Danae Canyon and Thurat Spires

28/12/2021

Leo, Madie, Russ, Aimee and Meeeeeeeeeeee

Hey Flynny, want to do something tomorrow. The standard message from Madie

Sure.

Would you rather do K-Main or Danae or both?

Now some people may think she was joking but Leo and Madie had recently completed the 3 in a day, Danae, Kalang and Kanangra Main challenge in a tad over 13hrs car to car. She was serious

Now both canyons are awesome but I’d missed out on some great trips to Danae this year due to other commitments and I ain’t fit enough to do both in a day I so I’m pushing for Danae.

Cool. Leo wants to try the exit over the Spires…..

In the back of my head I recall horror stories of the Spires. Climbing up to abseil down to climb up some more. Getting benighted. destroying souls…

Will I get up the climbing? Ask I

It’s easier than Butterbox. Says Leo. It’s just a walk. (The things Leo says: 1a.)

Anyhoo it’s early but not stupid early when we hit the fire trail and trek in.

During their 3 in a day the Mad Ones had descended Danae in fairly high flow. As we crossed the upper reaches of first, Kanangra brook (Kalang) then Kanangra creek they remarked they were up considerably compared to then. Hmmm.

But Danae is hard to judge. Despite the Kalang and Kanangra crossings being up the top of Danae looked to be down a bit

Top shows the levels on our trip. Bottom a month ago on the 3 in a day trip ©Madie

And once in the slot it water levels were considerable lower than I had expected (Though still highish for me)

Leo dropping in to join Madie in the slot

Anchor bitches for ensuring safe pitches

Back not that long ago I hadn’t been all that interested in the Kanangra canyons. I’d done Dione Dell and Kalang (dry line) a few times but mainly because of the company. The trips themselves just seemed to be about abseiling beside waterfalls for the sake of abseiling beside waterfalls, which wasn’t a big appeal to me.

But then we did Danae. I’d been told Danae was a bit Blah in low water and a bit Waaa in high water. We got it pretty much perfect for our skill levels at the time and when we got to the waterfall abseil. I was like, Ok. Now I get it.

Looking back the water levels were quite tame, but our skill set has grown a lot since the days of us using double rope throw and go.

2018 seems like forever ago

Today it was a good level for fun with an experienced crew

Aimee about to get rinsed good
You swing behind the flow momentarily then halfway down you cop the lot
Product placement #Rodcle, #AdventureBase #freead #sponsorme #wank

Aims heading into the hole on the drop known as Danae Direct
Russ!
How’s the polish on that log
This is not a paid endorsement 🙂
me about to get smooshed

And then comes the boulder field

Field is misleading. It’s more a tumble. A steep tumble.

Last time I was here is was fairly dry and hot. In the cool with more water it was a lot more interesting. But I was having a bit of an off day. I just felt a bit unbalanced so I was slow(er than usual) and it and the creek walk below sapped a bit of energy

Looking down Pooken Hole from the top of the boulder Field
And at the end of the boulder field is this prime example of an anchor. Bolts are bad. 80yo pitons are Ok. MKay?

I was pretty glad to get to the junction with Kanangra creek and stop to stuff some food in

but then it was time to go up.

The start wasn’t too bad. No where near as steep and stabby and the standard exit
It got steeper and soon we were swimming through the veg. Still it wasn’t spikey like absolutely everything on the standard exit. And I had 4 people in front of me breaking a trail 🙂
and the views were magic

But still we go up. Still it gets steeper.

And every rock was loose under hand and under foot.

Hey Madie. Say I. I think we are even

What for? asks she

For whatever the fuck it was I did to you to make you hate me so much (Things Flynny says 1.0)

Now we may have taken bets on when Madie would cry but the harder it got the more she laughed at my suffering. that’ll learn me

Hey Leo are you sure it’s easier than Butterbox?

It’s nothing like Butterbox. You don’t need a rope (The things Leo says 1.b). It’s just a walk

It never really progressed from scrambling to rock climbing but it was exposed and everything was loose. Even the stuff that looked solid you couldn’t trust as it was liable to crumble. test every foot hold. Wiggle every hand hold

From the top of the lower Spire we descend down a bit to a narrow saddle/bridge to gain the upper Spire. I can’t say I wasn’t nervous getting to the saddle or crossing it

There a 400m drop to Kanangra creek on one side and 300m drop to Danae on the other
The “Narrow bit”
And the climb up to the upper spire was steeper

We get almost to the top of the second Spire and there is a small wall in front of us.

What do the track notes say?

If you get to a spot where you think you need to rope up you are off track, retreat and look for another way.

Well that’s as handy as a handful of dandruff to a bald man. There were spots where Id say a lot of parties would have liked to rope up already. We are on a narrow ridge, left looks shit. Right looks worse. There’s no other way.

This is the most fucked exit I’ve ever done. (Things Flynny says. 2.0)

Madie sends Leo down to check out a ledge to the right..

