A dabble in Dalpura

31-03-2018

Tal, Ben and me

With an early Easter combining with a few family birthdays I was able to organise the usual Easter Epic Ride this year so instead conspired with Tal to do a quick early morning trip to Dalpura canyon.

Ben posted that he was down from Qld and keen to check out a canyon or two and I messaged to say if he didn’t get a better offer he’s be welcome to come with us. He accepted the offer and we met nice and early in some typical mountain mist. AKA, fog.

Last time we had done Dalpura we dropped into the western tributary, which had some nice bits high up but also involved some thick cutty scrub. This time around we followed Toms track notes and found a reasonable track into the Eastern tributary which also had acouple of short and shallow but nice canyon sections.

Anyhoo it doesn’t take long to get to the abseil. It’s a short drop into a very nice chamber. Last visit I was still using and iPhone4 for photos so I was hoping for some nice light to see how the TG4 would go.

We waist no time rigging up and drop on in.

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Ben descending

It’s a nice little abseil into a deep green pool. Luckily you land on a ledge just below the water and can work your way around the side.

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Ben gets busy with a big camera

While Ben was setting up his tripod I remember I have the glass ball thingy my sister bought me. It’s been in the top pocket of my pack for about 3 months, I keep forgetting it is there but decide to have a play with it.

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With auto focus and hand holding both ball and camera it was tricky getting a shopt but I think it’s definately worth playing with a bit more

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For some reason my camera was struggling to focus at all in here. Not sure if it was just the low light or what

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Ben in the canyon

Dalpura is more a series of short canyonish section but it has some nice bits

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A tube like section

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The water is so clear but the deeper bits have this gorgeous blue/green tinge

All too soon the canyon opens out and a final optional abseil snakes it’s way down a cleft.

We can walk around it if you don’t want to abseil.

We’re here to experience the canyon….

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Ben on a tricky start
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Before the easy bottom bit
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Tal enjoying it.
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And with views like this at  the end waht’s not to love?

Party size: 3

Time: 3.5 hrs car to car with some photo Phaffing

Some people are so obsessed with reaching the top they forget it’s the side of the mountain that sustains life.

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Ranon Canyon

17-01-2018

Kent, Anna, James, John, Tal and me

Last time I had done a trip through Ranon canyon Carlos Santana and Rob Thomas were Smooth and Mmmbop was unfortunitely still a thing. A drunken conversation between myself Della and Lerch on the wrong side of 2am saw us up a few hours later working off hangovers in the heat.

It was Lerch’s first big canyon I remember getting to the Junction with Claustral and him asking where the exit was. The look of dejection when I told him it was 2hrs down stream was almost as good as when we got to the top of the camels hump and I pointed out our destination up on Mt Tomah that looked to be separated by another deep chasm and I jokingly said we had come up the wrong ridge…..

Lerch is not a violent man but I think I saw murder in his eyes that day. Luckily he was too stuffed to chase me.

Anyhoo, I had some time off and Kent was out on another one of his multiple day canyon extravaganzas and he happened to be doing Ranon on a day that I could get to. Sweet.

The “normal” entrance to the Claustral system through the Black Hole of Calcutta Falls is spectatualr and all but I always preffered going in via Mistake Ravine and Ranon Canyon. Originally that was probably a snobby thing knowing it was far less visited but it does give you more bang for your buck with some very nice canyon above the junction that gives Claustral a real run for it’s money in terms of greenry. IMO it’s even more fernilicous and still has few signs of visitation.

Anyway there was so much beauty in this trip I think I’ll leave the words to a minimum and let the photos tell the story.

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Looking down Mistake Ravine towards the Ranon Brook Junction
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Tal on a slippry hand over hand into Mistake Ravine
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Ferntacious

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Fernilicious
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Like a lost world
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Sandstone, Sassafras and Coachwood
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Tal giving Anna some tips on foot placement

 

After the junction with Ranon it somehow gets even more ferntacualr
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John dropping into Ranon
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Fern ceilings are cool

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Kent all chilled out and relaxed

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Work life ballence or something

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Tal resetting after having negociated the deep pool mid abseil
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Anna on another 2 stage abseil with a deep pool between drops.
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Kent and James pulling ropes
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John dropping down towards the Claustral junction

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James in the slot at the Claustral junction
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Sun beams in Claustral
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Looking out of the Black Hole of Calcutta towards the Ranon Junction. You can make out Anna belaying Kent down the final abseil
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Claustral Canyon
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The Hulks Fist

OK so this location/pose is probably the most snapped shot in any canyon in the Blue Mtns, if not the southern hemisphere. Sure it’s almost getting cliche and is certainly the classic “Claustral photo” but who cares it is such an epic spot. I thought it became “the shot” after it was featured in National Geographic but a quick google informs me that was the next one down which Ed has captured from a slightly different angle for the 2017-18 Ozcanyons banner.

So who first took it? No idea but two of the best comes from Ed and Jake 

Anyhoo

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Claustral canyon

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Claustral is such a great slot, deep and sustained. Unfortunitey in 1982 3 people lost thier lives when they got caught in this section in a  severe storm. Between the Black Hole and the Thunder Canyon junction there is little to no refuge in rising water. The Claustral system has a large catchment so it’s important to stay uptodate on weather forcasts and if it looks dicey or you are unsure… Well the canyon will stillbe there next week, next month, next year

 

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Enjoying a bit of sun light

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Looking up Thunder canyon
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Me and Tal go for a quick look up the bottom 100m or so of Thunder. The water is so much colder
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From the Thunder junction down there is a bit of boulder hopping before the canyon closes back in

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Tal in the tunnel swim. On my first trip though here it was silted up and was more a shallow wade. Deep and clear today
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In the tunnel swim
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The chock stones in the tunnel swim seem so far above you as you swim through but the cliffs above dwarf them

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A final swim to the exit spot
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And then it’s up and up and up
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Though the exit gully, Rainbow Ravine is very pretty itself
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Looking across to Mt Banks

in my report on our Claustral trip last year I explained how George Caley thought it would be an easy traverse from Mt Tomah across the “low saddle” to Mt Banks. Without knowledge f the deep canyons, only some of which we had just traversed, it’s easy to see why he had thought that.

Anyway anther great trip with great people, thanks again to Kent of organising.

Anna was pleased that on a canyon trip with 5 blokes no F bombs were dropped. Personally I think she blanked a few out.

Party Size: 6 all experienced

Time:8.5hrs car to car, relaxed pace

Is life not a thousand times too short for us to bore ourselves-Friedrich Nietzsche

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