages in Timor East and looks forward to further overseas adventures. One of his dreams is to paddle some of the rivers that run off the Himalayan Ranges in India and Pakistan.
Recently his passion for the outdoors has led him to complete his Diploma in Outdoor Leadership and Guide.
Dáire: Customer Service
Dáire (pronounced Da-ra) was born and reared in Dublin (Ireland) where he made the most out of the famously constant rain by taking up whitewater kayaking and indoor bouldering during his teenage years. It wasn’t until he was studying his physics degree at university that he joined their rock climbing club and was indoctrinated into the hardcore traditional (trad) climbing ethic so prevalent in Irish climbing culture.
After moving to Melbourne in 2017, Dáire decided to pursue the outdoors fulltime. He worked for a number of outdoor education providers around Victoria as a climbing, paddling and hiking leader while studying a Cert IV in Outdoor Recreation.
While most of the world was in lockdown, Dáire was lucky enough to escape to the Northern Territory to work as a hiking guide on the Larapinta for 2 straight years.
Dáire is now undertaking a Master’s in Sustainability at RMIT. When he’s not studying or in the store, Dáire can be found poring over river maps planning his next whitewater descent in the Victorian High Country or putting his trad climbing roots to use at the Arapiles.
Net: Customer Service
Net grew up in Melbourne, where from a young age was taught bush skills by his dad. With a background in the military, Net’s dad taught him survival skills in adventurous environments all across Australia. From Warrandyte to the Yarra Valley, Net learnt to start a fire, handle a knife and even get his bearings by reading the stars.
After graduating high school in 2018, Net took the skills he had learnt over the years and put them into action, beginning a career in outdoor education. For a year, in the Victorian town of Marysville, Net trained high schoolers in varying outdoor programs.
It was just a matter of time before Net’s passion for the outdoors evolved into a passion for climbing. Net can be found sport climbing and bouldering in the gym and outdoors. He regularly visits local crags just outside Melbourne as well as the icons of Australian climbing, like the Grampians and Blue Mountains.
If you’re looking for someone to geek out with over the technical side of climbing equipment and best places to climb, Net would love to chat!
Gerhard: Customer Service
Gerhard has a Prussian heritage that may explain his love of winter landscapes, frozen lakes, tarns and snow-covered mountains.
You may find him backcountry skiing on some of Victoria’s most iconic peaks. His favourites include the store’s namesake, Mount Bogong, Mount Feathertop and tours from Falls Creek to Hotham, Stirling to Buller and over the Baw Baw Plateau.
Overseas, while working in Switzerland, memorable climbs and descents were had behind Davos and Potrecina. A recent trip to Utah has given Gerhard an appreciation for canyoning, though skiing among Aspens in Little Cottonwood and Mill Creek Canyons remain his highlights.
Before joining the Bogong team, Gerhard worked with disengaged youth for over 20 years. He understands the importance of ‘nature therapy’ at grass roots level in education and for mental health.
Gerhard also led an annual outdoor pursuit program visiting coastal hinterland forests, snow covered plateaus, building igloos and snow kitchens, entering rogaining competitions and traversing the Overland Track.
Lisa: Customer Service
Lisa was introduced to the outdoors from an early age, having regular family hiking and camping trips. A Melbourne local, Lisa studies Spatial Design at RMIT.
Throughout spring and summer, you will find Lisa enjoying her favourite hiking spots in the alpine regions. Notable hikes she has completed are around Mount Kosciuszko, Mount Bogong, parts of Tasmania and the German Alps. When not hiking, Lisa loves to boulder, both indoors and outdoors.
The Victorian high country remains Lisa’s favourite spot, but she recently fell for the beauty of the Walls of Jerusalem in Tasmania. She hopes to explore more of the surrounding areas in years to come.
Eric: Customer Service
Eric’s roots are in Boise (Idaho) where he spent summer's rafting, mountain biking and backpacking in the wilderness and winter's skiing in the deepest pow lines he could find. He grew up in a family that instilled an innate sense of adventure in him.
