Never Disappoints

Come to the Stirlings.. they say, walk with your head in the clouds… they say, ppffttt… I say. Why walk with your heads in the clouds- when you can walk with your feet on the clouds 🙂

As i’ve covered in a few of my posts in the past- the Stirlings are a great mountain range rising high from the surrounding plains. As a result when the conditions are right- clouds will form before your very eyes. Giving you the head in the clouds experience- a very magical experience at that don’t get me wrong. But when conditions are spot on- well you get this. 🙂 To this stage i’ve climbed Bluff Knoll a good 80+ times, not once have I come off that peak not satisfied!! This occasion was not to be the first that’s for sure.

Flying High

Flying High

After 2 weeks on the road with quite ordinary weather for the majority- I was stopping of at my baby’s- the Stirling Ranges on my way back to Perth. I knew I could rely on them to finish off the trip with a high, I knew they’d clear my mind and make me forget my stupidity of plunging the camera into the pristine Esperance waters, I knew they’d dry me off after 2 weeks in which nearly every day was wet, and I knew they’d get me excited for my next trip away. As I said they never let me down.

Heading up first thing in the morning is my usual thing here. I probably should appologize to the many people i’ve camped to- and woken up at the very early hours of the morning many times. But this is the reason I do it! The Stirlings are at their best in the morning I feel, and guess what- I had this to myself, for 5 hours!! Well I shared it with a Wedge Tail Eagle actually- but who’s complaining there 🙂

Now if you happen to be up in the early mornings- and there is a thick fog around… get your butt up the hill ok! Basically if there is cloud at ground level- you’ll be above it on the hill. Get up there quick before it burns away. I was lucky on this occasion the cloud on the South side stayed untill about 10am. The North side burned off by about 8am. I’ve been lucky to experience cloud like this 3 times (out of 80!!), first time I had no idea how to capture this type of scene, very difficult shooting conditions due to the harsh contrasts between sky/cloud/land, the second time, I managed to climb the hill with 2 flat battery’s… blew it! This time I was determined to get it!

I still don’t think i’ve quite got what i’m after, but I am even better prepared for next time I experience it- maybe another 30 odd climbs I will. But at least this time I think i’ve come away with a few shots at least. This is the first of them, and i’ll go through the rest soon to pick out what one’s are postable. This is looking East, over the spectacular Eastern Ridge. Which has to be one of the best walks you can do by the way- looks like i’ve missed doing it again this year but it is somewhere I want to get out along very soon. There were occasions out along there were even I was thinking this is just stupid haha. It is quite exhausting carrying 25 odd kilo’s worth of gear up and over the peaks- but so rewarding at the same time 🙂

Gota go- but will put some more up soon.

More of my Stirling Ranges posts can be found here

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10 responses to “Never Disappoints

  1. Great scene and pic, looks like an awesome location.
    Somewhat similar to my home in the Grampians.

    Earlier last year we were doing a shoot for Tourism Victoria and the photographer lucked out and got his shot
    Pity I didn’t have my camera.

    • that’s a very nice shot- would have been fantastic to witness it like that Tom. sometimes the clouds spill over the hills to a lesser extent here and even that’s amazing to see.

      and yup- very similar to the Grampians. the amount of times i’ve seen shots of that range and could have sworn that it was the Stirlings! i think i’ll very much enjoy it over there when i eventually get there 🙂

  2. Hi Steven. Are you still loking for a 40d , i have one to sell if you are.

    • pretty sure i’ve got one Merv- unless you’re offering a very generous price 😉

      got one lined up a fair bit under the going price for them now, so most probably going for that one.

      thanks anyway

  3. Cool shot Stephen, It’s good to read that you got these special conditions. The Stirlings are definitely a great range, if I make it to WA next year they certainly are one of the places I want to re-visit.

    • thanks Tony- it is pretty special to get them that’s for sure. as you could imagine it’s quite rare for them over here.

      i have some more that show the extent of the clouds- but just trying to work out what one’s I like- and probably what one’s are worth showing the world anyway haha. obviously they all have a bit of a place in my heart 😛

  4. Standing with your feet in the clouds – I very much look forward to doing that!!! Great shot and story Stephen, don’t think one could wish for a better guide in the Stirling’s !

    • thanks Flembot
      even though our mountains aren’t too big in WA (or in OZ as a whole I guess) they are amazing in so many way’s.
      the flora- well basically you won’t get much better or diverse except for being in a tropical rainforest.

      the fact that they rise so steeply makes them appear higher then they actually are.

      and then being on the border of semi arid/wheat belt kind of area’s, and the moist south coast can then create these conditions. the clouds are basically never the same here- it’s really quite incredible to see.

      as for the guide- well there are others who would be better- but i think i’d definitely be a bit more fun 🙂

  5. 80+ times Stephen! Goodness. That’s what I call committment.

    Sorry to hear about your camera gear going into the water. I feel for you.

    Here’s to another 30+ times on Bluff Knoll. It certainly is magic 🙂

    • haha- yeah i love it down there at all. and it needs no commitment at all- just love doing it! racked up some large numbers on the rest of the peaks as well, but Bluff Knoll was the easiest for me to get to and stuff before work when I was working down there.
      i’ve not really ever been at the summit with any more then 10 people- and that’s only a couple of times anyway. so that add’s to the enjoyment! 🙂

      and I bloody hope it’s not only 30!! i’m thinking another 100 or so! 🙂

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