Current track conditions

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Current track conditions

Postby Petew » Mon 29 Jul, 2019 10:34 am

Anyone been up on the plateau/Cradle mountain in the last couple of days?

Heading there tomorrow and wanted to get an idea of track conditions.

I spoke to the ranger but they weren't sure.
Cheers,

Pete
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Re: Current track conditions

Postby MountainMadness » Tue 06 Aug, 2019 10:34 am

I know Pete didn't have any traction here last time - just following up in case someone has recently been up there and have an idea on current conditions? Going there on the weekend and was toying with the idea to take or leave snow shoes...… I think this 'Arctic Blast' is going to be passing through over the next few days so am thinking that they actually might be worthwhile (last time I went through there in August sinking in knee to waist deep snow up in the Cradle Plateau was a bit of a mission).

Will post an update here on Monday anyway for other people's info...

Thanks
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Re: Current track conditions

Postby Petew » Tue 06 Aug, 2019 6:04 pm

Just finished today. Had great weather.

This week is quite snowy so I would suggest taking them.

We went past cradle last Tuesday and there was a reasonable amount of snow but frozen solid so we just walked over it, no post holing.

We had no rain at all apart from today walking along lake St Clair and even some blue skies. Only saw seven other walkers all week! Only had to share one hut too.
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Re: Current track conditions

Postby MountainMadness » Wed 07 Aug, 2019 12:31 pm

Thanks Pete - yeah its nice doing it in winter for the solitude! One of the main reasons why we do it then! (and we like snow)!

Haven't been for a fair few years, do the huts still have gas heaters? I remember them being great sock and boot driers...…….
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Re: Current track conditions

Postby Petew » Wed 07 Aug, 2019 1:52 pm

No heater at old waterfall valley hut, gas heaters working at the rest. Plenty of coal at pine valley hut, no coal at echo point hut. Looks like snow all week anywhere above 1000m! Till Monday.
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Re: Current track conditions

Postby Son of a Beach » Wed 07 Aug, 2019 2:55 pm

MountainMadness wrote:Haven't been for a fair few years, do the huts still have gas heaters? I remember them being great sock and boot driers...…….


Just one of the reasons I usually avoid the huts. The fragrance of dozens of other people's smelly socks and boots wafting off the heaters all around the room.
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Re: Current track conditions

Postby MountainMadness » Sun 11 Aug, 2019 4:41 pm

Just got back today. Lots of fresh snow at the moment, snow falling even at Frog Flats (although only lightly). Very slow going over the Cradle Plateau, so snow shoes would be very handy particularly across here. Very cold up high but since there is a lot of snow we didn't have to pull out the microspikes (there was some ice on the way in Friday morning, but has since been covered with snow so not so slippery), we only had to pull out the crampons for climbing Cradle Mountain and Mt Ossa. Happy to send through photos of the conditions if requested (have to pull them off my camera first)
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Re: Current track conditions

Postby Orion » Sun 11 Aug, 2019 5:17 pm

MountainMadness wrote:Just got back today.... Happy to send through photos of the conditions if requested (have to pull them off my camera first)

Please post some photos!

And did you use snowshoes or just think they would be handy?
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Re: Current track conditions

Postby Petew » Sun 11 Aug, 2019 5:52 pm

Second request for photos, interesting to see how different the Trak conditions are ten days later.

Was a good time had?
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Re: Current track conditions

Postby MountainMadness » Sun 11 Aug, 2019 8:51 pm

No we didn’t have snow shoes but it would have made it much easier for us to traverse the Cradle Plateau in some sections if we had (some deep areas of snow made for some slow progress). Yes a very good time was had! (we love the solitude of walking in the quiet season and the snow - why we go in winter!).

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Climbing Ossa in a blizzard (just before climbing the snow chute


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Descending from Pelion Gap (on way back to Pelion Hut


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Somewhere near Lake Holmes


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Waterfall Valley Hut


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Southern part of Cradle Plateau


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Descent through the 'forest' near the Fury River headwaters


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No-mans-land, heading towards Kitchen Hut


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Cradle Mountain summit trailhead


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Kitchen Hut
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Re: Current track conditions

Postby Petew » Mon 12 Aug, 2019 6:31 am

Looks awesome! We only had microspikes so weren't keen to try the snow chute up My Ossa, looked a lot like the slippery dip of death.

Not sure the Camo is 100% effective in the snow :)
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Re: Current track conditions

Postby MountainMadness » Mon 12 Aug, 2019 9:41 am

Ha yep the Australian Army does do some good wet weather gear but unfortunately the decor doesn’t cater for such conditions…….. Yes you definitely want to be prepared and experienced climbing in those conditions – we didn’t really effectively use our ice axes (there was enough snow cover) but they were good to have for piece of mind if self-arrest was required.

Ok, figured the photos I sent yesterday were a little doom and gloom – we had fantastic weather walking in on Friday (and climbing Cradle) as well as clearing up yesterday late morning on the way down from the Cradle Plateau!

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Crater Lake at sunrise (Friday morning)


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Cradle Mt, from Marion Lookout (Friday morning)


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Descending Cradle Mountain (Friday morning)


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Crater Lake (Sunday morning)
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Re: Current track conditions

Postby Orion » Mon 12 Aug, 2019 9:47 am

Beautiful shots, thank you. And it sounds like the postholing fell into the category of annoying rather than debilitating. There's always that trade-off with gear and weight, especially when you'll only need an item briefly if at all. I imagine you were happy to not be carrying snowshoes the rest of the time.

