Mares Forest Creek for NYD

01/01/2019

So for the past few years we’ve been getting together with family and friends to do a cruizy float through canyon as a recovery on New Years Day. This year Mares Forest Creek was suggested. It’s a long drive for a short canyon but it is really beautiful and the Limestone and marble walls are so different from anything in the Blue Mtns

Anyhoo, we meet at the car park at a respectable 11am and wander over the hill and into the bottom of the canyon then make our way up stream

Ed was happy with his boat
The water temp was lovely. I didn’t bother with a wetsuit and strong swimmers could get away without flatation

There is a fair bit of portage thou the boulder fields aren’t as complicated as the popular Wollangambe sections
Mandy enjoying the float
At the top of the canyon we have a bit of fun jumping off rocks
Selfie time

Whitewater Rockmaster

Party Size: 13

Time: 4hr car to car relaxing out of the heat

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*March 2019 I am once again participating in the Wests Cycle Classic to raise money for the Westpac rescue helicopter. If you enjoy my blog or just want to help this great cause think about making a small donation

Afternoon trip to Alcatraz

08-02-2018

Catherine, Chris, Dick, Joe and me

Making the most of Daylights saving we did a quick after work trip through Alcatraz

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Chris

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Catherine

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Joe

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Dick

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Party Size: 5. 2 experiences 3 noobs (all had abseil and outdoor experience.)

Time: 2 hrs car to car

The Universe is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper.

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*Slight detour* in March I am again taking part in the West Cycles Classic to raise money for the Westpac rescue helicopter service. Whether preforming bush rescue, emergency patient transfers, and all the rest no one has ever had to pay to use the helicopter due to public donations. If, like me, you believe this is an invaluable service or if you just enjoy reading my blog think about pitching in with a donation. Large or small every bit counts. follow this link for details 2018 West Cycles

Pagoda canyons

29-10-2017

Gaz, Jodie, Marchelle, Andrew and I

Some people like chasing the big epic canyons, and don’t get me wrong I enjoy the long, sustained canyons as much as anyone but I get just as much joy out of the shorter ones too. They all have their own uniqueness, beauty and share of challenges.

I suspose being surrounded by canyon country I don’t need to justify the long drive up from the cities so am happy exploring the smaller stuff too.

Today was one of those days where we’d combine a couple of the smaller pagoda canyons. The first one dry(ish) the seond one wetter.

I’ve done both before but I’ll have to admit I had completely blanked out the amount of tea tree needed to push through on our way up the ridge on the first one….. Shorts may not have been the best bet…

 

Anyhoo. We all meet up at the car park and head off.

Wild flowers were out in colour

And after a hot climb through some scrub we arrived at our first slot.

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Like a violent crumble bar without the chocolate

 

We wasted no time dropping in

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Gaz likes to wedge himself in and film people from above

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Our next obstacle was this very narrow cleft.

 

Last time we bridged out and then abseiled in at a slightly wider bit. The flaring nature of the slot meant the abseiler invariably swung in and cheese grated themselves.  I knew it was possible to walk the ledges high above the canyon floor. Tiny ledges, wet feet. It makes for an interesting traverse.

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Gaz bridging out on a section where the ledges all but disappear so the others could use him as a stepping stone if needed

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Marchelle clinging to the rock face while the others watch on in trepidation.

We all make it. Somehow.

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Gaz in the next section

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And it’s just one more abseil and the canyon opens out

Last time I did this canyon we followed the creek down a bit and then around for a short dirty abseil off a lower cliff line. But I had soem beta that a better option was on offer so we follow the clifflines around past some stunning views

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Then scrub bash a bit before dropping in to a lost world near a trouist destination

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A stunning 25m freefall abseil greeted us.

Knowing how popular this spot is with tourist I was very careful dropping the ropes over, a carefull lower rather than a toss. Not a soul to be seen thou. It amused me a bit that on the way out we pass a steady stream of people heading in very all five of us abseiled down with only us as spectators 😉

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We even had the place to ourselves for a selfie

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It wasn’t just the tourists who on the exit track some of the locals were out too.

Anyhoo, after a spot of lunch it was back to the car and bike for a bit of a drive to our next destination.

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I really do enjoy this one

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It’s one abseil. but it’s a cracker of an abseil

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Into the inescapable chamber.

