Ed, Ethan, Caius, David, Shaz, Tom, Claire, Tillie, Skinny, Dyso and I
For the 3rd year in a row we’ve decided to spend new years day floating down a canyon rather than nursing a hang over (Why can’t we have both? Maybe we do)
Anyhoo this year Tal and Beth both ditched us but Shaz and her kids were back and Skinny and Emily joined us as well.
We opted for the section of the Wollangambe commonly reffered to as the Lower Tourist Section or Wollangambe 2. That’s a little misleading as there are many canyon sections (Including some of the best bits) up stream. It is also reffered to as the Greg section by some of the older bushwalking club stalwarts.
While I’ve done bits and pieces of this section as part of trips to the steeper, narrower, more canyony side canyons I’d never done this bit in it’s entirity on it’s own so I was keen to check it out.
We met at the Fire Shed at the crack of 9:30am. chuck all the gear and most of the people out and then drop cars down at the camp ground in the spirit of being lazy.
The walk in was uneventful, we set a handline on the exposed down climb that had made the news 2 nights before after a seriously under prepared group on a bucks party required rescuing when several members were too worn out/freaked out and couldn’t climb it…. Do your research and go prepaired people
Every one made it down without incident before I told them that story. I reteived the rope and made my way down.
Did I mention the spirit of being lazy? We get to the water and it looks so inviting. People pull out lilos and start huffing and huffing. Me on the other hand had had a brillant idea before leaving that morning. I’d pulled out the soldering iron and rigged a little high volume pump to plug into my MTB light battary.
I had worried it might ruin the serenity of other groups but no one was around and it had most of the lilos up in no time (After some manipulating the cheap pool beds Shaz had got the kids who valves were plastic welded shut). It was certainly less disturbing than listening to a bunch of people hyperventilate trying to blow air into the air beds.
Despite a number of cars at the fire shed and at the camp ground we didn’t see a single group in this section of canyon.
I was pleasantly surprised with this bit of the river. There was some nice long pools through some reasonable canyon sections and there seemed to be a bit less boulder scrambling than in the more popular “Upper tourist Section/Wollangambe 1”
You can make your way a fair way up Whungee Wheenge but even the first hundred meters or so is worth a look. Walking up it is impressive but when you turn around to come back down the bottom chamber is something else again
By now we’re starting to get a bit peckish but the exit isn’t far down and that’s probably the best lunch beach near here so we keep on going.
It’s time for a late lunch as we let the floaties deflate, wetsuits dry and bodies warm up
Then it’s a steep climp up through the cliff lines and a longish walk up the ridge, all up gaining about 400m elevation, and back to the camp ground
Party Size: 11 mixed experience
Time: Didn’t really pay attention but I’m guesing around 7hrs relaxed pace