Cradle summit route - currently do-able?

Discussion specifically about the Overland Track should be posted in this subforum, including side trips and the Cradle Mountain day walk area. Alternative access routes and connecting routes belong in the parent forum.

Cradle summit route - currently do-able?

Postby aarob » Wed 14 Aug, 2019 2:21 pm

Hey!
With loads of snow recently has anyone been to the top? I’m going Friday, weather depending. Have microspikes packed and really want to summit it in the snow after an unsuccessful attempt a month or so ago. Expecting/hoping it to be relatively hardcore! What do you reckon?

Thanks, Andy.
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Re: Cradle summit route - currently do-able?

Postby MountainMadness » Wed 14 Aug, 2019 4:15 pm

Of course its doable, but...….

Climbers and mountaineers have proved nearly anything is doable - it all depends on your experience, gear, weather and mountain conditions...…… We climbed in last Friday in very snowy/icy conditions, but had crampons, ice axe and a fair bit of climbing and mountaineering experience under our belt. Saying this the climb was very straight forward and we ended up putting our ice axes away, but found the crampons handy (micro-spikes may have been a little sketchy in the conditions we had - some icy sections).

Having been back on the mainland since Sunday I can't vouch for current conditions. Only kind of steep parts are the bits immediately below the CM/Smithies Pk saddle - west side can be a little sketchy if there is ice on the rocks and the east side has a snow chute which you need to traverse across which can get icy. Photos below (note these are conditions LAST Friday, things may have changed.

Note we had great weather at the time of climbing Cradle Mt – the following day (Saturday) weather conditions climbing Ossa were much worse (blizzard), which made climbing much harder.

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Icy rocks approaching the saddle (west side of CM)


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Looking NE at saddle, snow chute seen bottom centre


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Looking S from Smithies Pk, snow chute seen bottom left


P1060102.JPG
Nice photo
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Re: Cradle summit route - currently do-able?

Postby aarob » Wed 14 Aug, 2019 8:56 pm

Excellent, thanks so much for the info and photos. Noted from last Friday.
Turned back last time as it was super icey with less snow cover approaching the saddle. The crux appeared to be a large iced boulder which felt faaarr too risky to climb considering a decent potential fall. It was a combination of just the wrong ingredients to summit. Hopefully this time will be a success.
Thanks mate.
See you at the top.
Andy
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Re: Cradle summit route - currently do-able?

Postby Petew » Wed 14 Aug, 2019 9:30 pm

Great photos, looks like it was a magical day.
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Re: Cradle summit route - currently do-able?

Postby johnw » Wed 14 Aug, 2019 9:36 pm

Petew wrote:Great photos, looks like it was a magical day.

Agreed. I've only been up there sans snow and ice, and wouldn't try these conditions, but it looks absolutely stunning :).
John W

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Re: Cradle summit route - currently do-able?

Postby iTool » Thu 15 Aug, 2019 7:25 pm

Hoping to summit on Saturday as part of the upper lake circuit, but will have to see what it's like when I'm there. Sunday sees the start of forecast snow for at least 4 days.
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Re: Cradle summit route - currently do-able?

Postby iTool » Fri 16 Aug, 2019 7:43 pm

How did you go Andy?
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Re: Cradle summit route - currently do-able?

Postby iTool » Sat 17 Aug, 2019 6:38 pm

I summited today. Lots of snow up there (covering pretty much all the talus) but no ice. Would have preferred an ice axe rather than just hiking poles for some of the steeper slopes...

Two other parties summited around the same time - one guy in shorts! None had any traction aids to my surprise. I was glad to be wearing microspikes.

I saw some ski tracks up top and was mighty confused, but as I descended I caught up with one of the other parties who saw two skiers up top starting to descend off the side. I never saw them so they must have committed to their plan.
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Re: Cradle summit route - currently do-able?

Postby north-north-west » Sat 17 Aug, 2019 6:54 pm

iTool wrote:I saw some ski tracks up top and was mighty confused, but as I descended I caught up with one of the other parties who saw two skiers up top starting to descend off the side. I never saw them so they must have committed to their plan.


There's a steep sloping ramp to the south that leads into the saddle between Cradle and Benson. Climbable, and skiable with enough snow. Most likely way up and down for a skier. Wonder if anyone else on this forum has used it?
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