Hole in the Wall.


Russ, Aimee and me

Anyone want to go canyoning?


And thus we find ourselves navigating our way around the chemical weapons clean up and start walking out the fire break along Waratah ridge amid banter and laughing.

And before too long we are suiting up and entering the canyon
It’s quiet nice.
I always forget just how spectacular the top section is

And I also forget the length of the walk betwix it and the bottom section …

Aimee entering the bottom section. The log has moved so now it’s a much easier start. That log had been there as long as I can remember. It’s now further down the chamber. Testament to the power of the recent floods
Wrong time of year for a massive glowworm display but still… glowworms!
and if I’m ever not awed by glowworms slap me hard

The cave has silted up again meaning it’s a walk through to the squeeze out again.

It’s pretty choked up. Says Russ. I’m not sure we’ll get through.

Ah, that old chestnut.

Wait. I can see a bit of light. and up he squeezes.

I’m not sure of the sense of leaving the fat guy until last but Aimee follows him and I push my pack through to her and think skinny thoughts as I wiggle my self up and out

Then the hole abseil is awkward and holey again
Hole in the Wall, the sun really does shines out it’s arse
I don’t want to get into the whole bolt debate but for me the problem solving aspect has alway been a big part of the appeal of Blue Mountains canyoning. So needing to think about and improvise anchors was a pleasant change to what has become the norm in the more popular “trade routes”
And far too soon we are swimming up the Bungleboori North branch/*hackspit* Dingo creek.
Excuse me, I’ve been trying to reach you about your cars extended warranty…..

Chase your stars, fool. Life is short


3 little canyons on a Saturday afternoon, just because


Izy, Ed, Dick, Madie, Leo and meeeeeeee

‘Twas the Friday before Christmas with zero plans for the Weekend

And it just kinda hit me, I must make amend

So I sent out a late invite, with little remorse

And 5 Friends replied “hell yes”, as a matter of course

We started earlier then planned ’cause Madie was bored

They piled in my ute and the accelerator was floored.

Leo tried his best to wet not even his feet

We jumped, slid and abseiled and had lots of fun

Then Madie threw mud at me, it was the end of canyon 1

Canyon 2 is a cracker, an absolute blast

but the best was to come, we saved it ’til last

The next is my favourite, I whispered to Iz

The thing is I meant it, it absolutely is

Dick left us early, he was coming back the next day

He shook hands, he hugged and went on his way

The rest of us pushed on and our excitement it grew

And we got to the slot and made our way through

We slid and we jumped, we spashed and had fun

And looked around in awe at this place where we’d come

To soon we reached the end and had to turn around

but we smiled as we cherished the joy that we found

this might be a bad poem but I bet you wish you had been us

and doubt all you want but rhyming “Iz” with “is” well… that’s just fucking genius

Party Size: 6


Sheepdip: ~ 2 and a bit hrs car to car

Twister and Rocky Creek: About 3hr car to car

The best friends force you to lever yourself up


Imlay Canyonfire long term review

OK so I’ve been using this rope for a while now and T2 gave me a gentle nudge on https://canyoning.org.au to do the long term review I had promised on my original review so here it is.

I like them.

I like them so much I bought more in different lengths

Oh, you want some thing more substantial. OK

So a quick count up say’s I’ve used the original rope in over 50 canyons. Without thinking too much on it I’d have a conservative guestimate of an average of 3 drops and 4 people per trip that’s at least 600 descents on the rope.

So how’s it holding up?

Pretty bloody good to be honest. There is one bit where the sheath is a bit fluffy from someone taking a swinger and it dragging across a rock but all in all it still looks new.

The one bit of the sheath that is showing a bit of abuse

Feel: My original impression was the rope had a wirey feel and while it does soften a bit with use it still has a wirey feel. The newer one is less wirey (I believe Tom changed his weave slightly) but they are still wirey compared to other static ropes.

Handling: I also said it felt like it may be prone to tangles and knotts. This simply hasn’t been the case. It’s been pretty faultless and needs no more care on throw or pull down than any other rope.

