Feb 072013

Off we drove, into the off road area at Dune 7 in our sub-par 4×4. We picked up speed as we prepared to climb from the hard packed sand at the base to the flowing dunes. Then, we stopped. We were stuck. Fifteen minutes later we dug, rocked and pushed the car out and back down to the hard packed sand. It was time to set off on foot.

Walking on these dunes really isn’t easy. The sand is very soft and it doesn’t take much of a gradient to feel like you’re getting lower down with each step forward you take. As a result, the three of us took off in different directions, attacking what we thought was the easiest route. Harleigh, pictured below, took the direct route up some of the steepest inclines. Her momentum carried her about three quarters of the way to the top, where I was able to catch this photo of her just before she was forced to drop to her hands and knees and drag herself the rest of the way.

I was jealous. As I was carrying two cameras and a tripod I couldn’t used my hands to make the climb without dragging my gear through the sand. I spent quite a while trying different routes until I found a way, using less steep bits, that let me reach the ridge.

Splitting up worked out well for me as I was able to snap a few pictures of the dunes dwarfing the girls and giving a real sense of the immensity of these mountains of sand.

A girl climbing up a steep sand dune at dune 7 in namibia

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