Mount Sonder: Sunrise, sunset or both?

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Mount Sonder: Sunrise, sunset or both?

Postby ChrisJHC » Mon 20 May, 2019 10:10 pm

Starting the Larapinta in a couple of weeks.
I'll be dropped off at Redbank Gorge on 2 June and have a few options for climbing Mt Sonder.

Basically I can climb it in the afternoon for the sunset then have a relaxed start the next day before heading off on Section 11.
Or miss the sunset but get up early, catch the sunrise then head off on Section 11 (makes for a 32 km day).
Finally, I can do both the sunset and sunrise then start Section 11.

The sensible option would be the first one (sunset only) but I figure that I'm unlikely to get the opportunity to come back so it might be good to experience both sunrise and sunset. The biggest risk is overdoing it at the start and getting either serious blisters or an injury that would ruin the rest of the walk.

What are people's thoughts? Are the sunrises sufficiently different from the sunsets to warrant trying to see both?
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Re: Mount Sonder: Sunrise, sunset or both?

Postby north-north-west » Tue 21 May, 2019 11:16 am

The light is coming from a very different direction, so there's an enormous difference. I think the sunrise light is better (if the weather cooperates), but that's subjective.

Remember that you do not have to camp at the official sites. There are plenty of other spots to pitch once you're outside the exclusion zone around Rwetyepme. Water is generally the deciding factor - tank at Redbank, creek at Rocky Bar. If you have the time, think about breaking up your sections differently. Might mean carrying a bit more water, but it gives you more flexibility.
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Re: Mount Sonder: Sunrise, sunset or both?

Postby eggs » Tue 21 May, 2019 11:18 am

I think most people do a very early start to see sunrise. I was not so urgent and was half way up at sunrise, but the morning light is pretty good on the surrounding ranges.
Most of these have a good eastern face or are close in to the south and west so morning lights them up nicely.
I haven't seen sunset, but I suspect that would be good for views of distant Mt Zeil and the close in face of Sonder itself.
You need to factor in time to explore Redbank Gorge if you can - lilo is recommended as its extremely cold to swim.
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Re: Mount Sonder: Sunrise, sunset or both?

Postby ChrisJHC » Tue 21 May, 2019 12:09 pm

Hmm, I’m 90% convinced to do both sunrise and sunset. Plenty of time to sleep over the next few days!

I’m definitely alternating my camping spots between trailheads and bush camping (e.g first night at Redbank Gorge, second night at Hilltop Lookout / Rocky Bar Lookout).
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Re: Mount Sonder: Sunrise, sunset or both?

Postby Eremophila » Tue 21 May, 2019 1:55 pm

Likely to be less dust in the air at sunrise = better light.

There's a water tank at Rocky Bar Gap. With a CCTV camera attached ?!
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Re: Mount Sonder: Sunrise, sunset or both?

Postby north-north-west » Tue 21 May, 2019 2:54 pm

ChrisJHC wrote:Hmm, I’m 90% convinced to do both sunrise and sunset. Plenty of time to sleep over the next few days!

I’m definitely alternating my camping spots between trailheads and bush camping (e.g first night at Redbank Gorge, second night at Hilltop Lookout / Rocky Bar Lookout).


Well, if you're concerned about the length of that day, I did the Larapinta east to west and, after sunrise at Rwetyepme, packed up and walked back to the Rocky Bar hilltop camp by around 4 pm without rushing. It's fairly easy going for the most part. Don't remember a tank anywhere around there - plenty of water in the creek, so that's where I topped up.
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