Today was great. Up early, charge the camera, breaky, coffee, and then got ready for the walks. It was hard to know what to take. Firstly, I really wish I’d packed that backpack of mine. Instead, I used the tank-bag with shoulder strap. It clearly wasn’t ideal, but it was OK. The forecast was clear with a possible light shower. Shorts it was though – I can layer up on the top half if necessary – and I’d wear my army-GP like motorcycle boots: nice & comfy with lots of protection. I’m the first to admit that I wasn’t properly prepared for a genuine hike, so I decided to just wing it. I had water, snacks, sunscreen, warm layers, and a rain coat (from the bike).
I headed down to the Visitors’ Centre for the 8:20 bus and got off again at Ronny Creek. Taking the Overland Track I wanted to get to Marion’s Lookout, then I’d make my way down to Dove Lake and do a lap.
No wombats out at this time of the day though – in fact, I’d see nothing until later this arvo.
First past Crater Lake, then up the hill to the lookout.
Some bugger was having fun with the signs. A notice that Marion’s was 2 mins away turned into 20-30 mins, and several times at that!
… and the first close-up view of Cradle Mountain:
And the other views – Dove Lake and Lake Lilla:
There were a few others up there at the same time, some of which were intending to climb the summit of the mountain. When I visited the info centre yesterday the ranger did suggest doing what was called the Face Track which runs along the length of the mountain. It did look a little daunting, but hey – I’d likely never be doing this again. So, I changed direction and headed off to the base of the mountain. This walk was relatively easy, passing snow along the way.
I turned left (east) for the Face Track and fook me – it got hard really quick. Lots of climbing over rocks, up, down, loose, wet. I plodded on trying not to rush it – I had plenty of time. I did contemplate going back, but took it as more of a personal challenge. I did want the exercise after all. I’m very glad I had my boots on as I’m sure they saved me from at least a rolled ankle and maybe worse.
Hard work, but worth it – I got a view of the mountain I’m sure is only bested by doing the summit. There are tracks that go beyond to the east that apparently offer an even better view, but not for this little black duck.
Here’s a marked up map of my trek – follow the yellow dots.
On the way down to Lake Wilks I passed 2 gents heading the other way – they were even less prepared than I was – T-shirts, sneakers, and not carrying much that I could tell. They told me they were going to the summit. They were fitter than me, but I knew they’d be exhausted just getting to the base.
I eventually got down to Dove Lake with my knees suffering the most, and the quads a close second. I had an early dinner and likely to have a dessert of a fistful of ibuprofen methinks to help me sleep.