December 22nd, 2009 – by: andrewpd
Today we stop off at the starting location of the world famous overland track, and our first really time to go hiking in Tassy's wilderness, which took far too long considering Tassie is considered Australia's hiking mecca, but never the less we are finally here. much to my despair i am told we are going to do a hike around a lake then take the long route up to a look out and back down. i beg our tour operator to let me do a harder hike, and she finally lets me. two of my friends, jin and liz, decide to join me.
the first leg of the hike is the most interesting, fun and hardest part, it actually requires us to use chains that have been bolted into the side of the mountain to pull ourselves up. we make excellent time and beat the rest of the group to the lookout.
we decide to head to the summit because we are so far ahead of the group, but as we approach the summit we get caught in a storm. Tassie is known as the place where even in summer you can have four seasons in a day, and our group was only carrying light rain gear, summer wear and a couple of day packs with water. luckily i had my trusty shamwow! and used it as a bandanna to keep my ears from freezing . we didn't get snow because we were too high up, when the storm rolled in we were in the clouds, so the temperature dropped a crazy amount and made the climb to the summit (which is really really steep the last 100m) impossible without someone getting hurt. so we decided to do part of the overland track to get us back down the mountain in a safer way.
i am not sure if the whole overland track is that flat and just follows the spine of the mountain range but i hope not as the rest of the days hike was fairly uneventful.
along the trail still with the group
we finished the day with 4 or 5 hours of hiking under hour belts which is not bad when you are on a tour, and 100m away from the summit of cradle mountain.
the next day we returned and the tour operator again let me do a harder hike, though she was apprehensive about it as she had never done it before. this hike was even better then the first days, as there were no chains this time to help you get to the look out, you actually had to rock climb up the face of the mountain a couple times. the day was perfect for climbing to the top of a mountain not a cloud in the sky and a nice light breeze. to one side was dove lake and on the other was twisted lakes, then adjacent to us was this mountain that is 1 Billion years old, that's right 1 billion. one day i want to climb that mountain.