Stuart and Nev started the day very early with a 6am trip back to climb Barn Bluff. They reached the base of the rocky dolerite dome but were not able to reach the summit due to very cold wind, mist and no visibility. After returning for breakfast we all set off to take the side trip to Lake Will. Walking was much easier today and the lake, while windy, was a pleasant lunch spot. Stuart and Glenn added a further few km to go to Innes Falls at the western end of the lake. They were rewarded with a 20m cascade into a pool.
Distance: 7.8km Time: 2.5-3.5 hours Terrain: Undulating over the buttongrass plains, heathlands, alpine lakes and tarns. Track Surface: Natural surface (rock, gravel), planking, duckboard and cordwood. Compared with the previous day’s big climb up to Marions Lookout and across the highest part of the Overland Track, the walk to Lake Windermere is relatively flat and leisurely – but still above 1000 metres in elevation. In the first half hour you’ll walk through heathland and alpine gums as you skirt the rim of the spectacular Waterfall Valley cirque. After rain, you can hear several waterfalls far below. About an hour down the track you’ll reach the junction to Lake Will. This is a popular side trip, where many people choose to lunch on the lake’s shore, beneath the backdrop of Barn Bluff. From Lake Will to Lake Windermere you’ll feel on top of the world as you travel high across the plateau. In clear weather there are expansive views to the east and west of the tarn-studded alpine moors. As you approach Lake Windermere, climb the small knoll for views down to the lake. Windermere Hut is just beyond the lake, at the edge of a myrtle forest. Tent platforms are located either side of the hut, amongst gnarly snow peppermints and graceful pandanis, with Lake Windermere visible in the distance. OPTIONAL SIDE TRIP Lake Will A short walk along timber planking leads to this lovely alpine lake, fringed with ancient pencil pines and a thin rind of quartzite sand, with Barn Bluff as a dramatic backdrop. On the way, you’ll pass several mounds of gravel – these are the remains of 1890s coal mining by Joseph Wills. Lake Will is a popular lunch spot. Distance: 3km return Time: 1 hour return Grade: Easy A further 3km return trip takes you to Innes Falls where the water from Lake Will drains.