While wireless sensor networks have been extensively studied in the past few years, most results are of theoretical nature and were obtained outside of a practical context. This can be problematic for real applications, especially in the area of environmental monitoring where many factors, such as harsh weather conditions, can greatly influence the performance of such a network, while reliable delivery and high-quality measurements are required. SensorScope is an interdisciplinary project, elaborated by environmental and networking researchers, that aims at narrowing the gap between theory and practice. Several successful real-world deployments have already been undertaken in rugged environments. In this paper, we analyze the particular requirements of environmental monitoring and how these requirements have been met in the SensorScope project. We also present an application example of a deployment, undertaken in a harsh mountain environment.