Past WAE Explorer Of The Month Lisa Owen is a dedicated weekend warrior and she’s not going to miss out on any precious adventure time by lying in bed. Here’s where she finds the motivation to wake up and walk, week after week.
Queen Of The Dawnie
Some people call me crazy, but getting up at 2am on a weekend is life.
As a passionate outdoor adventurer, some of my favourite hikes involve seeing the sunrise from a mountain summit.
Take my recent sunrise hike up Mt Greville. I set off with my hiking buddy Lani in complete darkness at 4.30am, waking up at 2am to start the drive.
After downing coffees to wake us up, we bounced out of the car to the trailhead (accidentally waking up some campers, sorry guys!) and up we went.
It’s always a race against time to get to the viewpoint to watch sunrise and it definitely gets the heart racing and the endorphins flowing. This hike was no exception. In fact, the race against time had us bushbashing through full-on scrub because we lost the footpad in the dark.
We got to the viewpoint just in time for sunrise. It was about ten minutes before the sun peeked over the horizon, giving us time to find our rocky perch, get cameras ready, and wait for the show.
The slog we had just completed seemed far behind us as we got swept into the magic of the sunrise. Purples, yellows, and oranges filled the landscape as the sun lit up the sky.
Sure it happens every day, but how often do you get the chance to take it all in and see the sun break over the horizon?
Here’s why I like to set my alarm for 2am, wake up and hike mountains in the dark.
It’s A Challenge
Sure I could simply hike in the daytime by the full light of the sun but it’s a special type of challenge to hike a mountain by the light of a headlamp.
You need a little extra focus to avoid trip hazards and also keep on the trail if you’re hiking up footpadding. It’s all too easy to go off-trail in the dark.
It’s super satisfying to reach your destination in the dark and know that most of your friends are still asleep. You’ve climbed a mountain before they’ve even rolled out of bed!
You’ll likely have the mountain to yourself.
Nine times out of ten, me and my fellow nocturnal hiking buddies are the only ones out there enjoying sunrise. We have an entire mountain to ourselves.
An added bonus is that mountaintops are so quiet at sunrise. You rarely hear traffic or people. Maybe you’ll hear the local wildlife.
When the first rays of light rim the horizon, you’ll feel like the only ones who can see it.
Sunrises Are Beautiful
Not only are sunrises beautiful, but so is the night sky. Away from the city lights you can appreciate the magic of the night sky and see all the stars and the silhouettes of mountains in the moonlight.
When the sunrise starts to come up, flooding the valley below with orange light I feel energised, like I could take on anything. You can’t wipe the smile off my face as the inky dark fades revealing a blue tinged dawn. Then I watch the globe of the sun slink up over the horizon.
Sunrise is particularly magical on a foggy morning, when the mist swirls around and nestles in the valleys surrounding the mountains.
You Can Pack More Adventure Into Your Day
Not a weekend goes by where I’m not setting my alarm for an early wake up call. No sleep-in for me.
Sometimes my alarm is set for 2am so I can watch the sunrise from a mountain summit, sometimes it’s an hour or two later and the Scenic Rim mountain squad will see sunrise through the car windows on our way to a trailhead.
There’s two days a week when I’m not sitting at a desk. Waking up for sunrise makes the most of my weekends.
A dawnie gives you more hours in your day and you have time to fit in not just one but two hikes. Maybe even three or four if you’re doing short, sharp hikes and keep up the pace!
Some may call me crazy, but I like to think I’m adventurous and making the most of my weekends.
Get yo’self inspired…