I like the look of the face. (Things Leo says 2a)

Leo ropes up and climbs the small nose. hey there is a pass on the left if I can get rid of this tree. He proceeds to jump on the fallen tree to dislodge it.

You still have me on belay yeah? (things Leo say 2b)

The pass proves to be another easy scramble.

This seems to be the theme of the Spires. You look up at an imposing face and just around the corner sometimes left, but mostly right is a much easier scramble

Now we are on top of the Second Spire and we are looking at a deep saddle and the imposing face of Spire Head. 3 Abseils are needed to get down to the saddle.

and then it’s up again.

The view form on top of Spire head is amazeballs. That’s Kalang Falls pumping with the Walls stretching out to the left. Further left out of shot is views over the dam and the Blue breaks

From there it’s a fairly easy walk with Madie leading the way up over Big Misty and out to the car

13.5 hrs car to car at a fairly steady pace.

As I said before I had been a bit off (too much Xmas cheer or sumfink) so it was a big day for me. But an awesome day none-the-less, spent with amazing people.

Now lets never ever mention exiting by the Spires ever again (Things Flynny says 3.0)

TBH the views were amazing and the climb up, while long and expose in spots wasn’t too difficult so I probably would do it again. Just not tomorrow. Or even next week. but maybe one day…

I didn’t tell you it would be easy. Only it would be worth it. Anon

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Kalang Falls

13-10-2018

Tim, Al, Gabby, Ev, Geoff, Roy, James and me

I’ve said before that for me the abseils are just a means to get to the next bit of canyon.

I’m far more excited by exploring the dark confines of a slot canyon. I’m captivated by the play of light as the sun arcs over head. I get fascinated by the way water and time have sculptured the rock, and I’m dazzled by the ferntacious greenery…

Ayhoo with that in mind the Kanangra canyons have never held a massive appeal to me but when Tim invited me on a trip down Kalang Falls I thought I may as well check it out to see what the fuss is all about.

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With the east coast experiencing some much needed rain it was moody in the forest waiting for the others to arrive.

 

After a week of drizzle mixed with rain we’d check the water levels and if it was too high we’d abort and do Dione Dell instead.

As it was it was pretty much prefect

And so our group of merry adventurers set off from the car park with a buzz of excitement and a swagger in our steps.

Despite a few of the others having done the trip before myself and Al got nominated leaders so the real leader, Tim could follow along at the back of the group as safety man with the spare rope. So we set  off to rig the first drop.

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Making our way down towards the first abseil conditions were very slippery making it slow and steady going

There is a bit of scrambling to get down to the first anchor and Tom’s notes warned the final drop before the anchor could be dangerous so in the wet slippery conditions we rigged the abseil from above it.

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I have to admit the waterfalls are stunning

As with all of Tim’s trips we had multiple ropes and walkie-talkie communi-doonies so the group could spread out. Me and Al would set rope, the next person would arrive, we’d take their rope and descend to the next one. And so on and so forth etc etc etc. So even with a largish group taking their time on slick rock we made good time down the ravine.

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Al, Fingers crossed I’ve tied the knot right Bro.

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It’s technically a dry trip but I got soaked in the spray off this one. If doing it in winter with this much water you’d want some good waterproof clothing

 

Rope management was the theme of the day. Lots of vegetation and ledges for ropes to get tangled on. I can see where flaking it out of a rope bag would be handy on a trip like this.

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You can just make out Ev about to come over the edge

 

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Tim at the 3rd anchor, this one is a little hard to locate.

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Not the best silky smooth waterfall photography today but not bad for hand-held shots with the TG4

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Epic Kanangra country

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Al below the 3rd abseil. You can see Ev on belay where the ropes come down to the right

 

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I found the scrambles between the falls took a lot of concentration. The quartzite is a lot slipperier than the standard Bluies sandstone and also tends to have a lot more loose rocks ready to roll your ankle.

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Ev at the bottom of the big drop with Gabby way up high on rope to the right at the top of the falls

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Despite the cool day Gabby felt the need for a bit of a swim. Ev is trying to dissuade her.

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Geoff handling it with ease

But….

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Then he went for a swing and only good team belaying by Ev and Gabby kept him dry

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Always time for a selfie

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Geoff’s enthusiasm for the bush is infectious

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And then it was up Manslaughter ridge and out

 

 Probably really common, but can anyone tell me the species?

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Thuratt Spires and Kanangra wilderness

How did I find it? Well the waterfalls were stunning, the company was awesome, the abseils were abseils and the walk out wasn’t as hard as I thought it was going to be.

Another great day in the bush with great people.

The mind is like water: capable of going anywhere but once hemmed in by walls of it’s own making it takes a powerfull flood to burst it’s banks and change its course: me

 

 

Group size: 8 all experienced

Time: 9hr 20min car to car, not rushing in the slippery conditions and taking it easy up the exit ridge.

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