Belated Happy New Year everyone..!
What better way to start the new year than by climbing a mountain..?
After the excesses of the festive season we headed up to the Grampians National Park to walk off the Christmas Pudding, and while not strictly climbing in the true sense of the word, these 5 days of hiking and scrambling were certainly very invigorating and I definitely worked off a few kilo’s. We both love to get away after Christmas and see in the New Year while enjoying the beauty of this region, which is located approximately 230 kilometres west of Melbourne. We stayed in Halls Gap, which is perfectly located for visiting all of the best hike’s in the region; it also has several restaurants and a good pub, definitely a must after a tough day’s hike in the heat!
We stay at the Pinnacle Motor Lodge each time we visit as it is certainly clean and very well priced, as well as being in the heart of the town. Each night after the day’s strenuous activities we sat outside our unit with a cold drink as the local kangaroo’s wandered through the Lodge, often hopping right past us while we ate dinner…
On this trip I used my Canon 5D Mk II instead of the Mk III as I did not want to carry the extra weight of the battery grip which is attached to my Mk III. I also limited my lens selection to one 24-105mm f4 L IS USM only; last year I also carried the 16-35mm f2.8 L with me on each hike, something that I definitely regret not doing this time as I left the ultra-wide angle back in Melbourne. The 24-105mm is a great all round lens, but there were times that I just would have loved that extra angle of view without having to resort to making a panorama… Mel was carrying her very lightweight Canon 1100D with it’s basic kit lens, the 18-55mm, and obviously several of the shots on this post were taken by her. One advantage of this little camera is the built in flash, which can prove to be quite useful for the purpose of filling in the shadows; none of my cameras have this flash, and I honestly never thought I would miss it as I have a large collection of Speedlites, however weight and space is a premium when hiking, so I do indeed now appreciate the 1100D’s usefulness!