They can be a bit hot on the hands when dry but I’ve recently retired by 20yr old Kong Robot and have been using a Crittr which has better control on skinny ropes, especially when going single rope and so I’m back to not wearing gloves.

Descent: On descent the rope feels great, some ropes I’ve used in the last few years feel like you are abseiling on a dynamic rope with the rope stretching as you get on and off ledges and juttering on over hung descents. Not so with the Imlay, no bobbing up and down, no juttering, just smooth descents

Water absorption: This is the other thing I love about these ropes. The tight weave just doesn’t seem to soak up water making them nice and light for the walk out without relying on stretchy waterproof/floating fibres.

Final Thoughts: So that’s it I’m more than happy with the Imlay and while I’ve had the chance to try a lot of other ropes while heading out with a few different groups I’m yet to try anything that would have me veering away from this rope in future purchases.

Cost: Imlay now has a local distributor and you can pick up the canyon fire for around $3.99/m

Specs: Imlay lists the rope specs as

ModelRated StrengthWeight grams/meterWeight lbs/100 feetWeight lbs/200 feet
8.3mm Canyon Fire4100 lbF57.3 g/m3.85 lbs/100ft7.70 lbs/200ft

The Blue water 8mm Canyon rope is lighter at 40g/m and has a higher tensile strength at 5000lbf(2.2kn) but it is $150 more expensive for a 60m rope.

Colours: Imlay has expanded the colour choice a bit. I’m not fussed on colours but it is handy to easily differentiate your different length ropes

Rope brand new out of box
Rope after an estimated 600 descents


*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



Garry, Jodie, James and me

As David Bowie once sang, the only thing I ever got from you was Zorro… or something like that, I was never a fan so could be wrong….


Anyhoo it was back up to the plateau for more canyonng fun. Shoes and harness was still damp from yesterday and a bit of drizzle had set in but that wasn’t going to curb my enthusiasm.

This time we took a left and headed out along the Sunnyside ridge trail looking for a couple of short but spectacular canyons.

Our first goal was Zorro and we had no dramas on the way in.

The entrance was lined with wild flowers

the canyon gets narrow and deep very quickly.

Gaz squeezing pass this tenatious tree

Gaz dropping into the depths

Jodie in the amazingly straight and narrow canyon

Jodie watching James and Garry descend the canyon

There follows a tight shimmy down to a cold pool. There is an anchor above so I guess people rope up for it but it looks like tha would be awkward. It is a fairly straight forward down climb.

I have no idea how deep the water is but there are narrow ledges just below the water level so only you feet get wet.

James tries to bridge above the water but is unable to. Wanting to keep his shoes dry he wedges himself above the water level slips off a shoe and hurles it over the rock he thinks marks the end of the water. It makes a big splash in the small pool just beyond the rock…. No dry feet for you.


Then the canyon suddenly opens out in to the gorgeous Z chamber which links the parallel fault lines the entrance and exit passages follow

Then it’s more bridging over what is usually a long pool but in this dry spell it’s starting to dry up





Then all that is left is a final abseil to exit, but before we do Gaz shimmies around the ledge to check out the views

zorro a.jpg

A quick scramble around the base of the cliff brings us to the exit slot, which is a nice, short canyon in it own right looking like something out of Jarassic park


Once ontop we slip out the ridge inbetween the two slots with the idea of having lunch in the sun with a view

zorro b.jpg

Wind and drizzle interupt our plans and we abandond that idea and head back to the car

It’s not even noon so we do a quick car shuffle and go head in to check out some other features near by.

James heads into the Crack of Doom!!!


The Crack of Doom!!! with appropriate skull shaddow













Gaz in Crack Of Doom!!! 2

Jodie in Crack of Doom!!!2 with gaz on rope above

Gaz in Crack of Doom!!!2

Cathedral Canyon

Cathedral canyon


James taking in the grandour of Cathedral canyon

Gaz and Jodie soaking in the ambience

The Cathedral

Then it was back up the Crack of Doom!!! 2 for an easy exit

This poor goanna never made it out

And back tot he car for a much earned beerio.

Party size:4 all experienced

Time: about 5 hours total for both canyons





Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out going to the mountains is going home; that wilderness is a necessity…
― John Muir