The Sentinels at Dawn

Mid-August, six AM , it’s minus one degrees Centigrade and my fingers are not working.

As the stars start to fade and the first light of the day is coming, I set off with ten kilograms of camera gear to climb into the Sentinel Range. After signing the log book, it’s a steady  uphill stretch through buttongrass plains. Lake Gordon is appearing behind me and the white dusted silhouette of Mount Wedge to my left.

Thirty minutes in, the mud turns to quartz and I begin scrambling up. Stopping to take a break, I get out my Hasselblad camera, loaded with black and white film, to take a shot of the rising sun

The sun is out, fiercely burning my neck, yet I’m still cold in the notorious Tassie day. I reach a false summit, which is visible from the camp ground, and spend an hour there taking photos, being idle. There is little wind and I can’t hear anything, I’m at peace. I push on to climb the true summit not far away, rising high above the more sheltered, intimate false summit.

 

 

 

About the trail:

Heading towards Strathgordon along the Gordon River Road stands the Sentinel Range. Turning around the bend, this amazing quartzite range shoots up suddenly and the driver can be easily distracted by its beauty. Standing at only 974 meters above sea level, it’s appearance is deceiving due to the range being less than 1 kilometer wide and 5 kilometers long.

Access to the start of the walking track is through the Wedge River Picnic Ground, which includes shelter,  two fireplaces, shelter,  and flat camping areas. This 4 kilometer walk takes about 3-4 hours return. It’s very steep but quite safe to climb with the help of thick branches and good foot holes.

The climb down is tougher than going up- sore joints and careful footing can result in a few bush landings.  This is easily my favorite day walk in Tasmania.

 

The Sentinel Range