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Cradle Mountain - Tasmania (Continued)

Climbers negotiate the boulders

Climbers negotiate some boulders on the climb. Soon they'll be looking for the next hand-hold as the terrain becomes more difficult.

Young, fresh and fit, you could do this climb in under an hour. It took me ninety photographs - at least that's my excuse for the 2 hours of my journey up the slope. But I have to say that although there was a certain amount of agony, the ecstasy of reaching the top was exhilerating. But don't be dis-heartened by the false top. You reach what appears to be a crest, only to be confronted with another depression filled with rock and the last steep climb is still in front of you.

But if I can make it, almost anyone can. Some climbers did turn back, some declared the first crest "the top". But the final effort makes it all worthwhile:

Rob from Melbourne writes: "Over the years I have been lucky enough to have hiked a fair bit around Victoria, a lot of high country, staying In cattlemen's huts and pitching the tent if required. I have been able to carry enough supplies to stay out for up to ten nights at a time. I used to supplement my diet with the odd trout. I could tickle a trout out of the mountain stream and throw him straight into a holding pond I had made - not allowed to do that now. Wonderful country we live in, and it's not until you visit and start walking in Tasmania that you get close to what must be considered hikers HEAVEN. As for the Cradle Mountain Overland Track walk (including Pine Valley on the way) IT'S A MUST. My American friends who flew out to walk with me could not believe how such a lovely place like this could exist without a multi story accommodation block at every turn. They could not thank me enough for sharing this and a couple other walks In Tasmania with them. They wanted me to set up a guided walk/hiking business so they could advise their American friends to get on down there, but I was to busy doing other things, SILLY BOY I was. I still enjoy a trip back to Tas but my hiking days are over. It's the sort of place you can go to twenty times and still find something fantastic"

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