His pursuit of an environmental science degree brought him to the central coast of California where surfing and identifying the local flora and fauna became a favourite pastime, especially in the headlands of Big Sur.
Eric is passionate about helping save our natural environments, previously conducting bushfire research for the US Geological Survey. Some of his fondest moments in nature include avoiding treacherous mudslides in Peru, white-water rafting in the Amazon and bagging peaks in the Sawtooths.
His love of skiing has sent him all over the mountains of the west coast of the States and touring into the backcountry of his own private Idaho. He also dabbles in water-skiing, mushroom foraging, polar plunges and kicking the football around (the circular one).
He’s always stoked to find animals in the wild even after a couple close calls with bears and great whites… See Eric in-store to get the details!
Mathilda: Customer Service
Mathilda was born and raised in Bendigo. She recently moved to Melbourne and is studying geography at the University of Melbourne. Growing up, Mathilda would go bushwalking and canoeing with her family, who inspired her love of travel and the outdoors.
With a background in climate activism, Mathilda is passionate about environmental politics and conservation. When not at work or university, she can be found cross country skiing, paddling and running, although her favourite is definitely bushwalking.
Best spots include the Bogong High Plains, the Grampians (Gariwerd) and the Otways. Mathilda’s favourite memory in the outdoors is of sea kayaking with sea otters in British Columbia.
If you’re looking to chat gear or are planning a trip, look for Mathilda - she would love to help.
Harrison: Customer Service
Harrison is a Melbourne local, born and raised. He remembers only going on small amounts of camping, hiking and climbing trips throughout his childhood. It wasn’t until university, where he studied Anatomy and Physiology, that the outdoors and adventure sports made their mark.
Since then, Harrison has been regularly climbing both in gyms and outdoors, plus adding in hikes whenever he can.
Harrison has now climbed all over Victoria, from the staples like Arapiles and the Grampians to Mount Buffalo. His interests have extended into canyoning and caving, which he admits has not been great for his outdoor equipment addiction.
Since beginning university in 2019, Harrison has been heavily involved in the Melbourne University Mountaineering Club. Introducing newcomers to outdoor sports has been one of the highlights of his membership.
If you want to nerd out on climbing and canyoning gear, Harrison is always happy to help.
Michael: Customer Service
Michael enjoyed a childhood as a Melbourne local, with parents who were both avid hikers and cycle tourers. With outdoorsy parents, Michael remembers his youth enjoying overnight hikes, cycling rail trails and adventures into the wilderness. Michael attributes his love for the outdoors to his parents and an enthusiastic outdoor education teacher at school.
Upon graduating high school, Michael studied Agriculture at Melbourne University, before deciding that it wasn’t for him. The outdoors remained his number one passion. Taking an affinity to climbing, he has recently began bouldering more seriously. He continues to enjoy cycle touring when he can, but admits hiking will always remain his first love.
Recently Michael completed the south coast track in Tasmania across eight days. This adventure has inspired Michael to plan future multi-week trips. The next big goal, McMillans Track in Victoria’s Alpine National Park.
If you see Michael in-store, be sure to ask him about his most recent hike or climb!
Harry: Customer Service
Harry, after moving to Melbourne in 2014, had unknowingly unlocked the gateway to the world of running, hiking and skiing after attending the Timbertop Campus of Geelong Grammar School as a year 9 student in 2018, and a gap year assistant staff in 2022.
He had some excellent adventures in the Victorian Alps during his time at the school - whether that’s hiking in the Buller-Howitt area, running around Buller and Howqua River area, cross country skiing on Mt Stirling and a 4-day ski tour trip on the Bogong High Plain. However, among all these, trail running was ultimately was his calling.
In 2022, Harry tackled both the 50km and 100km distances, in somewhat questionable circumstances (heavy rainfall for the Surf Coast Century 50km and intense snowing for 100km around the Snowy Mountains).
