Standley Chasm

18/4/2017

A perfect day.
The weather is great, blue skies with a few clouds and ideal for spending a few hours out at Standley Chasm.
The Standley Chasm Nature Reserve is owned by the Iwupataka Land Trust and is operated by local indigenous family members who are descendants of families who have lived here for thousands of years.
And we are greeted by a very friendly Irish lady who is extremely helpful guiding us around the area.
The 3rd section of the Larapinta Trail finishes here dropping down into the gorge after one of the most challenging sections so I imagine what a welcome relief it would be to reach a destination that promises refreshments and a well earned resting spot. We are going up the trail just a short section to an area that almost looks over the chasm. The trail is well marked and has stone steps which help a great deal with the uphill climb. That being said it is a constant calf straining climb up and up until you reach the saddle and the section where you can see a glimpse of the chasm below. The views are, as expected, nothing short of spectacular the light changing constantly as clouds come and go effecting the colours of the cliffs that surround us. It’s a little bit slower going down but best not to rush and get back down safely.

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Only one way and thats up

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Magnificent view after a difficult climb

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Looking down into Standley Chasm

While we are here we start down the beginning of section 4 of the Larapinta Trail and follow along until it connects to the hill walk and loops back around to the kiosk area. A nice little trek to bide our time before heading to the chasm at midday for the big show. For once I am at the right place at the right time and the weather cooperates beautifully with the clouds clearing and sun shining. Thankfully there is only a small group of people who are all very obliging and stand back on the edge of the chasm so all can get photos without people walking around in it – very impressed with everyones cooperation. The walls of the chasm fire up on cue as the sunlight penetrates down to the white rocky floor below. The walls are sheer cliffs and for the better part of the day are in shade, still very amazing but when the sun hits the right spot the colours become vibrant and glow with rich reds of every shade to golden yellow, orange tones. I am happy to sit enthralled watching for the hour or so it takes for the sun to do its very best artistic work.

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