Slavens Cave

01/10/2018

Mandy Tal and meeee

There’s not much to see. Says Tal. It’s just a hole in the ground

In one sense he is right, it is just a hole in the ground.

But the hole had significance in a couple of ways.

  1. As drab as it is it happens to be one of the largest sandstone caves of it’s type in NSW, possibly Australia (1 report I read claims 10th biggest in the world). From what I’ve been able to make out from what I’ve read sandstone doesn’t tend to form these large subterranean cavities that often.

and

ii. 25 years ago, when we first started going out Mandy dragged me out on a wild goose chase trying to find this cave that was suppose to be near her grandfathers property. Way back before we got really into the adventurous outdoors we had a couple of goes at finding it and never did

 

So when Tal comes home after a weekend of camping with his mates and nonchalantly announces they found the cave I was 2 parts proud dad 1 part jealous.

You’ll have to take us there one day. Says I

Meh, shrugs he. There’s not much to see. It’s just a hole in the ground

Any way with a bit of bunged up ankle and a free afternoon I con him into taking us for a walk. He and his mates had traversed quiet a bit of private property on their journey. We try the approach from the other side.

It’s further around then we thought and hard to spot until you are on top of it but he navigates us in with nary a wrong turn.

Like he said it’s just a hole in the ground.

 

But that’s not the point

 

 

aa-2.jpg
Tal leading the way in. The big depression this hole lies at the base of suggests the cave was once much much bigger

aa-4.jpg

aa-6.jpg

aa-8.jpg
A little witchcraft is needed to find it
aa-9.jpg
Bad photo of a pit left over from an archaeological dig done in the 80s(?) Apparently nothing was found

aa-10.jpg

aa-11.jpg
Mandy Exiting back out

BACK

 

Clarence Dams 11-01-17

With all the people who visit the Railway dams on Dargan crk at Clarence now days I wonder how many have ventured up into the backwater. It had been ages since I’ve done it.

15995285_10154065801171160_8235009219284792868_o15972541_10154065800721160_1002923554475314999_o15965160_10154065801031160_4734503269684136249_n

15965032_10154065800631160_8079170424614776238_n

15940876_10154065800656160_1072954403838261123_n

15895231_10154065800761160_4896552134966529058_n

15940777_10154065800826160_5492698092589999335_n

15937122_10154065800981160_8342552269247880626_o

15936939_10154065801006160_1160423186071964152_o

As well as leaps of faith the main wall is also great for deep water soloing

15941468_10154065801251160_9033279957914051979_n

15894504_10154065801326160_6491325454281164059_n

There are lots of climbable lines on the wall, however most involve a blank section 3/4 the way up that require a long stretch or balancey moves on tiny climps while trying to smear with bare feet.

climb lines.jpg
If you have a bit of reach the green route is by far the easiest. For someone around the 180cm mark it’s only about a grade 16. Where the higher climber’s elbow is in the pic is a sneaky under cling. By stepping down and to the left ¬†you can then come back up right, use your right hand to pull you into the wall with the under cling, this allows you to push up off your right foot while stretching your left hand straight up. A seemingly small hold just within reach is in fact a very nice jug. The black line is the hardest I have managed to do, way back when I was climbing lots. It involves a cool move to get over the shelf and a big dyno further up where the wall gets blank. I only managed it once. the Blue and purple traverse lines would be around 17. The red and Yellow lines were always a bit beyond me.