East Creek Fall

1/11/2020

Rus and me

I’ve been meaning to check this waterfall out for a while now. There’s been a couple of rainy days over recent years where me and Mandy thought about heading up for a look but each time we opted for something different.

Then on Saturday afternoon we found ourselves with nothing to do and decided to go check them out.

I had a rough grid reference but was pretty confident on the nav would be a simple matter of following the lay of the land and so didn’t bother taking a map or compass. Bush fires have denuded the landscape of the scrub the guards and hides it’s secrets. How hard could it be?

We hit the cliff line above the main creek but we are slightly downstream of the falls. A side gully forms a little canyonette and looked offer a way down.

Halfway down it tumbled over a 10m drop… I hadn’t brought ropes. We back track and slip over the ridge, where we catch our first glimps of the falls, and peer down into the next gully

The Falls are pumping nicely after a week of drizzly rain. From out limited view it looked like there might be a canyonette above them. That’s par for the course in this area, a short pagoda style canyons leading to interesting waterfall abseil.

Anyhoo my interest is pipped. I slip down this gully to check if it goes. The ledge the other gully drops over is a steep slippery ramp here. I’m confident I’ll get to the bottom of the falls.

A clap of thunder shakes the hills.

Many moons ago me, Mandy and our old mate Della were caught in a monsterous hail storm exiting coachwood canyon. Lightning crashed down on the ridge top all about us and we were smashed with hail. Mandy has hated being outside in storms ever since.

I retreat up the hill and we make our way back to the car.

I suggest to the awesome canyon fam that it would be worth checking out someday and the gully I scoped would make a good exit. Russ says he is keen.

Come morning. I had a bunch of stuff I needed to get done yet somehow it all got done much quicker than expected. Then it dawned on me, today is someday!

I message Russ to see if he had plans for the afternoon. He didn’t. He did now.

Again I didn’t have a map or compass but felt I had a good feel for the terrain.

Heading off into the not so dense scrub I picked a line along the ridge I was sure ran between the exit gully I scoped yesterday and that creek containing the falls. I was half expecting a little canyonette and maybe a small cliffline to negotiate. We found neither and before we knew it we were standing in a pretty gully on top of the falls.

There were a few options for anchors so we picked the one that offered the best chance of putting us through the waterfall. Now to see if the ropes would reach.

Peering over the edge ©Russ

I proceed down to the large ledge. Unfortunately this anchor puts me beside the impact zone… For a bit. The further down I go the wetter I get.

Landing on the ledge there are several options to rebelay but they all look a bit boring with questionable pull-downs. I signal up to Russ to payout more rope

I bridge across a small slot then drop into the full brunt of the fall for the final 12m. It’s a fun abseil.

Exhilerated and refreshed we slip up the exit gully and back to the car. It was still super early so we topped it off with a quick dash through Alcatraz.

Party size: 2

Time: East Creek 1hr 20 Alcatraz 1hr 15

If there were no obstacles in the way to disrupt and divert their flow waterfalls would never be so pretty which just goes to show with the right attitude obstacles don’t break you, they make you

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Fools, Pools and Prison Islands

19-9-2020

Dicky, Izy, Libby and meeey

Many years ago I helped carry a girl with a broken leg out of a little known canyon in the Newnes state forest. For the life of me I can’t remember how I got involved in that but I remember asking her party what the canyon was like.

The pools were really pretty, says they. But not worth the scrub bash

Certainly the scrub hiking back up the hill was not pleasant that day.

Figuring that may not be such an issue just now I thought I’d go for a look and the above named legends decided to join me.

Beforehand I asked my mate/guru, Bob if he knew the creek, he mentioned there was an old 4wd track right down into the creek and he use to take his kids down there to teach them to abseil and go yabbying in a pool in an erosion cave but he hadn’t followed the creek further down.

Now I may or may not have misinterpreted the track notes I made from the aforementioned party’s description and so we may have taken far more rope than we needed. Where I wrote Second abseil 50m down creek. I should have wrote 50m further down creek to 2nd abseil… Carrying 100m worth of ropes where the longest abseil was less then 10m may have been overkill…

Anyhoo

Despite some dire weather predictions it was a glorious spring day, mostly, and after Dick and Libby met at my place we swung over to pick up Izy at the crack of d̶a̶w̶n̶, I mean 11am

I chose not to take the 4wd track that goes all the way into the creek as one on the opposite ridge should give us a sorter walk out while still getting us within a few hundred meters of the start of the canyon.

It also gave us great views

Bungleboori Pagodascapes
Libertybell zenning out as the creek starts to look promising
‘Tis just a downclimb
Dick on another down climb. It would be a fun slide into a crystal clear pool except the pool has silted up with sand

So far it’s a pleasant, canyonish creek. Unfortunately it’s about now my camera battery died and I realised I left my spares at home. Everyone else had left their stuff at the car as it was going to be a short one….. Thus we’ve no photos of the best bit, 3 abseils in a very short but very pretty canyonette.