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Or sumfink

 

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oh there is a way out

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All in all an enjoyable day in the bush visiting two short but beautiful pagoda canyons

Party size: 5 all experienced

time: I have no concept of time….

 

 

Life is too short and the world too amazing to be bored

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A wander around some Wollangambe wilderness

08-07-2017

Ed, Etham, Ciaus, Jake and me.

Another trip to this short but pretty dryish canyon out the back of Clarence, and a stop at Goochs Crater on the way back

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This is an awesome sheltered cave. The creek, when it’s running flows through the back of it.

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Venturing up the stuning side canyon. First recorded exploration of this slot by a bushwalking club was a group from Sydney Uni Bush Walking club in 1962, though I suspect Col Oloman would have visited previously either on one of his solo trips or with friends as they explored the areas through here across to the Bungleboori and beyond. Neither bothered to name it.

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I keep forgetting how short this slot is. You get caught up in the light and ambience and time ceases to have meaning

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the large cave in a 180 bend in the canyon.It’s like another world. Ciaus and Ed desided when society falls apart this might be a good place to live

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Ed in one of the more open twists and turns in the very narrow upper section of canyon

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tight and twisting canyon formation

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Ed on the peak, the canyon carves around either side of him. The cave at the bend can be seen in the cliff line, though the scale of it is hiddne by the trees

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We seem to be climbing out to look down on the top of canyons a lot lately

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Ciaus and Jake as the canyon opens out slightly near the cave

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Ed in the canyon

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On our way back out

Then it was over the ridge and out to Goochs Crater

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Ed looking down on the cliff lined swamp known as Gooches crater

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Looking down on Ed and Ethan through the Sky light in Goochs arch

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It’s an interesting feature

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Jake heading over to join Ethan and Ed under the arch

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It really is impressive

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Jake in the well used camp/party cave looking back towards the arch

All in all a pleasant winters day in the bush

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“Life must be lived as play.” – Plato.

Wandering around the plateau

20-05-2017

Julie, Leaf and me

So if you listened to the weather forecasters you’d expect to see a guy building a baot and collecting animals two by two or something.

Still I was keen to get out and was origanlly thinking one of the drier canyons out around Sunnyside might be nice with some rain.

Julie was keen and expressed an interest in doing Alcatraz instead.

Leaf posted on the Ozcanyons facebook group looking for trip she could join inon and we invited her along.

After a bit of discussion we settled on Alcatraz and a small double(or is it triple) canyon system out near the glowworm tunnel that I wanted to check out.

The forecaste went from gloomy to dire. There was some discussion on canceling the trip but thankfully we decided to roll with it.

Friday was ment to be the worse day. It was fine but the rain rolled in Friday night and belted down.

Saturday dawned sunny. A prefect day for a bit of exploring.

We met up and navigated the maze of roads into Alcatraz. The view down into the canyon from the cliff above showed the waterlevel well up but we suited up and carefully made our way into the anchor point.

Looking down into the slot, had me a bit concerned. I’d done it in high water with Ed and others a while ago and it was fine but this was up even more and without being able to see the exit I wasn’t comfortable dropping in.

We opted to descend the cliff beside it and make up way up from below. In hindsight it was likely doable but te canyons are always there for next time and I’m happy to play it safe.

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Looking across into the spout

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Julie setting the camera up while LEaf makes her way into the chamber

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The chamber and exit were fine

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Julie and Leaf in the chamber

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Inside the chamber

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Inside the chamber

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The exit slot

So a bit disappoint we didn’t abseil in but as I said there is always next time.

We made our way back to the cars and then continued out toward the glowworm tunnels for our next points off interest.

I had done the first little slot  with Mandy from below and after checking the satelite imagry realised there was another system close by. This time we headed down the dry canyon (not so dry today) and then explored as far up the other system as we could get before retracingour steps.

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Not far off the Glowworm tunnel road a sleep little creekbed begins to canyon up

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Dark sandstone gives way to walls the clour of honeycombe

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Leaf poses next to a temporary waterfall

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The canyon is only short and opens up into the hidden valley, hanging between clifflines.

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Julie and Leaf make their way through a cave like section into the North branch of a Twin canyon system

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This one is straight and narrow

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Without loosing a lot of weight this is as far as I can go

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Can’t believe the girls didn’t follow me through is cold stagnant swim. ©Julie Burton

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And then it was back out the way we came in.

Group Size: 3, all experienced

Time: Better part of a day phaffing about

 

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