But aren't those red snowshoes on the packs of two of you?
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Re: Current track conditions

Postby MountainMadness » Mon 12 Aug, 2019 12:30 pm

Regarding postholing, generally yes but from time to time after the 5th or 10th consecutive knee or deeper step it would have fallen into the debilitating realm (although this probably only was on say 15-20 locations and only over relatively small stretches, say 10-20m, so we gritted out teeth and pushed through). Hit the nail on the head regarding being happy not to be carrying snow shoes - probably only 5ks out of our 90ks would have been better with snow shoes than without so it definitely would have been annoying carrying them (particularly due to snow shoes likely hindering all the bending/weaving around fallen down trees from last months storm - there were heaps of these!)

Haha so your keen eye picked on the red 'snow shoes' - one of the boys tried their hand in making their own (made from aircraft material off-cuts). Despite my major doubts, they actually held up ok but definitely but needed some re-design work on the strapping and probably needed some more surface area contact (sunk in too much). We temporarily stored them under the emergency shelter on the south side of the Cradle Plateau, and picked them up on the way back through yesterday. I have a feeling that a much improved 2nd Generation home made snow shoe may come out to play next time we are up in the high country...…...
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Re: Current track conditions

Postby Petew » Mon 12 Aug, 2019 12:55 pm

Yeah, the downed trees were super annoying. Slowed us down a bit.
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Re: Current track conditions

Postby Orion » Mon 12 Aug, 2019 5:31 pm

Thanks again you guys for the information and the photos. Much appreciated.
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Re: Current track conditions

Postby Orion » Sat 24 Aug, 2019 8:21 pm

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Thu 18 Aug
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Re: Current track conditions

Postby Petew » Sat 24 Aug, 2019 9:19 pm

Du Cane hut? Marvelous! Many trees down?

What were things like higher up?

Lovely photo.
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Re: Current track conditions

Postby ILUVSWTAS » Sun 25 Aug, 2019 4:55 am

Petew wrote:Du Cane hut? Marvelous! Many trees down?

What were things like higher up?

Lovely photo.



Came off the track yesterday. Sooooo many trees down. Pelion Gap from Pelion is a mess. A few on the Ducane gap too. Snow wasn't too bad on the gap but too our amazement there was a steady dump all the way from KO to Narcissus. The forest from the Ducane Gap to BN was beautiful under a decent layer of snow.
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Re: Current track conditions

Postby Hot073 » Sun 25 Aug, 2019 5:03 pm

Friday 23/8
Walked from Ronny Creek to Waterfall Valley,used snowshoes from Kitchen Hut to Waterfall Valley Hut,blowing a gale on the Cirque!
Walked out Saturday 24/8 and snow was softening and turning to slush,went via Rodway Track and Hansons Peak this time.
Feel sorry for the Overlanders hiking up out of Rodway this year,hard enough going down with a heavy pack let alone climbing back out the next morning!
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Re: Current track conditions

Postby Petew » Sun 25 Aug, 2019 6:23 pm

ILUVSWTAS wrote:
Petew wrote:Du Cane hut? Marvelous! Many trees down?

What were things like higher up?

Lovely photo.



Came off the track yesterday. Sooooo many trees down. Pelion Gap from Pelion is a mess. A few on the Ducane gap too. Snow wasn't too bad on the gap but too our amazement there was a steady dump all the way from KO to Narcissus. The forest from the Ducane Gap to BN was beautiful under a decent layer of snow.


Yeah, it was bad with downed trees when we went early August, must be more down with all that snow. Makes for slow going.
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Re: Current track conditions

Postby Orion » Fri 30 Aug, 2019 11:54 am

I'll bet there weren't any more or less downed trees. Annoying, and really only an issue because of the mindset that it's the OLT. If it were just about anywhere else in Tasmania you'd just expect it.


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Re: Current track conditions

Postby Petew » Sat 31 Aug, 2019 11:01 am

Nice photo.
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Re: Current track conditions - WOJ

Postby Orbita_Serenitatem » Mon 09 Sep, 2019 9:38 pm

Great set of photos, MountainMadness
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Re: Current track conditions

Postby cirquitry » Wed 11 Sep, 2019 9:59 am

Was up there 3 weeks ago, we didn't require snowshoes, duckboards get icy so recommend spikes. Minimal snow at wild dog, 10 cm at Dixon's, 50 cm south of the Temple, probably melted now. Don't think you will need snow pegs. Enjoy.
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Re: Current track conditions

Postby dee_legg » Fri 13 Sep, 2019 7:34 am

As of yesterday, the going across the Cradle Plateau is pretty good with some rotten snow drifts hanging around between Marion’s LO and the Scott Kilvert turn off. Lots of post holing if you don’t choose the right line but none of the sections are long enough to warrant snowshoes.
There are some fancy new toilets at Waterfall Valley and the heater isn’t working at Windemere. Can’t offer anymore intel as I turned around at this point.
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Re: Current track conditions

Postby Petew » Fri 13 Sep, 2019 10:47 am

Was there maybe a month ago, they were building the toilets still and the hut was full of builders.

The heater at Windemere was acting up when we were there. Sometimes it would start and sometimes not. Had to use a taper to light it.
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