Climbing kunanyi / Mount Wellington on Two Wheels
As the Tasmanian training campaign of Richie Porte and Chris Froome reached southern Tasmania, they were joined by fellow Team Sky member and Hobart native Nathan Earle.
Photography by Heath Holden
The riding group completed the ‘Channel Loop’ — a circuit south of Tasmania’s capital city Hobart that included visits to the settlements of Snug, Nicholls Rivulet, Cygnet and Huonville.
Then it was time to gear up for the 1271-metre climb to the summit of kunanyi / Mount Wellington — the striking landmark that keeps watch over Hobart and southern Tasmania.
The 21 kilometre ride to the summit passes through temperate rainforest to sub-alpine flora and glacial rock formations, and ends with panoramic views of Hobart, Bruny Island, the D’Entrecasteux Channel and into the Southwest Wilderness and the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area.
There are of course other ways to reach the summit. A system of walking tracks ranges from easy strolls to tough climbs through cool forests and past springs, cascades, waterfalls and the soaring dolerite columns of the Organ Pipes. The cliffs on the mountain are also perfect for rock climbing and abseiling.
And for the mountain bikers, there’s a network that includes the historic Pipeline Track and popular North-South Track.
Richie Porte started pulling away from the group early into the climb…
…and continued to set a cracking pace right to the summit.
The remainder of the group spread out, as riders were introduced to or reacquainted with the mountain’s Pinnacle Road.
The climb to the top reveals breathtaking views over southern Tassie. No other city in Australia has a vista like this one.