Julie, Lyn, Jim and I
So I always thought it odd there were some great canyons running off the Blue Mts Plateau on the North side of the Highway but not much to the South. Sure there was Empress, which is stunning, but I thought it an oddity in among the micro canyons, steep cracks and more open V-gullys running into the valleys on the south side.
Awhile ago I heard rumours that something else had been found but was vague on details. Then the 5th edition Jamieson guide came out with a brief description of the awesomely named “Great Uncle George” Canyon and I’ve been keen to check it out but just hadn’t gotten around to it.
Hey Julie, texts I, U off on ANZAC day? though my spelling and typing is even worse on text.
Sure am, says she or something to that effect and we hatch a plan to visit Old Uncle Georgeyboy. She contacts Jim who pioneered a different exit up an easy ridge back to Ingar Fire trail which makes a very short car shuffle or negates the need for one altogether if you don’t mind a bit of boring fire trail walking at the end.
Jim and his wife Lyn are keen to come along, even better.
Ed can’t make it as he is busy doing family stuff, which is a bummer. As I know he was keen to check it out too.
Tal was keen but when I woke him up at the crack of 7:45am he groaned, rolled over and pulled his covers over his head… Um OK. Julie shows up we stash gear and head up to meet the Cooks at the car park.
It’s a short walk in… if you veer through the private property but it may be best to skirt around the outside, avoiding the swamp and neighboring gully. Up top it’s a bit of an erosion scar. A trail dozed down towards the cliff edge must surely be an old fire break as it’s too steep for a standard 4WD.
Anyhoo we reach the abseil point. Jim set up on the rope, backs up and with a little hop disappears. It’s funny to watch. One second he is there, there next he is not. Hopefully I can get some video together over the next week or so as I have a good clip of Lyn doing the same.
A nice overhung abseil into a awesome amphitheater. A tall waterfall plunges into a sited up hole which must once have been a very pleasant swimming hole.
A set of stairs lead back up the through the cliff line and while the rope is getting retrieved I fire off a couple of photos and head up the stairs to see where they go. A lot of work had gone into making the stairs and the trail above them. It takes me up to a little cave where more stairs are carved up the rock face to no where, as the trail continues around a nose and up above the top cliff line.
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What followed was a pleasant stroll down a very pretty creek inter-spaced with some abseils and some nice canyon sections.
More pleasant creek follows. It was mostly easy walking with a little bit of boulder hoping
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Several times the canyon threatens to form, swings around a corner and peters out
And after a bit more creek walking a canyon forms with a bit of length to it
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It opens out briefly
While never overly deep or tight it does seem to keep going for a while
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And then there is more pleasant creek scrambling with enough awesome scenery to make it well worth while
The Jameison guide says to continue down stream a while then out another creek, which requires a car shuttle but Jim had scoped another option last trip and we scramble up a break in the clifflines which leads to an easy ridge back toward the picnic area near the start of Ingar fire trail and thus back to the car.
So, while I wouldn’t say the canyon itself was overly spectacular it was a very nice trip in a beautiful creek that was, for the most part, very easy going. While a couple of the abseils had tricky starts they were all a bit of fun.
Party Size: 4 all experienced
Timing: 5hrs car to car with lots of photo phaffing, exploring, chatting and taking it easy )
All in all a great day in the great outdoors with great people
I thought the entrance chamber was so awesome I went back with Mandy and Tal a couple of days later for a picnic via the stairs
We were trying to figure out why these stair would be carved under the cave, its certainly easy enough to walk up the slope beside them then Mandy cottoned on to a likely answer, could they have quarried blocks from here to use int he stair case below?
4 thoughts on “By George! My Uncle is Great.”
Ah bugger, you make it sound so good, now I’m going to have to go back and do it again. I did it about 4 years ago and didn’t remember as many abseils, and I think I decided not to do it again because of the longish exit that we took up to Genevieve.
The short exit makes it a pleasant trip. Nothing mind blowing spectacular but nice. I think a couple of the abseils could be scampered around with care
Loved your description of Uncle George Canyon.
Where do you start?
I spent quite a lot of time searching today and found an ok track that became increasingly faint off the top end of Ingar Fire trail (going down from a picnic table).
Struggling to work out where to begin the expedition
Hi Melinda . The start we used crosses private property that now has the owners in residence (they were still building when we went through) current recommendation is to start at The Boddington car park and make your way to the start from there. There are no tracks so you’ll need a bit of off track navigation skill