Circuit of Cradle Mt and Barn Bluff
Friday 29 February 08 to Monday 3 March 08
This was a trip that benefited greatly from being able to choose days when the weather was most favourable. We delayed a day or two until the forecast was for 4 good, mild days and after travelling to Cradle spent the remainder of the day climbing to a delightful campsite that we have used on a number
of occasions. It is a beautiful spot and we never tire of staying there. The last of the day, after a relatively early tea, was spent wondering about the pine studded area and enjoying the views of tarns, lakes, cliffs and steep valleys.
Thinking that there would be heaps of time to fit in the second day agenda meant that we did not rush away and enjoyed the calm sunny morning. Eventually the Face Track was reached and followed to the junction with the ascent of Cradle. Now it is about 20 years since last climbing this peak and my notes suggested allowing 2 hours for the return walk; but we soon discovered that the climb was harder and there are lot more big rocks to get over than our memories, and the 2 hours didn't take into account time spent enjoying the summit. Our planned camp for the night was on the western ridge of Barn Bluff and a calculation of arrival time was now 7PM, so when we did arrive there wasn't as much soaking up the scene time as hoped for, plus there was water to locate. Nevertheless the atmosphere was great and the morning was also superb.
A fabulous little knoll with birds, snow gums and low bushes encouraged us to try a more direct route to Lake Will, however eventually the Scoparia caught up with us. Beyond Innes falls we started to come upon other walkers, including several seen the previous day, as we headed for Waterfall Valley and after that down to a sheltered little campsite in Little Valley near Lake Rodway. It was here next morning that we heard a dog barking (see blog entry).
Misty clouds surrounded the Cradle peaks, giving them quite an atmosphere as they drifted away, and the reflections in Lake Rodway were a delight.
Click image below to view photos from walk or for a flashier version click here