Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Cradle Country Volume 3

12th - 14th May 2018

Mt Campbell
Mt Emmett
Mt Inglis
Barn Bluff
Cradle Mountain

Day 1
Originally I had wanted to go to the south-west and head into the Arthurs, but when I checked the weather forecast it was looking to be far more beautiful at Cradle, so I changed plans last minute. And boy was I glad I did; I had perfect weather for 3 days. I started very leisurely, visiting my grandparents in Sunnyside on my way to Cradle for an enjoyable cup of coffee and a catch up. By 1:30pm I was leaving the Dove Lake carpark and casually walking the trail up to Hansons Peak. When I arrived at the junction to Mt Campbell I dropped my pack and toddled up, it was very easy and I can't believe I'd never been up it before! I arrived on the summit a bit after 2pm, and took refuge from the wind behind the wee craggy rock that is the summit upon an otherwise flat mountain. I enjoyed the view for a good long while before heading back to my pack, and continuing over Hansons Peak. From there I headed down the east side of Cradle Mountain to the Scott-Kilvert Hut beside Lake Rodway. I spent a lovely evening there, talking with a couple ladies from the north coast who were on their first ever overnight bushwalk! A super relaxing day in the mountains.

A classic view.

Looking towards Mt Campbell, and the sun.

A young King Billy, keeping an eye on the place.

Summit track.

What a delightful place.

Heading to Lake Rodway.

A classic Tasmanian hut.

Day 2
I headed off from the hut a bit before 8:00am for the steady climb out of the valley onto the Cradle Cirque. The sun was rising and giving everything it touched a gorgeous golden glow, firmly setting a smile on my face. Once I was on the cirque, I left my bag and headed off towards Mt Emmet. I followed the ridge over a small rise and down through low scrub. There was a rather good pad most of the way until I hit a small patch of snow gums beneath the scree field that is Mt Emmett. That pad made for great going, and once I was on the scree it was all uphill boulder hopping, good fun! I was on the summit of Mt Emmett by 9:30am, and had a wonderful time enjoying the fine views with no wind. After half an hour on top I hopped back down the scree, and made it back to my pack after an hour of walking. From there I went towards the main overland track, passing the new 'Brussel Sprout' emergency shelter before taking the track towards Barn Bluff. I took the track all the way up to the scree beneath Barny, but then skirted around the base in a westerly direction with the aim of going to Mt Inlgis first. I dropped slightly from the scree on the ridge that connects the two mountains and found a perfect spot to spend the night. A grassy patch surrounded by little pools of water and a creek nearby. I left my pack there, and by 1:00pm I was headed off for Mt Inglis. Most of the way across the Fury Divide was pleasant walking, with a lot of wombat pads to follow across open country. I did hit a few sections of scrub that were more frustrating than I thought they'd be, but only took 1.5 hours to reach the summit of Inglis. I soaked in the view from this relatively remote peak, and reminisced on many adventures as I looked out at the familiar mountains that bless my island home. The return journey took me closer to 2 hours, as I hit a bad patch of scrub (my bad... Although, I did stumble across a water bottle in the scrub!), and it was generally more uphill on the way back. I set up camp and was in the tent, cooking dinner and watching the sun set by 5:30pm.

Frozen pools.

Mt Emmett a.k.a A Bit ol' Pile o' Rocks.

With a splendid view!

The Brussel Sprout.

On track.

A perfect house for a bird?

Looking to Mt Inglis.

Fury Divide tarn.

Mt Inglis is ace!

Remote rubbish.

This is actually the colour I witnessed!!

Day 3
I slept in til 7:00am! A quick breakfast and then pack-up had me heading off by 7:45am. I went back up onto the scree and towards the Barn Bluff track, where I dropped my bag and scooted up to the summit. The lakes to the south were glistening beautifully in the morning sun and I chilled on the top for ages before realising that I should probably head back. Once I was back at my pack I headed towards to the overland track, and then went north along the western flank of Cradle Mountain. Just before I got to Kitchen Hut I left my pack and zipped up Cradle, passing the morning pilgrimage of people heading up for the beautiful summit view. Once I reached the top there was only one other person, so it was pretty quiet for the 20 minutes I spent on the top. I passed about 15 people heading up as I jumped down off the mountain, glad I got up there when I did. I walked back to my car via the goat track, and passed a few familiar faces (Ranger Jimmy and Ranger Rhys) along the way. I was back at my car by 1:30pm, utterly satisfied with my time in this beautiful place.

Morning bliss.

The path up Barn.

A beaut view.

I could've spent hours on top.


The old track up Cradle Mountain.

A glimpse east.

Looking down from the summit of this Tasmanian icon.

Kitchen Hut.

5 left!!!