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!!!



  1. 5 left!!! Those exclamation marks are gathering I see:)
    You picked perfect weather days for this special area and the photos a magical again.
    I think you were about 7 or 8 years old when you first climbed Cradle, no doubt with the same big grin on your face!!
    Well done Son!!!!

  2. What a great effort in your usual effortless style!! Such beautiful photos makes me want to do it all too!!

  3. Hi Zane,
    I have been following your adventure with great excitement! (I met you in Paddy Pallin last year) Guess what?! That drink bottle is mine! I lost it in that exact scrub last Spring (had to return to my camp at Fury Divide because of it, only to summit the next morning) What are the chances?! Anyway, all the best with your last Abel, should be a dawdle for you, considering the Abels you have done!
    Charles B