Yesterday I chose to repeat a short walk into the mountains that I hadn’t done for some years. The track from the Gordon River Road to the Needles is a short but steep climb of 400 metres elevation that leads to an excellent view of SW Tasmania.
Unfortunately, this was in the area that was affected by the devastating Gell River fire a couple of summers past. As a result, all of the track and the ridgeline of the Needles itself was totally scorched, and Parks Tasmania only recently reopened the track.
Nevertheless, I hoped for a bit of a sunrise on top, which could make for some nice images. It was an icy morning as I drove along the Gordon River Road, with the road sometimes looking like an iced cake as the frost glistened in the headlights.
I broke out of the valley fog into clear skies as I climbed towards the Humboldt Divide where the track began. It was an hour and a half before sunrise, and I intended to be on top well before then when the best colour often appears.
It’s always interesting walking an unfamiliar track on headlamp, cocooned in your small pool of light as you make your way upward.
It wasn’t long before I was on top, with a deep red looming on the eastern horizon. The temperature was around -1°C with a fresh breeze blowing. This was a perfect opportunity to try out the new Mont Guide Hoodie Primaloft, and I was genuinely impressed with its warmth and windproofness. Fortunately, I had also bought a pair of pile mitts with me to keep the fingers happy.
A little searching around found a suitable viewpoint, and I settled down to wait for the light.
The red faded a little as the light increased, but it was still verging on the ridiculous as the mist in the valleys emerged out of the darkness with a glorious red/pink glow.
Remarkably the colour was completely gone before the sun crested the horizon, but I had captured the images I wanted, and I was happy as I packed up for the descent.
I was back at the car before 9 am. A short drive further to the west realised one more image then I drove back home through some very thick fog, stopping for a couple more photographs as I went.
As far as short walks go, it was a ripper!
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