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Alice Springs Photographer Blog

Effort Required

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First of all let me say a warm G'day to all my new followers both on Facebook and Twitted. It's been very surprising just how much the word can spread around and how small the electronic world is. The natural world you will be happy to know is still just as massive as it ever was. This fact is something that keeps being reestablished every time I get out into the mountains here in Austria.

To say that I haven't done as much walking / photography as I had imagined is true but it is a very different environment to what I am used to. Walking 15 - 20km in the West MacDonnall Ranges in Central Australia is a real effort but since arriving in Austria covering this distance is near impossible.

Austria is nothing but amazing mountains and spectacular valleys which sounds magic but it can be a real slog to get anywhere. The first day walk I did around Bad Gastein took me around 10 hours and I covered just a few kilometers compared to a walk of the same time in Central Australia. However the walk did consist of a 1200m assent and of course the same on the way back down. I have climbed Mt. Sonder in the West Mac's which is 1380m above sea level but only about a 800m assent from ground level. So just to get up the side of the "hills" here is going much higher than anything I have done before.

This first assent took me if I do remember correctly 4 hours with just a few choice photos taken and I was only carting about 10-12kgs if gear. To say that I have had to rearange my plans is putting it lightly. Another huge factor which has forced me to rethink my plans and cost me a reduculious days walking is the presence of snow. More than I was expecting and more than usual for this time of year. Locals say that this is due to a good year for snow fall and a much colder start to spring and summer. Back in 2006/2007 when I lived in France for a year I remember it was a season where only minimal amounts of snow fell all through the winter. At this stage of the season the snow is melting quickly making it a big danger of avalanches and my lack of experience with snow in general is making me cautious.

In all Austria has been a difficult place to walk but what I have done has really been spectacular. Today I am head off on another overnight walk this time in the area of Zell am See. I will be walking west along a 45km long ridge line at around +/- 2000m which should be one of the best yet.

Today is a rainy day with low clouds that I'm thinking will stay around and hopefully break for sunset. The weather should be good for then next days according to the forecast bit as with everything you will not know until your up there.