02 June 2010

Overland Track Jan 2000 - Day 11

Cradle Mountain

The last day revealed a slight planning hitch. In dropping down to Lake Rodway, we had now given ourselves another 600 metre climb, again half with packs on. That first climb, doing mountain goat practice (the sort of place where you’d yodel if you had any breath left) along the Face Track below Little Horn, nearly finished me off. It is a very exposed area, and in the summer sun, was extremely hot. Just as I was preparing to expire, we stumbled across a stream of the coolest, freshest, most enlivening, delightful, delectable, and delicious water I had ever met. It was ... nice.

Lake Wilks and Dove Lake from the Face Track

We stumbled into Kitchen Hut, Joseph vowing he’d never climb Cradle Mountain, but after another extended lunch, including Tim Tams from some very astute and friendly people, he managed. It was the nice sort of lunch that you can have when you know that you can now finish it all off ‘cos there are no more lunches to be rationed for. An “and this mouthful’s for the emergency snow day” sort of lunch. A “we can offer you this sort of soupy thing to you, mate, and is that really a packet of Tim Tams you’re trying to finish off?” sort of lunch. Ah yes. Very astute people.
Above right: Little Horn from Cradle Summit. The track from Lake Rodway is seen snaking up from the right (so we walked around the "back" of the Horn...) Dove Lake is peeping over the left.

Cradle Mountain, whilst a climax of the walk in many ways (a “peak experience”, you might say), had the experience of it tempered by the sheer volume of people you were climbing with. I have a feeling that it is more like Uluru. Probably more interesting to go around (which we did in this case), rather than up (which we also did).

The climb back down saw the boys already at the cabin long before their bodies arrived. A shame, since the descent past Crater Lake and creek is sumptuously beautiful. But when we did arrive - aah! the showers! And then a quick 6km stroll to Cradle Chalet for dinner. Aah! the beer. Fortunately our determined march was aided by a very friendly woman with a car, a young family and lots of empathy. And then, Aah! The bed. And the sleep that hits you when you finally get to a bed after nine nights in tents. The sort of sleep that says “vinyl?, what vinyl?”. The sort of sleep that says “I’m not walking tomorrow”. The sort of sleep that says “zzzzzzzzzzz”.

As seen on Andrew Purdam's Bushwalking Treasure Box blog.

No comments:

Post a Comment