Tigersnake

Izy, Leo, Madie and meeeee

I sometimes cop a bit of playful shit for living in Lithgow but it wasn’t not a bad LGA to be locked down in

Dates stopped having meaning but at one point We did a quick run through Tigersnake canyon then picked up the dogs and did a lap of Rydal XC track.

It was pretty cool

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Rediscovering back yard gems

2/8/20

Mandy And Me

When I was a kid a lot of amazing adventures started or finished at 166 Bells Street. We are 13 or 14 popping wheelies on our BMXes, or hanging out high up in the climbing tree, or digging tunnels in the river bank or making home made fireworks out of stuff you could still buy or find when we were kids or sumfink.

Let’s go yabbying.

We grab some string, stuff some form of meet into our pockets, race off on our bikes and head up to some long forgotten little dams in a long forgotten gully right at the edge of town. It all sounds very Huckleberry Finnish. But it’s nothing so grand, just a day in the life of me and my mate Smiddy some time in the 80s. Nothing overly memorable except we didn’t catch any yabbies and on the way back while bridging through what I’d now call a canyonette (but back then was just a nice bit of narrow creek) Pat slipped in. We are wearing jeans and jumpers, it was an icy winters day (the yabbies had been smartly tucked up in their nests) and it was cold ride home for Smiddy.

Anyhoo, fast forward mumblemumble years. (Would you believe 10? No? How about 20? Ok it’s closer to 30, and by closer I mean over 30) Mandy is keen for a small walk and thinks Ida falls might be the go.

Pulling up in the little car park it’s packed (well 4 or 5 cars but enough to ruin the uncrowded feel I like.)

Hey there’s another gully we use to frequent and from memory it’s kind pretty too… says I

Understatement!

Especially after we’ve had a bit of rain through the week.

Memories are Golden. Get out there and make some

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Mt Boyce

A quick morning climb with Libby and Russ. It was good to dial back the difficulty and concentrate on trying to unlearn some bad technique that I have found myself falling in to.

Pun not intended.

Wait, yes it was.

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Munmorah Sea Caves

9-01-2020

Laurence, Chris, Tal, Della, Gabby, Ev, Matt, Adrian and meee

The bushfires that raged across much of Australia threw a spanner in the work of a family holiday to the south coast so some last minute phone calls were made to me old mate Della who generously offered us a couple of beds on the central coast, I threw the ropes in just in case

Laurence had been promoting some abseil trips to sea caves that looked quite alright and while under normal circumstances I probably wouldn’t have driven up just to visit them while I was in the area I thought why not drag Tal out of a mini adventure.

A quick message to Laurence to get some info and tips and he offered to meet us there and show us around.

Hey Dell, can you get Thursday off work?

It’d been about 20years since he’d done any abseiling but he was keen. A few other invites were sent out and before we knew it we had met up with the above mentioned folk and were setting up ropes above our first cave. The Nudie cave

We set ropes, and exit ladder and Matt even jumps in at the exit to test the water, then after a few quick tips and reminders me and Dell get on rope and drop on in

Looking up my snoz…
Me and Della dropping in, or “dangling for great whites.” as it was later described ©Laurence
©Gabby

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Dropping off the end of the rope we swim into the cave and wait for the others

Inside was surprisingly large and the pebbly beach gave an awesome underfoot massage
Gabby and Ev dropping in to join us

As he was finding his feet on the beach the only wave we saw all week swept up to smash Adrian face first into the pebbles. We shouldn’t have laughed… but we did

What foul creatures lurk in the Nudie cave? Oh, those idiots…. ©Gabby

And then we swim out and make use of Laurences cave ladder to climb out of the water

Exiting without placing a ladder first would be difficult at best

Be a cool jump. Say I. Looking back up to the arch

Oh Coop jumps from that platform there, Says Laurence

I don’t take much convincing. Nor does Della

And then we make our way around to the next one, Pinney Cave. This is just a dunk in the ocean with a bit of a scramble out. By all reports the scramble out is much harder in normal conditions and out right dangerous if the swell is much over a foot. We must have got very lucky with not much swell at all as I found it much easier

But with Laurence’s warning only myself, Matt and Della decided to give it a crack, with Gabby and Ev opting for a dry landing on the exit route and the rest waiting for us up top.

Matt descending Pinney ©Gabby
Me scrambling out on favourable seas while Laurence descends the exit ©Gabby
Ev opting for the dry landing

And then we make our way a bit further along the coast to the Shark Hole. An ominous name for us country bunkins.

Actually this is the snake hole, explains Chris. The Shark hole is where u swim out.

Oh, well then. In we go.

