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Of the whole Sossusvlei experience, it's the scale of these dunes that impressed me the most. Something in the human psyche just refuses to accept that sand can be as massive as these dunes are. What me and my friend judged to be a 15 minute walk and maybe a 45-60 minute climb, turned out to be a 45 minute walk and a three hour climb. Doing that in 40+ degree heat is far from pleasant and just when you think you're almost there, the dunes give you a final blow. The last 5% to the crest is soft sand and at a very exhausting incline. For every 10 steps you take, you slide 9 back down...so you try and crawl up, but your hands start burning after 2 seconds in the sand. That last 5% took more mental endurance than the first 95%, but the view from the top was worth it...as you can see. We were hoping the storm front would come closer so we could get lightning strikes over the dunes as there had been the previous night, but it was not to be...

This is one of the highest dunes in the Sossuvlei dune sea and we didn't go the highest part of the spine in our 3 hour climb. The record for the quickest ascent of the highest dune is 45 minutes...

Tsaucheb Valley Dunes, Namib Naukluft Park, Namibia

5D II
24-70mm
B+W kaesemann circular polarizer
Lee soft grad

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