With the fitness, experience and friendship he has gained across all those adventures in the mountains, Harry looks forward to the opportunity to continue his experiences in the outdoors while studying for a Bachelor of Science at the University of Melbourne.
Eli: Customer Service
Elias grew up between Melbourne and Castlemaine where he developed a love for the outdoors. While initially pursuing a Fine Arts degree at the Victorian College of the Arts, he’s currently taking a leave of absence. His passion for climbing was sparked by a 2019 trip to Arapiles, which had him hooked from the start, even after his friend acquired a questionable 10 year old rack from Gumtree to kickstart their traditional climbing journey (a choice he now strongly advises against).
Since then, he has embarked on climbing trips to renowned destinations such as England's Peak District, the Dolomites in Italy, the Atlas Mountains in Morocco, Portugal's captivating sea cliffs and the sport climbing mecca of Arco in Italy. Back home, he takes the usual trip from Melbourne to Arapiles and the Grampians as often as he can.
In addition to climbing, Eli loves bike packing and mountain biking adventures. He has explored the scenic landscapes of Victoria, including the Otways and Goldfields regions plus the mountain bike tracks at Mount Buller and the You Yangs. Outside of climbing, Eli is a passionate photographer, a lover of music and the Arts.
Eli also loves free diving, a passion he has acquired at his annual family and friend’s trip to Cape Conran Coastal Park - one of his favourite places. With a deep knowledge of climbing gear and logistics, layering systems, climbing shoes and approach shoe fits, he is an invaluable resource for climbers seeking advice and guidance.
Greg: Customer Service
Greg grew up in Cairns and was brought up to love the outdoors by his Dad who took him hiking and canoeing. His love for the outdoors further grew as he attended Trinity Anglican School and participated in their award-winning outdoor education program as well as the Duke of Edinburgh awards. It was during these programs that Greg decided that he wanted to pursue a career in the outdoor industry.
Once Greg moved to Victoria he completed a Cert IV in Outdoor Leadership where he went on hikes in the Grampians, Wilsons Prom and Great Ocean Walk. He also went paddling on the Murray River, and white water paddling on the Yarra River.
Today Greg is continuing his pursuit of a career in the outdoors by studying a Bachelor of Outdoor Leadership at Victoria University. When Greg isn’t at Uni or at Bogong, you can find him climbing at the bouldering gym.
Tom: Customer Service
Tom was born and raised in Melbourne and began his outdoor activities from an early age with family and school hiking trips. Most formative in Tom's outdoor enthusiasm was a 20 day trip from Mount Kosciuszko to Marlo on the east coast, hiking, snowshoeing, rafting and canoeing along the way. He continues to expand upon these pursuits, hiking and camping all across Australia.
Tom Graduated with a Bachelor of Architecture from Monash University in 2019 and has spent the past couple of years working in the field. Since then he has spent a lot of time hiking and surfing around Wilsons Prom, around where his folks live, and can often be found bikepacking, mountain biking, and climbing.
Recent bikepacking trips include circumnavigating tasmania and zigzagging his way down the length of New Zealand over a couple of months.
You can also find him climbing around one of Victoria's classic crags, most often Mt Arapiles, where he is continuing to push his trad climbing more seriously. If you want to chat all things bikes/bikepacking and/or climbing gear come have a chat to him!
Joseph: Customer Service
Joseph is mostly a climber and a big time boulderer for the past 3 years. He's climbed in the Grampians, Mount Arapilies, Mount Alex and Mount Macedon as well as bouldering and skiing in Japan.
He likes that there are different types of climbing disciplines, good challenge and wants to climb in Europe.
Northside is his favourite climbing gym and goes there 5 times a week. He bought his first pair of climbing shoes from Eli and loves it here. He's also is off to sport climb in NSW.
He has a degree in urban planning that was inspired by his father in law who is an urban planner and how the industry takes the environment into consideration plus growth.
