Cradle walks in August

Discussion specifically about the Overland Track should be posted in this subforum, including side trips and the Cradle Mountain day walk area. Alternative access routes and connecting routes belong in the parent forum.

Cradle walks in August

Postby iTool » Sat 13 Jul, 2019 9:41 pm

Hi all,

Heading to Tassie for the first time, and will be staying at Cradle for a couple of nights mid-August. Got a few questions for those who know the area well.

1. Summitting Cradle at that time of the year - feasible? Microspikes or crampons necessary? Verglas on rocks? Stupid idea for a solo day trip? I see the summit track runs up the west side, so I'm guess it only thaws out mid-late morning if at all?
2. Other walks around there with wife and little one in tow e.g. lake circuit, Hanson's peak - slippery enough (or sections that are steep enough) to make microspikes a necessity? Does the lake boardwalk ice up deeper than any chicken wire?

We've previously spent a couple of years hiking and scrambling in the Canadian Rockies (year round) but that was a few years ago so we're probably a little rusty in winter conditions now. We always went in groups as well, so we had support if conditions suddenly went to *&%$#!.

I stupidly sold off my microspikes and ice axe before returning to Oz, thinking I'd never need them again...
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Re: Cradle walks in August

Postby Xastorm » Sun 14 Jul, 2019 2:32 am

I just spent 9 days hiking through there are didn’t take my micro spikes off once, plus used poles. Very icey conditions around Cradle!

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Re: Cradle walks in August

Postby iTool » Sun 14 Jul, 2019 8:29 am

Xastorm wrote:I just spent 9 days hiking through there are didn’t take my micro spikes off once, plus used poles. Very icey conditions around Cradle!


Well that definitely answers the question about traction aides...

Thanks!
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Re: Cradle walks in August

Postby north-north-west » Sun 14 Jul, 2019 12:15 pm

Cradle can be done in winter, but it depends on the conditions on the day. There are a lot of big boulders on the ascent track and some big gaps between those boulders, so it's not a place to be taking chances. Still worth going up onto the plateau even if you don't summit.

Dove Lake circuit is usually fine year round, ditto the forest tracks at both Waldheim and Pencil Pine. Cradle Valley boardwalk may have snow over sections. Lilla and Wombat Pool tracks will have a fair bit of ice. Crater Falls won't be too bad but there will probably be ice near the lake. Hansons and Twisted Lakes will have ice and possibly snow. Face Track will almost definitely have snow. Wilks track will have some ice.

Microspikes are worth their weight in diamonds this time of year.
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Re: Cradle walks in August

Postby iTool » Sun 14 Jul, 2019 10:33 pm

north-north-west wrote:Cradle can be done in winter, but it depends on the conditions on the day. There are a lot of big boulders on the ascent track and some big gaps between those boulders, so it's not a place to be taking chances. Still worth going up onto the plateau even if you don't summit.

Dove Lake circuit is usually fine year round, ditto the forest tracks at both Waldheim and Pencil Pine. Cradle Valley boardwalk may have snow over sections. Lilla and Wombat Pool tracks will have a fair bit of ice. Crater Falls won't be too bad but there will probably be ice near the lake. Hansons and Twisted Lakes will have ice and possibly snow. Face Track will almost definitely have snow. Wilks track will have some ice.

Microspikes are worth their weight in diamonds this time of year.


Thanks for the detailed response. I've just ordered some pairs of Grivel microspikes, will be interesting to see how they compare to the Hillsound Ultras and Kahtoolas that I've worn before.

I guess I'll set some objectives based on conditions when I get there, though I'm expecting that more ice will have built up over the next month.
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Re: Cradle walks in August

Postby Petew » Tue 06 Aug, 2019 6:14 pm

Just finished the OT. Microspikes are an essential bit of gear this time of year.

Cradle mountain and mt Ossa were a no go when we went past but we did get up Pelion east, very nice.
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Re: Cradle walks in August

Postby iTool » Wed 07 Aug, 2019 7:16 pm

Petew wrote:Cradle mountain and mt Ossa were a no go when we went past


Thanks, out of interest what factored into your decision for Cradle?
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Re: Cradle walks in August

Postby Petew » Thu 08 Aug, 2019 7:17 am

Started at 11.30am. packs were full so decided discretion was the better part of Valor.

Mt Ossa looked to have a great snow chute to die on and timing again so up Pelion east instead.
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Re: Cradle walks in August

Postby Xastorm » Fri 09 Aug, 2019 5:06 pm

How was your walk Pete??
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Re: Cradle walks in August

Postby Petew » Sat 10 Aug, 2019 1:50 pm

Fantastic! The walk was flatter than expected and stunning. Weather was good, hardly any rain. Only saw seven other walkers all week. Only had to share a hut once (new Pelion). Temperature was pretty mild.

Packs were reasonably light considering eight days worth of food and a bottle of cinnamon whiskey. Plus microspikes, winter clothing, walking poles etc...16kg at the start.

Would have liked one more day to explore waterfall valley. Good excuse to go back I guess.

I also really enjoyed and savoured every minute of the walk along lake St Clair.

D&M were fantastic and friendly hosts too.

Now to start planning the next winter adventure. Probably Cape Wrath trail in Scotland or maybe a North to South Iceland epic.

Some photos
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Kitchen hut
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Barn Bluff
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Old Waterfall valley hut, the other one was full of builders
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Lake Will, frozen
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Du Cane? hut
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Pelion east, really nice spot.
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Me, stinking like fresh yak vomit after eight days in the same clothes. The smell probably explains the odd expression. At Echo Point
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Re: Cradle walks in August

Postby Orion » Sat 10 Aug, 2019 4:29 pm

Nice photos! Thanks.
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Re: Cradle walks in August

Postby vagrom » Sat 10 Aug, 2019 5:06 pm

Great photos. I didn't know there was an angle that gives Barn Bluff the famed pyramid shape of Gould.
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Re: Cradle walks in August

Postby Petew » Sat 10 Aug, 2019 5:23 pm

Yeah, just near the old hut, that's the creek next to it but maybe 20 meters away. It was a good sunset and a super clear night. Best night for stars.
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Re: Cradle walks in August

Postby Petew » Sat 10 Aug, 2019 5:46 pm

Couple more pikkys
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Sunny but cold at Pelion gap.
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Looks like a prison, but cozy. Echo Point hut. No rats marauding during the night though we did see one poke it's head out next to the steps.
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Nice plants whose name escapes me but look like they belong somewhere tropical.
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Re: Cradle walks in August

Postby Xastorm » Sun 11 Aug, 2019 6:41 pm

That’s awesome Pete, and sensational photos. You really capture the magic of the area.
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Re: Cradle walks in August

Postby Mark F » Sun 11 Aug, 2019 7:19 pm

Petew wrote:Nice plants whose name escapes me but look like they belong somewhere tropical.

Pandani (Richea pandanifolia) Related to scoparia.
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