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Climbing Cradle Mountain (Tasmania travels)

Climbing Cradle Mountain (Tasmania travels)

January 2020 · 3 min read · Tasmania

Today I’m using travelfeed for the first time to document part of my recent travel experiences in Tasmania.

On January 20th mrshill and I set off on a six-day guided hike of the famous Overland Track in the Cradle Mountain national park. Cradle Mountain is not the highest mountain in Tasmania but it is the most popular side-trip on the Overland because it can be done by both day-trippers and multi-day hikers, unlike Mount Ossa (the tallest mountain) which is somewhere near the middle of the track and can only be attempted by multi-day hikers (SPOILER ALERT - I also climbed Ossa, stay tuned for more). A short walk on from Marions Lookout, multi-dayers can leave their packs in Kitchen Hut near the foot of Cradle Mountain and summit with just a day-pack. We were with a group of eight hikers and two guides. We got to Kitchen Hut at around 2pm. We were told that it would be two to three hours to the top of Cradle Mountain and then another one and a half- to two-hour walk on to camp. Three of the hikers opted out of the side-trip so they walked on with one of the guides to set up camp at Waterfall Valley.

With our day-packs on, we set off along the ‘goat track’ to the foot of the mountain.

Can you spot the other walkers coming down?

Once warmed up, I rolled up my sleeves for the mountain ‘scramble’. Before the start of the tour mrshill and I did a few other walks around Tasmania. One of those walks was Quamby Bluff, which involved quite a bit of scrambling. I felt much safer scrambling Cradle than Quamby Bluff - Cradle is a rocky mountain, whereas the challenging parts of the Quamby walk involve scrambling up precarious looking piles of boulders!

The climb features a ‘false summit’, a term new to me. One of the highlights for me was descending from the false summit and crossing over towards the real summit. Our guide told us that this was the most beautiful parts of the climb, and one that you don’t see in the postcards - I definitely agreed with him. I just loved the vegetation!

Here a few shots I took looking between the two sections:

and here was a left-over ice cap from a snow dump Cradle had in November ...

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It was reasonably slow going up to the summit - a combination of the hot conditions, the sheer number of people going up and down and stopping to take photos. At the top we enjoyed some snacks (including chocolate) and water, and took in the awesome views.

The mountain you see here is called Barn Bluff

This little side trip was well worth the effort (although I didn’t really enjoy having to put my pack back on when we got back to Kitchen Hut to walk to camp!!). Thanks for reading.

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