Kanangra Main via The Slot

17-01-2021

Russ, Madie, Leo, Jeremy, Jeremy and meeeeeeee!!!

After being devastated by fires, ravaged by flood and generally off limits with COVID restriction Russ and Libby looked like they were finally going to get hitched… Wait, that’s a different story, I mean the Kanangra-Boyd NP was quietly re-openned to remote activities on Christmas eve 2020. That meant access to the Kanangra canyons was back on. Woot Woot!

‘Cept the weather was miserable and water levels kept most sensible parties away.

But water levels began to recede and reports started coming in that well equipt groups with white water experience and skill had successfully begun negotiating a couple of the more popular ones or, at least, parts there of.

We needed to get the gang back together for sumfink big before Russ had to take a break to keep himself pretty for the nuptials or sumfink and photos from Kanangra Main to the emergency exit below pitch 3 looked ace. So plans started to be planned in our very unplanned, half planned, let’s solidify the plan as we go kinda planning routine.

The Kanangra area tends to hold it’s water levels longer than the typical Blue Mountain canyons but a week of sunny weather had things easing off a bit and a bunch of different options were optioned up before we finally opted a full run of K-Main via the Slot option.

Eager Beavers setting off in glorious sunshine and the vivid Kanangra-Boyd regrowth
Views out over Kanangra Gorge towards the Thurat Spires on a Blue Bird morning ©Madie

Last time I attempted a trip through the Slot things did not quiet go to plan and eerily as we traversed across the top of the usual entry there was another group were setting off down the main wall again.

Same anchor, slightly different angle 14 months apart

We slip past the main entrance and gear up above the slot. There is a buzz of excitement as I set the rope and one by one the others make their way down

Myself and Sterlo were the last to arrive at the start of pitch 2 and relieve Leo off anchor duties so that he can head down to lead the money pitch

Leo heading down Pitch 2, you may be able to make out Madie, Gibbo and Russ way down below

The roar of the falls and the spray at the start of pitch 3 was intense.

Leo heads off grinning as I reach the anchor.

Flynn, You’re up next. Says Madie

Who made her the boss?

Tingles. Nervous excitement. Stoopid grin. I rope up and head on down.

White noise.

But not what I was expecting. P3 crosses through the falls but as it has tumbled down the 100m above the water has bounced of the walls and spread out, dissipating the full force into a wide mist. And lots of wind.

Hitting the pool below I was surprised it wasn’t a torrent of flow. I make my way through the mist to once again relieve Leo at the anchor. He continues down the next drop where the other group are just setting their next anchor

Even though short, P4 was probably the trickiest. There was a bit of flow in the pool at the bottom with a wash over risk if you were not careful. Leo set a guide line to help the rest of us across.

I man the anchor and enjoy the spray and wind as the others make their way first to me and on to Leo

Russ heading down P4 on the guided abseil while I pack up the anchor in the spray ©Madie

From here down we are on the standard route though the extra water makes it seem anything but standard

We soon leap frog the other group and continue our way down

Madie disappearing into the froth
This one is optional or you can walk around and jump…
And after abseiling to the halfway ledge and jumping this beauty we haul out into the sun for lunch

So the usual exit is to continue down 45mon or so to the Kalang (Kanangra Creek and Kanangra brook) junction and then up murdering gully or manslaughter ridge. We thought we might try another option

We head up a steep rocky gully that at times blurred the line between scrambling and rock climbing

We make good time and eat the elevation but are nervous we will get cliffed out. The map wasn’t exactly inspiring. About half way up I spot a vegetated gully coming in to the side. I reckon that will go. Says I

We have a bit of a pow wow and Russ checks the map.

I think he could be right says, Russ. The side gully looks more promising on the contours than the main gully

Should we take Flynny’s gull or stay in the main one.

Whoa there! If the gully goes it can be Flynny’s gully. If it doesn’t it’s Russ’s gully. Say I

We head up the side gully.

It’s steep and loose. Think manslaughter ridge but looser with no room to traverse. Crawl up 2 steps. Slide back one. Shower your mates below with pebbles, rocks and the occasional boulder. Grab a spikey shrub or cutty grass, hope for the best

Sometime later we reach the base of the top cliff and begin to traverse around hoping that it will peter out.

Peter, peter. Pumkin eater.

But soon it appears our way is going to be barred by cliff dropping back into the gully below.

The nose always goes, sometimes.

Leo finds a weakness in the nose above us and manages to get up to drop a rope back down. Gibbo heads up. Followed by Madie.

Where’s Sterlo?

Hey there’s a gully around the corner you can walk up… Sterlo is up top. Me and Russ opt to follow him up

Flynny’s gully is renamed Craigs Crying Crack. I mean I only cried once, but whatever. It goes but it has some hair on it. it ain’t fun and we’re not sure if it saved us any time

How ’bout dem views thou

party size: 6

Time: 8hr car to car with along lunch

Remember your comfort zone is a very dangerous place to be

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