We packed up, and got going - again keen to get into the park before 8am and before the buses start.
Today I was off down the Overland Track and would be visiting a bunch of mountains along the way.
I’d bought a ticket - but only just.
At 9am on the 7th July, bookings opened for the Overland Track. The website promptly crashed. Hard.
After an hour and a half or so of random clicking, I did manage to get a ticket before Parks shut the whole thing down.
It was a terrible experience, but at least I had a date that I’d be starting - and that day was finally here.
So many more mountains!
Find all the walks from that series here
We pulled up at Ronnie Creek. I said goodbye to Clive and away I went.
Because I’d recently been here, for something different I took the Horse Track, and it was a nice walk - though foggy - as I slowly gained altitude.
The views were non-existant. Just mist.
But it didn’t really matter.
I was heading towards two mountains that are behind Cradle: Emmett and Barn Bluff.
Getting to Emmett isn’t … hard. It’s just a bit tedious (at times)1.
It’s not short on boulders and it’s happy to keep throwing them at you nearly every step of the climb.
I took the Overland Track past Cradle, then turned off onto the Lake Rodway Track and descended a bit.
As the track loops off towards Lake Rodway, I took the hill right in front of me and trudged up it.
The view from the top gave me a wonderful shot of Emmett - with all its boulders
And in typical fashion, the peak of Emmett is the furthest one away.
I was soon in the saddle, and making my way up toward the boulder line.
Rather than jump onto the boulders straight away, I skirted around as much as I could over the easier to walk scrub.
Eventually though, one must start bouldering - so I slowly and carefully began the climb.
After about an hour or so, I was at the peak!
After a quick snack, I turned around and started picking my way back down again. Rock after rock.
Emmett was a good mountain. It’s out of the way so I didn’t see anyone until I was back on the main track heading towards the next target of the day.
If I were to be honest (and why wouldn’t I?) I’d been looking forward to Barn Bluff most of all.
It’s a massive mountain, and because of the way it sticks up - it’s very obvious and recognisable from many other places
As soon as I got back on the Overland Track, I started running into people.
I met a trail runner who’d run up Barn Bluff and was returning home, I met another couple of walkers who were coming back from lunch on top.
It was nice to have a chat, and find out about what was to come.
As the track turned from dirt into shale rocks, it got steeper and steeper.
Eventually I found myself almost climbing - but the cairns marked the way, so I followed them.
But at one point, I must have taken a turn from the “official” track and ended up going another way.
There were still cairns, but as I edged myself out around a rather precipitous drop and climbed a series of rocks to avoid a massive chute, I realised I probably wan’t on the normal track.
I reasoned that the people I’d met coming the other way, probably would have mentioned this.
But I kept going, and eventually found myself up on top!
And of course, the views were amazing. I could see right down the valley to where I was heading and I could see where I’d come from that day.
Right below me was the best named lake in Tasmania - which I’d be swimming in the very next day
It was so lovely up there, I even cracked out a panorama shot - which never seem to show the majesty of the view properly.
With that done, I found my way back down the mountain - this time going the right way. It was much easier.
And with a hop, skip and a jump I was at Waterfall Valley Hut for the night.
- Ronny Creek to Lake Rodway turn off: 2 hours, 20 minutes
- Lake Rodway turn off to Emmett peak: 1 hour, 38 minutes (and 1 hour 40 minutes to get back)
- Barn Bluff turn off to peak: 1 hour, 20 minutes (the sketchy-ish way)
- Barn Bluff peak to turn off: 1 hour, 25 minutes
- 24 kms all up
- 1600 meters ascent