Why a personal locator beacon?

Personal locator beacons (PLBs) are satellite devices that transmit a distress signal to search and rescue organisations once they are activated. Because they transmit the signal via satellites, they can be used in remote locations, where no cell phone access is available. They are related to EPIRBs (Emergency Position-Indicating Radio Beacons), which are mainly used in boats and ships and usually are permanently installed in a vessel. PLBs are much smaller and lighter hand-held devices intended to be carried by a person.

The back of a PLB that I hired some time ago. The text describes its activation in detail.
The back of a PLB that I hired some time ago. The text describes its activation in detail.
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Trip to Frenchmans Cap in Tasmania

In early 2015, I organised a bushwalking trip to Frenchmans Cap, which is the most prominent peak in the Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers national park in Tasmania. The white quartzite of its summit dome, which looks a bit like a French beret from a distance gave the peak its name and is visible from far away.

Our group on the summit of Frenchmans Cap. You can see the smoke from bushfires in the distance.
Our group on the summit of Frenchmans Cap. You can see the smoke from bushfires in the distance.

Historically, the walk was infamous for being extremely muddy (read waist-deep mud) on the Loddon Plains on the approach to the mountain, where the track runs close to the Loddon River, the so-called “sodden Loddon”. However, we did not have much of a problem. The trip was relatively straight-forward, as it is a return walk that starts and ends at the Lyell highway. However, it must be stressed that the trail is in an alpine area with severe and sudden weather changes and that the walk involves a significant ascent.

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Hiking in Canada

First of all, Canada is awesome! If you like the outdoors, you will definitely enjoy it. From my experience, the people are very friendly as well.

View of the Assiniboine Valley. From left to right: Lake Magog, Mt. Assiniboine, Sunburst Lake, Sunburst Peak and Cerulean Lake.
View of the Assiniboine Valley. From left to right: Lake Magog, Mt. Assiniboine, Sunburst Lake, Sunburst Peak and Cerulean Lake.

In 2014, I spent a few weeks in Alberta, Canada, specifically in and around Banff national park. We scrambled and hiked up various peaks near Banff town, such as Tunnel Mountain, Mt. Rundle and a few others in the close vicinity.

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Overland Track

I walked the Overland Track, which is a long distance trail in Tasmania. This is a summary.

On Cradle Mountain summit.
On Cradle Mountain summit.

Day 1 - Ronny Creek, Marion’s Lookout, Cradle Mountain summit to Waterfall Valley Hut

My journey did not start out too well. It was raining quite heavily during the night. The tent took a long time to dry in the morning. I was already late when I left the campsite. However, the weather was gorgeous this morning. And the queue of mainly day trippers and only a small fraction of Overland Track walkers was long at the Cradle Mountain visitor’s centre. The park management runs shuttle buses from the visitor’s centre to the actual starting points of a couple of shorter trails and the start of the Overland Track.

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