Landscape and snow gums at Mount Hotham, Victorian Alps - © Michael Evans Photographer 2014

Hiking in Mount Hotham…Day 2 and 3…

Overnight the mercury dropped, and we excitedly awoke for our second day of hiking around Mount Hotham to be greeted with a small snow flurry, which then soon cleared to perfect hiking weather. Originally from London, I have certainly seen my fair share of snow, but as I have been in Australia for the last 18 years, it has become a novelty once again; the last time I experienced any snow was on a trip back to the UK at Christmas in 2010.

Packing camera and the usual selection of lenses we headed off to follow the Cobungra Ditch Walking track, an abandoned water race which had been carved through the rugged mountainous terrain by upwards of 120 tough souls in support of the Cobungra Gold Mining company back in 1883. The walk is not particularly challenging compared to some of the hikes and scrambles that we regularly undertake in the Grampians, but it is still a very enjoyable 18km circuit which takes in some stunning Alpine scenery and interesting wildlife. A great number of the snow gums which were damaged by the 2003 bushfires are now regenerating, and the track is littered with dead branches which, although hazardous on windy days, do make for excellent images!

Landscape and snow gums at Mount Hotham, Victorian Alps - © Michael Evans Photographer 2014
As soon as we came across this fallen tree, I knew that it was going to be a black and white treatment – © Michael Evans Photographer 2014

The snow flurry from our balcony…

Snow storm at Mount Hotham - © Michael Evans Photographer 2014
© Michael Evans Photographer 2014

Staying at The General in Mount Hotham meant that many of the hikes we were interested in did not require driving to a starting point; we simply set off…

Snow gums at Mount Hotham, Victoria - © Michael Evans Photographer 2014
Descending through the tree line at the start of the Cobungra Walk – © Michael Evans Photographer 2014
Snow gums at Mount Hotham, Victoria - © Michael Evans Photographer 2014
Deliberately processed for a ‘high key’ feel, as opposed to many of the dramatic landscapes I had been concentrating on… © Michael Evans Photographer 2014
Walking track signage at Mount Hotham - © Michael Evans Photographer 2014
© Michael Evans Photographer 2014
Yellow flowering plants and snow gums at Mount Hotham, Victoria - © Michael Evans Photographer 2014
© Michael Evans Photographer 2014
Butterfly at Mount Hotham, Victoria - © Michael Evans Photographer 2014
Basking in the sun; although this is cropped, and I slightly missed the focus on the eye as this was a quick ‘grab’ shot, I am still very impressed with the quality of my new 24-70mm f2.8L across the entire focal range… © Michael Evans Photographer 2014
Snow gums at Mount Hotham, Victoria - © Michael Evans Photographer 2014
The Alpine ‘boneyard’… © Michael Evans Photographer 2014
Snow gums at Mount Hotham, Victoria - © Michael Evans Photographer 2014
© Michael Evans Photographer 2014
Snow gums at Mount Hotham, Victoria - © Michael Evans Photographer 2014
© Michael Evans Photographer 2014

While this post may be a little image ‘heavy’ I decided to combine my favourite images captured from the second day’s walk as really I feel it is all part of the same ‘celebration’ of this beautiful area. Our walk on day 3 started at Dinner Plain, which is but a 10 minute drive from our accommodation at Mount Hotham. The Tabletop walk is graded as difficult according to the Australian Walking Track Grading System because the final 1 km of track rises steeply to the summit of Mount Tabletop, from which there are some beautiful views of the surrounding area. With the return leg the walk ends up being 14 km or approximately 5 hours in duration (although often much longer when stopping to take photographs!).

