November 8, 2001

Cradle Mountain Area Day Walk

Marian Harradine 
We left the Dove Lake carpark at 12.20 to walk the circuit of Mt Campbell, Hanson's Peak, the face track around Cradle Mt and to the top of Cradle Mt. The weather was fining up after rain earlier in the day.
The climb up to the shoulder of Mt. Campbell and Hanson's Peak was quite steep but not very long. We decided to skip Mt Campbell, but after ten minutes or so climbing toward's Hanson's Peak, we changed our minds as it was clear then for views, and might not be so when we got to Cradle Mt. We went back along the saddle between the two mountains to the start of the track up to it.

We decided to stop and have lunch in a sheltered spot before the final ascent. While we were looking for one I nearly stepped on a neatly folded large black snake. We moved away a bit from him and enjoyed lunch. It took about twenty minutes to get to the top of Mt Campbell from the saddle, getting there at about 1.50. The views were great, surprisingly so. It was well worthwhile going there.
Some of the main mountains were, starting from Cradle Mt clockwise, Mt Inglis,Granite Tor, Marion's Lookout, Mt Beecroft, Black Bluff Range, Mt Roland, Western Bluff, Clumner Bluff, Mt Pillinger, Mt Oakleigh, Pelion East, Mt Ossa and Mt Emmet.
Mt Campbell is a very bare mountain, very smooth grey rock gives it a grey look. When we were looking at it from across the valley the next day it reminded me of a whale.
We also saw what looked like Frenchman's Cap in the distance, south west, with two blobs of snow looking like two eyes. This was found to be right when we got to the top of Cradle Mountain later and where there was a large dial giving the names of mountains and their distance away.
We headed down after some time and climbed over the top of Hansons Peak and over towards the north eastern side of Cradle Mt. Lovely views on both sides of the shoulder of lake Dove and Twisted Lakes and further vistas.
We followed the face track deciding that if we got to the start of the Cradle Mountain ascent by 4.30 we would climb it. This we did, getting there just before that time. We climbed Cradle Mountain, one hour up and 40 minutes down and twenty minutes there. It was lovely to have the views and the dial I mentioned earlier to identify the mountains. Barn Bluff looked pretty inviting to walk to.
We descended and got to Kitchen Hut at about 6.30. It was freezing cold as it always seems to be at Kitchen Hut, and we met an older German couple who were staying in there for the night.
When we looked back we found that Cradle Mountain had mist all over the top so we were very blessed that it was clear while we were there.
We returned via Marion's Lookout and arrived at the car park at Dove Lake by 7.45. It was a cold evening, 6 degrees. A very satisfying 7½ hours.

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