17 February 2012

Ngamoko Range from the top of Shorts Track

In early January I decided to visit Ngamoko hut in the headwaters of the Pohangina river. My preferred route to the hut is to climb Shorts Track to the Ngamoko Range, traverse south, then drop down the track that leads directly to the hut — no river crossings needed. Unfortunately, as I reached the top of Shorts Track, the cloud that had been hanging low over the range descended further and enveloped the summit of the range. Howling wind, biting cold, poor visibility. I waited a while, hoping the cloud might lift, but instead it thickened. I turned and descended to the car.

This is the view north towards Toka and the top of Knights Track; south, the tops were hidden. the gnarly shrubbery is leatherwood (tūpare; Olearia colensoi), the white flowers are Celmisia sp.

[5 January 2012, Panasonic Lumix GH1, 14–45 mm at 14 mm, ISO 200, 1/160 at f16]

All content © 2012 Pete McGregor


The Elephant's Child said...

Thank you. I love the power and strength in this shot, and the almost ominous air that the fog/cloud adds.

Zhoen said...

Such an otherworldly landscape.

Patricia said...

This seems beyond real. Thanks for taking us along on your journeys.

Me from Cali said...

Lovely light.

What’ that red ‘pole’ off to the right?

Jono said...

Cool shot Pete.

I think we were in the Ruahine at a similar time, went into Leon Kinvig via the river.

pohanginapete said...

Elephant's Child — thank you :^)

Zhoen, it felt otherworldly, yet at the same time comfortingly familiar.

Patricia, you're welcome. Glad to have you along :^)

Paul(?), it's a waratah, a steel stake, roughly Y-shaped in cross section. They're used as light fenceposts, mostly for semi-permanent electric fences (with insulators, of course!), but they're also the most common way to mark routes on the tops, above the bushline, where winter snow would hide the usual triangular orange plastic markers.

Thanks Jono. My intended route was to spend a night at Ngamoko, then take a leisurely day wandering up the river to Kinvig, stay another night there, and come out over the Ngamoko via Knight's Track. I'd have been at Kinvig on 6 January. The frustrating thing was looking down into the Pohangina and seeing it so clear and inviting. I even thought about heading north to Toka and dropping down to Kinvig, but that would have meant I'd have diverted from the route I'd said I'd take. Not a good idea, even if the likelihood of coming to grief was tiny.

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Pete,
I look at the scene and it feels like home.
Probably at the exact same time I was up on the other side of the Ruahine at Sunrise, where I waited for two nights in rain and gale force winds to abide so I could cross the saddle. To no avail. I retreated on the third day back down to the car and home. Not what I wanted but still an oddly satisfying experience.

pohanginapete said...

Robb, I can imagine what Armstrong Saddle would have been like. Good call. I've turned back more than once; I've been over the tops in those sorts of conditions, too, and you need to be mentally and physically in top form. I remind myself I can always come back some other time.

Relatively Retiring said...

Please could I print a copy of this wonderful photo? I really want it framed and in my home.
Sorry for the long absence from commenting - I've been technologically pole-axed, and I'm pretty sure I'm now a robot, so may not be able to post this.

pohanginapete said...

RR, of course — let me know how the print turns out, and if it's not up to par I'll prepare a file for printing.

I'm sure you're as relieved as I am to find you're not a robot ;^) Good luck with the unpole-axing.

Jono said...

Ahh, actually we were in the Pohangina the week previous, so no chance of seeing you there :)

As an aside, what sort of post-processing did you do with this? Its very cool because it almost looks like a canvas print.

pohanginapete said...

Jono, well spotted. I used the canvas photoshop filter but faded it until it was barely noticeable and masked it in some places where I didn't like it. The effect is similar to increasing the acutance, or edge contrast or something — I'm not sure of the technicalities, but it gives a "stronger" look. Other than that, I pushed the contrast, clarity and fill light harder than usual; some in Lightroom, some in Photoshop. I'm actually somewhat equivocal about this, but there's no denying it makes for a dramatic image — maybe melodramatic in some eyes.

lisanz said...

I, too, love this photo. The light and texture make it feel like a painting. Please can I have a copy too!

pohanginapete said...

Thanks Lisa. A copy can be arranged :^)