If you’re an ioMerino customer, it’s safe to say you’re an outdoor adventure lover! For us, outdoor adventures are meant to be fun, easy, and enjoyable experiences. Then there’s a few ‘Outsiders’ who like to take things to the next level: Enter ioMerino Outsider Kyle Williams. Who else would celebrate their birthday with a 3-hour early morning hike up one of the toughest mountain climbs in Australia!?


The climb in question is Mount Donna Buang, located in the picturesque Yarra Valley region of Victoria’s High Country. At 1245 metres elevation, ‘Big Donna’ is certainly not one of Australia’s tallest mountains. But what it lacks in elevation, it makes up for in vertical ascent. It features a brutal 1,098 metre vertical ascent over just 8-kilometres en route to its summit! In fact, ‘Big Donna’s’ renowned steepness has seen it become the home of Australia’s first Vertical Kilometre Skyrace, where cyclists and trail runners battle it out in a race to the summit. Clearly, where else would you find Adventurer and Outsider Kyle Williams celebrating his birthday?!

So, on a beautiful winter’s morning in June, Kyle and his crew tackled ‘Big Donna’. The adventure got off to a pretty ‘cruisy’ start on Martyr Road, Australia’s steepest residential street that has an average vertical gradient of 20%, with 31% on the steepest stretch! From there, the track simply kept going up, up, and up!!

In between trying to catch their breath on this lung-busting climb, Kyle and his crew got to enjoy the spectacular winter views of the massive Mountain Ash forests that line the Yarra Valley.

After nearly three-hours of climbing, Kyle and his crew reached the summit and were rewarded with amazing panoramic views of Victoria’s amazing High Country. What better way to celebrate your birthday, right?!

Being a crisp winter morning in the Victorian High Country meant Kyle relied on several pieces of ioMerino to keep him warm, dry and stink-free during his adventure including:

  1. Altitude Crew Neck (Base Layer)
  2. Chaser Leggings (Base Layer)
  3. Keystone Tee (Lightweight)
  4. Pinnacle Zip (Mid Layer)
  5. Highpoint Neck Tube

We look forward to seeing what Kyle’s next mountain climbing adventure will be…

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