It’s been sometimes that I went for a hiking up Port Hills, the irregular working hours and odd days seems to restrict my excursions into the Hills. It was fortunate that Christmas holiday, even though just 2 days, gave me some time to be able to arrange a hiking up Mt Bradley (it’s not really a mountain, it’s shy above 900m, it’s just named that way).
There’s no proper track going all the way up Mt. Bradley, the main track just stopped at the slope, maybe 150m from the top. And due to the earthquake, there is a warning message of the danger of rock falls. So, the best option was to reach a resting hut there called Packhorse Hut.
My original plan was to climb the track early in the morning and to try reach the Hut 2 hours before sunrise. While there to try some night photography (maybe some stars photography) and of course some landscape. The was some doubt about the weather, it was forecasted that there would be some light rain, but the forecast keeps on changing every hour. I decided to give it a shot anyway.
We started a bit late than planned, we wanted to start hiking by 2.30am but started around 20mins later. It was cloudy and the temperature was around 14’C. It was my first time using this trail and it was quite fortunate that one of my friend have frequented the track. Or else we could have been lost in the dark. The climb were a bit steeped at several places and we have to take a break at a couple of points along the way. But we did reached Packhorse Hut in 1hr 30mins.
I was packing 2 bodies and only 2 glasses, one glass to each body. My D700 was attached to the new AFS 24-85 VR, while the F100 was attached to the AF80-200 D. I also brought along the Manfrotto 190Pro tripod. All that plus 2 bottles of isotonic drink and some light snacks. It doesn’t feel heavy in the beginning but as the hours pass, the gears started to feel heavier.
When we reached Packhorse Hut, as was expected the clouds were not dissipating anytime soon, so we have to make do with whatever night photography that we can. It was turning twilight very fast and sunrise was just 1hr 30mins away. We took some photos around the Hut and slowly parts way and scouted our own place to setup.
We stayed on top for a couple hours and started tracking back at around 7.00am. Thankfully there was not untoward incidents.