Uma: Customer Service
Uma found her love for the outdoors in the rainforests she grew up frequenting. Born in Brisbane, before migrating to the Gold Coast where she discovered a love for hiking while exploring its ancient Gondwana Rainforests.
As a child, Uma would visit her family in remote Fijian Islands where she adventured off track through dense rainforests to waterfalls, caves and untouched coves.
Later Uma moved back to Brisbane where she began her career working in the outdoor industry. During this time she focused her hikes on off track waterfalls and scramble heavy hikes.
Uma then came to Melbourne to study and thanks to her thirst for the great outdoors joined the team at Bogong in order to spread her passion for serious adventures.
Alexis: Customer Service
Alexis grew up in Tasmania and eventually came to Melbourne to do a degree in aerospace engineering and econometrics and now doing a PhD in fluid mechanics.
He couldn't walk long distances for about 5 years due to hip issues but the situation gave him a strong interest in accessibility in the outdoors.
He loves hiking, scrambling and rock climbing with favourite hikes done so far are Western Arthurs and a solo Ducane range traverse.
Alexis also runs bushwalking trips with Melbourne University Mountaineering Club (MUMC) and wants to climb bigger mountains whilst training to do so, including an introductory alpine skills course in Chamonix in September this year.
Maggie: Customer Service
Maggie was inspired to get into the great outdoors by her parents and family.
Maggie is an avid Cross Country Skier of which she finds it to be very freeing, likes the movement and snow plus snow camping. She worked as a Cross Country Ski instructor and always goes to Mt Stirling.
Maggie loves hiking as you can see places you wouldn’t see otherwise, slow down and a good way to make new friends or strengthen existing friendships. She recently came back from Larapinta (just outside of Alice Springs) with Michael who also works at Bogong Equipment. She liked the beautiful gorges with lots of holes in them after hiking in the desert heat all day.
Maggie also enjoys Sea Kayaking. She kayaked the Abel Tasman in New Zealand (favourite and a spectacular spot for kayaking) while in high school and she has multiple boats locally and goes out once a month. Sometimes she goes out kayaking with her parents and the dolphins in Mornington Peninsula.
Maggie currently works in Outdoor Education in addition to working at Bogong, taking high school kids out into the wilderness. She is studying a Master of Architecture as well!
Nick: Warranties & Customer Service
In the late 1960s, Nick's parents helped build a ski lodge. So at the tender age of 2, 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 rock climbing.
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 2 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.
Sam: Warranties & Customer Service
Sam loves the outdoors. He's been scouting and in the Queen Scouts from the age of 6 until 18 years old. He is a hiker and has also been going on hikes with his father who is also hiking oriented.
He's trekked in Nepal, through the Lang Tang region and looks forward to more around India. He also skateboards and plays tennis.
Sam went to St Leonard's College and recently graduated with a degree in electrical and electronic engineering which coincides with his love of gadgets.
Tamara: Digital Content
Tamara was born and raised in Sydney. 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 after taking time off to travel and backpack around Scandinavia, South America and Nepal she moved to Melbourne where she discovered the joys of working at Bogong. She has since moved to New Zealand to live but continues to work for us on our web content.
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.
Merv: Gear Guru & 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 (Australian Professional Snowsport Instructors Inc.). 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 2 sets of 10 international races to achieve 2 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 (Alpine Touring) skied the Haute Route in Europe and walked the Australian Alpine Walking Track end to end.
Matt Crehan: Bogong Sponsored 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 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 160km (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 (Anglesea, Victoria on the Great Ocean Road) 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
- Read Matt's blog articles here
Follow Matt on Instagram @mattcrehan
Ashlee Hendy: Bogong Sponsored 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
Sia Kindberg: Bogong Sponsored Athlete
Sia started running at aged 12, when she took the wrong turn around a lake and kept running for 11 hours and realised while she had no sense of direction, she did have the stamina and endurance to go far.
