Hywaida, Kristo, Ethan, Kylie, Rus, Madie and meeeeeeeeeeeeee
Who wants to do Butterbox this weekend, said I
Me, said them.
As they say in Canada (probably) Well alrighty then
A cold wind blew on the morning of our gathering.
Wait! That’s an understatement and a half
It was an icey gale that ripped through us as we met at the car park.
And it seemed like it would be whipping up through the canyon
Are we sure we want to do this?
And so it went.
We layered up and headed in.
Excitement on faces and interesting places.
Butterbox is, for the most part, more open and has less swimming than the trip we did through North Bowen 2 weeks ago. But there are more abseils which could lead to more standing around waiting. we had enough ropes to keep moving. My only concern was the small stance on the chockstone pitch might mean we have a line up of people waiting in ice wind.
Good news for us, once we dropped off the ridge there was hardly any wind at all. I had a set of sharkskin T2 chillproof underneath my 5mm seland wetsuit (* this is not a paid endorsement. but if seland or sharkskin are reading this….. 🙂 ) I had put them on at the first abseil. I’d packed a windcheater jacket but left it in my pack.
By the time we got to the first swim I was keen to cool off
A couple of short swims, a slide and we get to the bit we are here for
So at the bottom of that you go over the edge and pop out to a large rock wedged between the canyon wall, The chockstone. Well I say large, there’s room for 2 people to set up the next abseil, 3 if you don’t mind getting up close and personal. 4 if you want a group hug with little room to do anything else much less try to set rope or maneuverer to abseil.
And I just noticed Madie creeping in the background of the above photo as Kristo descends. What is she doing up there? How did she get there? How will she get down? The answers to all this and more will not be forthcoming in the next instalment of “What’s Madie up to now”
Another short swim, some boulder hoping and a final abseil and we reach the lunch spot and spread out in the sunlight. Pulling on dry clothes Rus reminisces about the time it was so stinking hot when we got here that we found some shade and snoozed for a couple of hours waiting for it to cool down enough to climb out.
Of course the Butterbox adventure isn’t over yet. There still the steep walk out to the clmb.
I put my windcheater on expecting to be in the full force of the icy zepher. Soon I stash that back in the pack and strip down to a tee shirt. It was pleasant in the valley
Up top it wasn’t until we were cross the saddle from Butterbox point back to the car park that the full force of the wind hit us. At one point I think I was leaning 45° to the right trying to resist it blowing me off the hill.
You’re only given a little spark of madness. You mustn’t loose it: R Williams