Yellow flowering plants at Mount Hotham, Victoria - © Michael Evans Photographer 2014
© Michael Evans Photographer 2014
Landscape and snow gums at Mount Hotham, Victorian Alps - © Michael Evans Photographer 2014
I couldn’t resist heavily dodging and burning this image… © Michael Evans Photographer 2014
Landscape and snow gums at Mount Hotham, Victorian Alps - © Michael Evans Photographer 2014
© Michael Evans Photographer 2014
Walking track signage at Mount Hotham - © Michael Evans Photographer 2014
Interesting trail signage helps you to appreciate just how hard it must have been working out here during the gold rush… © Michael Evans Photographer 2014
Landscape and snow gums at Mount Hotham, Victorian Alps - © Michael Evans Photographer 2014
Patchwork of snow gums…© Michael Evans Photographer 2014
Landscape and snow gums at Mount Hotham, Victorian Alps - © Michael Evans Photographer 2014
© Michael Evans Photographer 2014
Landscape and snow gums at Mount Hotham, Victorian Alps - © Michael Evans Photographer 2014
© Michael Evans Photographer 2014
Landscape and snow gums at Mount Hotham, Victorian Alps - © Michael Evans Photographer 2014
Sunlight warming the purple ground flowers… © Michael Evans Photographer 2014
These bugs were everywhere on Hotham, and while I personally found them fascinating, Melinda was a little less enthusiastic! They resembled grasshoppers, and are about 1.5 to 2 inches long... © Michael Evans Photographer 2014
These bugs were everywhere on Hotham, and while I personally found them fascinating, Melinda was a little less enthusiastic! They resembled grasshoppers, and are about 1.5 to 2 inches long… © Michael Evans Photographer 2014
Landscape and snow gums at Mount Hotham, Victorian Alps - © Michael Evans Photographer 2014
© Michael Evans Photographer 2014
Landscape and snow gums at Mount Hotham, Victorian Alps - © Michael Evans Photographer 2014
Lunch spot…© Michael Evans Photographer 2014
Photographer Michael Evans at Mount Hotham, Victorian Alps - © Michael Evans Photographer 2014
Resting and stretching my sore back… © Michael Evans Photographer 2014
Landscape and snow gums at Mount Hotham, Victorian Alps - © Michael Evans Photographer 2014
The ‘waterfall’ at our lunch spot… © Michael Evans Photographer 2014
Landscape and snow gums at Mount Hotham, Victorian Alps - © Michael Evans Photographer 2014
© Michael Evans Photographer 2014
Landscape and snow gums at Mount Hotham, Victorian Alps - © Michael Evans Photographer 2014 - www.michaelevansphotographer.com
© Michael Evans Photographer 2014
Landscape and snow gums at Mount Hotham, Victorian Alps - © Michael Evans Photographer 2014
© Michael Evans Photographer 2014
Landscape and snow gums at Mount Hotham, Victorian Alps - © Michael Evans Photographer 2014
© Michael Evans Photographer 2014
Landscape and snow gums at Mount Hotham, Victorian Alps - © Michael Evans Photographer 2014
© Michael Evans Photographer 2014
Landscape and snow gums at Mount Hotham, Victorian Alps - © Michael Evans Photographer 2014
© Michael Evans Photographer 2014
Landscape and snow gums at Mount Hotham, Victorian Alps - © Michael Evans Photographer 2014
© Michael Evans Photographer 2014
Landscape and snow gums at Mount Hotham, Victorian Alps - © Michael Evans Photographer 2014
© Michael Evans Photographer 2014
Landscape and snow gums at Mount Hotham, Victorian Alps - © Michael Evans Photographer 2014
© Michael Evans Photographer 2014
Landscape and snow gums at Mount Hotham, Victorian Alps - © Michael Evans Photographer 2014
© Michael Evans Photographer 2014
Landscape and snow gums at Mount Hotham, Victorian Alps - © Michael Evans Photographer 2014
Unfortunately I have had to compress all of the files quite heavily for the web, consequently some banding is visible in a number of the files which is not visible in the original print – © Michael Evans Photographer 2014
Buttercups and snow gums at Mount Hotham, Victorian Alps - © Michael Evans Photographer 2014
Buttercups (?)… © Michael Evans Photographer 2014
Landscape and snow gums at Mount Hotham, Victorian Alps - © Michael Evans Photographer 2014
© Michael Evans Photographer 2014
Yellow flowering plants at Mount Hotham, Victoria - © Michael Evans Photographer 2014
Yellow flowering plants on the trail… © Michael Evans Photographer 2014
Landscape and snow gums at Mount Hotham, Victorian Alps - © Michael Evans Photographer 2014
© Michael Evans Photographer 2014
Snow gums at Mount Hotham, Victoria - © Michael Evans Photographer 2014
I have already posted this image from day one in B&W, however I also could not resist posting this colour version… © Michael Evans Photographer 2014
Snow gums at Mount Hotham, Victoria - © Michael Evans Photographer 2014
© Michael Evans Photographer 2014
The General at Mount Hotham, Victorian Alps - © Michael Evans Photographer 2014 - www.michaelevansphotographer.com
The General at Mount Hotham, Victorian Alps – © Michael Evans Photographer 2014

This collection of images from our short break are also significant for me as I had been recovering from a particularly sore back, which I had injured back in September (the 22nd, I remember it clearly!), and yet managed to hike for over 38 kms on the three days. Normally this would not even cross my mind, however it has been such a difficult year with my health that I was particularly pleased to feel that I was finally making progress. I am not and have never been a sit at home type of person, there is simply too much to see and do, and I am a notoriously impatient patient! Certainly I have come to realise just how much we can take our health and mobility for granted, and just how quickly life can change.

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