An experienced and passionate trail runner, Sia Kindberg is currently training to participate in the 2024 Ice Ultra held in February in the Swedish Arctic Circle. Sia will be the first Australian female to participate in this 5 day event, 230km self-sufficient Ultra Marathon running across snowfields, Arctic tundras and frozen lakes in temperatures as low as -40 degrees.
Sia was inspired to sign up for the Ice Ultra after losing two friends to aggressive cancer at the start of 2023, which by served as a potent reminder that “the best time to do something we love or want is always now! We sit and wait for “the right moment” and forget that tomorrow might not even come”.
By running the Ice Ultra, Sia is fundraising to rebuild her childhood school in Thailand (fundraising page link below and on her Instagram bio).
An interior designer by trade and a mother of two girls who often accompany her on hiking and camping trips. She speaks 5 languages and had a diverse upbringing. Born in Thailand, moved to Sweden at the age of eight, studied in Germany and Greece.
Previously a Road Ultra Marathon runner, now focusing mainly on trail and mountain running. The events she completed include the Great Ocean Road Ultra, Surf Coast Century, Gone Nuts, Mount Macedon Ultra, Mount Buller Sky Run and Warburton Trail Fest.
A passional advocate for the outdoor life, Sia believes that running / trail running is accessible for everyone - arguing that it is a sport for all sizes and ages. “It’s not about how fast or how far you go and sometimes it’s not even about running. It’s about getting out there moving and being outdoors”.
Nature, she believes has an incredible power to heal, cleanse, strengthen and give peace. It’s important we incorporate that into our own and our children’s lives! Training 5 days a week, Sia is currently taking advantage of the Victorian winter to train in snow and icy conditions in and around the national parks and snow fields across the state.
Follow Sia on Instagram @siakindberg
Mitch Docker: Bogong Sponsored Athlete
Mitch may be known to you as a world tour elite level pro cyclist. He competed on the professional circuit from 2006 to 2021. He retired from pro cycling at the end of 2021.
Well known as a classics rider he nevertheless competed in and finished seven of cycling’s gruelling 21 day Grand Tours with the steep and narrow roads of Spain a constant companion over many editions of the Vuelta a España.
Since he rode his final professional race at the 2021 Paris-Roubaix, Mitch has been redicovering all of the things that made him fall in love with cycling in the first place. He has come home to Australia and been waking up for bunch rides that finish when Melbourne’s cafés open. He has got into the mountain biking scene and can often be found at grit or gravel races.
Mitch has an elite understanding and knowledge of the nutrition needs for endurance events and his connection with and advocacy for Skratch Labs products is what has led him to Bogong. This knowledge is directly applicable to our trail running customers.
He is expanding his interests into the outdoors and recently placed 6th male and 7th overall in the 2023 Surf Coast Century 50km trail running event with a time of 4 hours 33 minutes 20 seconds plus perhaps give some rock climbing a try.
You can catch Mitch on his podcast Life in the Peloton, which is about all things cycling and more, and has been keeping busy commentating, podcasting and coaching endurance athletes.
Follow Mitch on Instagram @mitchbowen
Claire & Harper: Bogong Sponsored Athletes
Claire is a local Melbourne climber. She bought both her first and most recent pairs of shoes from Bogong, as well as plenty of gear that's part of a great range of products and in-person experience.
Throughout this journey so far, Claire has become the Junior Victorian Lead Champion for 2023, the Junior Vice National Champion for both 2022 and 2023, placed as the highest Australian in her category at the 2022 Youth World Championships in Boulder, and qualified for Boulder and Lead at the 2023 Youth World Championships.
Follow Claire on Instagram @misscheff.ings
Harper is a 16 year old rock climber who has been coming 2nd in both Lead and Boulder for Youth National Championships in Australia as well as winning the Victorian Youth Boulder Titles.
He is also participating in the 32nd edition of the International Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC) Youth World Championships in Seoul this year.
Follow Harper on Instagram @harper.climbs