So almost like a canyon I got a tear in my eye… or sumfink
What a top mob of fellow adventurers to spend a relaxing day with
Making our way our of the Snake Hole

And to finish things off we head to the Catho Bay hotel for a cooling beverage or two

Did I mention what a awesome mob this lot are? ©Gabby via Adrain

Group Size: 9

Time: I have no idea

Caution: You need low tide and a swell of under 2 feet to run this trip the way we did it. Also the rock is sharp as a finely honed cutty thing so rope protectors and good start technique are a must.

Adventure pushes your limits and lifts your soul or sumfink

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Winter canyoning

01/07/2018

Nathan Mandy and meeeee

So my nephew is keen on canyoning but for one reason or another his options for doing a long wet canyon are limitted.

I’ve been meaning to get him down another dryish canyon for a while. My original plan was to take him down Tiger Snake canyon   but we had to get back to town early and I had not taught him to abseil yet so we descided on this one with an optional abseil for the hell of it.

Now some people dismiss the smaller, drier non abseil canyons but this one has one of the prettiest constrictions going and it’s close to home so it was a no brainer

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Nathan and Mandy enter the canyon from the bottom

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A massive storm 18months ago scoured the sand out of this bit leaving a puddle just on balls deep. Today it was icy

 

 

With frozen toes we decide to slip up onto the tops for a bite to eat and a bask in the sun

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It was glorious

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looking back into the depths

 

Warmed and fed we continue on

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And make our way back to the cars for a bit of wedding cake action

 

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The wedding cake…

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It screams adventure

 

What if something is on TV and it’s never shown again? :Smudge- Outdoor type

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JetBlack 24hr

3-4 March 2018

Richard, Phil, Mick and me

So we were hosting the 24hr on our home trails at Rydal. In return for getting the trails ready Martin offered us a free team entry.

We’ll just ride around as marshals. says I. I’ve had a few injuries and haven’t been doing a lot of riding.

You may as well be timed…

Richard was keen, Phil less so. What about you Mick

I have a bit to do on Saturday but could do a few laps late afternoon.

We’re not taking it serious you may as well be involved.

The team was entered.

I’d have to say I got a little excited the morning of the race but with the 3 of us there racing in a 4 man team we had a chat and agreed we’d go for double laps and go as hard or not as we wanted and if we weren’t feeling it we’d sit out and have some beers.

Set up next to us Gaz as doing it solo so we were happy to give Jodie a bit of a hand supporting his efforts

All good nice and casual.

Except 3hrs  in someone looked at the times and realised we were just 30seconds of 3rd place an dnot far in front of 5th. I’m not a competitive person, or so I sometimes tell myself, but if I’m on the track I want to do my best. Game on.

Turned out the team we were chasing was that of a work mate from up at one of our sister mines. Definitely game on.

We began swapping back and forth from 4th to 3rd.

I was feeling pretty good, Mandy was out there massaging for Mind Body Intigration and I was lucky enough to get a bit of maintenance after each stint.

I’d forgotten how awesome the atmosphere is at a 24hr race. It’s really special. Last one I’d ridden was Dargle Farm in about 2005.

Music was blaring. At one point old mate came up to me and asks what time the music was going off as he was trying to sleep. It was 8:45pm…

It’s a 24hr race mate.

But we are trying to sleep!

You  know the whole concept of 24hr race?/!

The music went off around 10:30. It came back on at 5:30 super load and techno. Sounds horrible but it was such a great pick up after a long night of riding

A couple of Rydal residents didn’t think so and rang Martin to complain. He invited them up for coffee and an egg and bacon roll. all smoothed over.

Anyhoo I get ahead of myself

We were doing well, each of us with very consistent lap times.

Mick turned up around 6pm. He is quick anyway and with fresh legs shot out for a couple of fast laps.

What the hell was that. Muddy says, coming over. We were wondering how you’d go when you 4th rider showed up. He has just punched out a 27min lap!

W’d all been lapping in the low 30s.

Pity he isn’t staying.

Richard goes out, we are up into 2nd.

Mick goes again. We are in first

I go expecting that was Mick last stint. It’s good while it lasts.

Katrina, I might drop you home and come back. Woohoo Mick is in it for the long haul.

We extended out a bit of a lead over night. Get almost 7mins up but come day break the teams in second and third sent their fast riders out for some catch up laps.

Long story short heading into my last lap there was about 3min between the top 3 teams, not bad over a 24hr race. I got back giving Mick a 1min lead. He brought it home well and We found our selves on the top step of the podium.

Fantastic event. Martin and Juliane put on a great show.

Thanks to outer image collective and Lithgow Council for the photos

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