First Mount Emmett, then Barn Bluff... the sketchy (ish) way

As usual, we woke to cloud, mist and fog. But least it wasn’t raining today. Yet.

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.

404 Overland Not Found

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!

This walk was part of a multiple, multi-day series where I walked the Overland Track and tried to climb as many mountains as I could along the way.

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.

A misty start to the day

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.

Mount Emmett

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

Mount Emmett - look at all those rocks to climb (not taken from the top of the hill I'm just talking about)

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!

Mount Emmett's 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.

Barn Bluff

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!

Barn Bluff - the harder way

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.

Hello Cradle - I see you

Right below me was the best named lake in Tasmania - which I’d be swimming in the very next day

Lake Will

It was so lovely up there, I even cracked out a panorama shot - which never seem to show the majesty of the view properly.

Panorama time

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.

Barn Bluff going to sleep

Trip map2


Day’s stats:

Elevation map



  1. It would be much harder if it was wet. The rocks would be very slippery ↩︎

  2. © OpenStreetMap contributors terms ↩︎