Penguin Cradle Trail October 2021

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Penguin Cradle Trail October 2021

Postby safari » Tue 05 Oct, 2021 1:32 pm

Just rolled off the PCT, Southbound over the first 5 days of October.
This was my second time thru hiking the trail, the first time nearly 5 years ago.
I'm pumped to say that track signage, conditions and alignment have been massively improved compared to earlier years but not at the expense of a truly wild experience.

The new re-route that cuts out Walloa Creek and the pine plantation pushes you down, down, down a super steep hillside straight into Wings Wildlife Park which worked out fantastic as it bowled me in right on 10am, opening time for the cafe.

The track alongside Leven River is unrecognisable thinking back to the impediments the 2016 floods left the trail in. Smooth and fun wandering next to that lovely river.

The scorparia I remembered up on the high plains between Bare Mountain and Four-ways has been burnt out?
Definitely didn't miss ripping through chest high pricklyness but not sure if a lightening strike banged that lot out.

The dense scrub leading into and out of Four-Ways campsite has been chopped back allowing far easier access.

Thank you very much NWWC volunteers, much appreciated!
Legends. Seriously.

The trail still kicked my butt numerous times with the climb up out if the Leven River and down to the gorge and the belting rain and crazy strong winds making things on Day 4 feel much like type 2 fun.

Just my thoughts before they get murky.

Solitude. Swimming in the Leven. Slipping and falling continually between Paddy's Lake and Cradle Village due to the dumping of rain churning down the trail.

No huts meant no people and another raw experience.
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Re: Penguin Cradle Trail October 2021

Postby Tortoise » Tue 05 Oct, 2021 1:43 pm

Hey there Safari. Sounds like a trip! Thanks for the report and the feedback on the track.
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Re: Penguin Cradle Trail October 2021

Postby L_Cham_67 » Tue 05 Oct, 2021 2:12 pm

That Walloa Creek/pine plantation track diversion must be pretty recent, 1 year ago we had to walk that stretch.
I assume not much has changed in regard to the landslip in Leven Canyon?
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Re: Penguin Cradle Trail October 2021

Postby safari » Tue 05 Oct, 2021 3:43 pm

Thanks for the positive words Tortoise. ✌️
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Re: Penguin Cradle Trail October 2021

Postby safari » Tue 05 Oct, 2021 3:49 pm

L_Cham_67 wrote:That Walloa Creek/pine plantation track diversion must be pretty recent, 1 year ago we had to walk that stretch.
I assume not much has changed in regard to the landslip in Leven Canyon?


I believe it was completed in May this year? I was curious over 2nd breakfast at Wings and googled away as you do...looks like it was a work in progress disrupted by the 'thing' last year and finally finished up.

Leven Canyon still had a few blowdowns and spicy Western Arthur's type moments but none of the major landslides that were prevalent previously. I couldn't believe how uplifting the walking was honestly. The few hundred metres before the rope haul around the slippery rocks was probably the worst of it.
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Re: Penguin Cradle Trail October 2021

Postby safari » Wed 13 Oct, 2021 4:22 am

the worst thing that can happen to a man, is he becomes civilised
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Re: Penguin Cradle Trail October 2021

Postby headwerkn » Wed 13 Oct, 2021 8:28 am

Thanks for the trip report Safari. Hoping to fastpack the PCT this summer.
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Re: Penguin Cradle Trail October 2021

Postby EGM » Thu 21 Oct, 2021 10:52 pm

Great report.
Definitely one I'm looking forward to.
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