White Horse Hills to Mount Wells

Bibbulmun Track

Start

White Horse Hills

Time

4-6 Hours

Finish

Mount Wells

Date Hiked

13th September 2019

Length

15.5km

Campsite Style

Three Room Hut

Elevation

400m

Traditional Custodians

Wiilman People

The Hike - Day Two of my four day adventure between North Bannister and Dwellingup and it was an early start thanks to the spring sun now rising at 6am. The two gentlemen I was sharing the campsite with were up well before me packing away gear and brewing their morning beverages so I eventually joined them after pretending to be a warm, toasty burrito for a little longer. It was actually quite a pleasant morning with the temperature warm enough to be comfortable in my hiking gear and jacket so I went about brewing up a coffee. As I was doing this the light show of the sun rising through the Jarrah forest was simply epic. A very light mist had enveloped, causing the light refraction to put on a pretty good display.

At one point I got a glorious beam of golden light streaming through the trees and managed to get a semi-decent picture of it. Cliff, the S-N end to ender was off quite early so Stephen and I bid him farewell and continued faffing about packing our own things away. Given the very short distances over the next couple of days, I wasn't too keen to be setting off super early and arriving at camp around midday. As much as I took my time getting ready I was still ready to go before 8am and so was Stephen. Stephen had started his end to end with his wife but she had to pull out at Brookton due to a viral issue that required an ambulance trip to the hospital. Given Stephen was on his own now and I've come to enjoy a bit of company on my hikes, I thought it would be a nice idea to hike relatively close together for the day. Long time readers of the website will know I am quite often alone on these longer trips with a few sections going by without seeing many other hikers so it was a nice change to have someone on the same schedule. With everything ready to go we departed White Horse Hills and began the journey south to the highest campsite on the Bibbulmun Track, the infamous Mt Wells (more on the infamous bit later).

Unfortunately what I didn't do while I was packing up was change my camera settings back from the sunrise shoot to my usual shooting mode so every shot was on a much slower shutter speed than it should have been. As I hiked up the hill to the highest point of the morning, every shot I took was sub-optimal, either very blurry or too overexposed to recover. I was lucky that a few were taken with a very steady hand or could be recovered thanks to some Lightroom trickery but on the whole there were a lot of blurry photos taken that had to be discarded. Making it worse, the scenery leading away from camp was lovely with a good amount of wildflowers on the lower slopes and granite platforms complete with Wandoo trees as you get higher and higher. After looking back at a photo to see if I had the focus right, I realised that my settings were all off and quickly made the correction (after kicking myself several times). It would have been nice to capture the whole day in the right mode but I guess I have to be thankful that I wasn't shooting in the wrong mode for longer.