The fires had taken out any decent anchor trees so the fiddle stick came in handy on the first two. 1 off a big log over hanging the drop and the other off a rock wedged low down for a short abseil to a ledge and then a jump into a stunning pool

The third drop proved a bit harder to find an anchor. I was searching in the creek for a suitable rock or some where to wedge a log when Libby says What about that!

She is pointing to a stone pillar in a small overhang up on a ledge just down stream of the waterfall.

We slip up to check it out. Some delicate traversing along the narrow ledge gives me access to the pillar that is in an alcove above a wider ,dirter end section of the ledge, It is about 30cm in diameter and looks and feels nice and solid. I give it a test and drop on in then dig out phone to grab a few final photos.

The little section on top of this was quite stunning. Pity it wasn’t 3 or 4 or 5 times longer. Again this pool was full of sand, that you sank waste deep into. I remember a lot of pools silting up like this after a big fire in the 90s. took a couple of years an some big rain events to clean them back out
The girls were happy with it thou

A final bit of canyon like creek

And then it’s up the hill, across a narrow saddle and back to the car

Did I mention the pogodas out here are awesome

So it’s still early and we decide to leave the wetsuits on and drive across to drop into Alcatraz

all the alcatraz photos are copywrite to Izy

Party Size:4

Timings: First one 2hrs car to car

Alcatraz: ~1.5hrs car to car

You can’t please everyone, unless you’re an avocado: Maddy G

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Return to The Cracks of Doom

31-07-16

Mandy Tal and I

1
Tal descending the first Crack

Those following along at home may recall my recent misadventures, firstly not finding the Cracks of Doom and then not fitting through the Cracks of Doom well after a ” it should only take 1 hour” rail trail meeting went all morning we thought we’d at least get out for an afternoon walk and head back for another folly.

This time we took the abseiling gear and the plan was for a quick look at the Crack of Doom 1 then traverse the cliffline and abseil into the exit crack, Crack of Doom 2.

Plowing straight across the scrub was much better then traversing though it and we found the first crack no dramas.

Have a look down Tal, says I. You might fit. I use to…

Are you sure you that goes? Calls Tal from the depths where the slot becomes nothing but a crack. Um, yep use to.

These types of crack are fairly common in this area, forming along fault lines (for want of better, more correcter terminology) known as joints. These tend to run parallel and perpendicular to each other.

The way they were explained to me, and this may well be completely wrong, was they were formed as the landscape pushed up and the former sea bed raised up to create the Blue Mt range. As it did so the bulge basically caused the sandstone to fracture in the parallel lines which can be seen clearly in aerial photos and satellite imaging, google earth etc..

Anyhoo we make out way back up and follow the cliffline around, making our way a little bit back up hill away from the edge. Ignoring the more obvious start to Cathedral canyon for now we head to Crack of Doom 2. This was our exit slot all those years ago and coming up the end needed a tricky bit of climbing to get up over an over hanging chockstone. Thus the ropes and harnesses for a descent this time around.

We rap in and leave the rope in place as an aid to get out later. I comment to Mandy that the rocks looks like they have seen a bit of traffic. I’m no tracker but it tends to be obvious when others have passed this way. A bit of rock with the moss worn off at on obvious foot hold, that sort of thing.

This crack has a bit more width about it, a tad wider than shoulder width for most of it’s length, and it descends steadily down through the cliff line in a nice ramp. The bottom exit is well hidden, the crack basically runs parallel with the main cliff line and looking up the little alcove it starts in you would not see it if you didn’t know where to look.

The original plan was traverse back along the bottom of the cliff line for a look up the bottom of Crack of Doom 1 but not far around the scrub encroaches right up to the cliff edge. With limited time we opted to forego bashing through this and instead head the other way to the base of Cathedral canyon.

I was surprised to see a number of foot prints in the fine sand along the base of the cliffs. Others must have visited here fairly recently, I’m thinking yesterday as they were quite clear and the fine powdery sand wouldn’t hold a print that clear for too long.

Anyhoo Cathedral canyon is as awesome as I remember. The Bush Explorers refer to it as the Diamond Cavern and describe it with much reverence in their Gardens of Stone books and I can see why but back in the day my guide introduced me to it as Cathedral  canyon and that’s the name I prefer as it does have a Cathedral feel to it.

The micro canyon is very short and gets thinner as it climbs up through the cliff line before your passage is blocked by a small overhang  chock stone 2 or 3 meters up in the narrow walls. Belatedly I figure it would probably be a much easier climb out here. Alas I’d left my pack at the bottom of the abseil.

Anyhoo we have a bit of a look around before head back the way we came.

Party size: 3. All experienced

Time: I really didn’t take much notice but it wouldn’t have been much more than a couple of hours car to car with a few snack breaks and a lot of phaffing about with photos

2
Tal gets to the narrow bit of Crack of Doom1 and thinks yer aint fairdinkum
4
Crack of Doom 1. Yep once upon a time I did fit through
5
Crack of Doom 2. A more sensible width
7
Tal heads down the crack
9a
Mandy Descending
10
Mandy at the 90° exit
12
Heading up Cathedral Canyon
15
Tal in Cathedral Canyon
18
Back at the hidden base of Crack of Doom 2
19
Where’d she go?
20
Knots 101 refresher course. My climbing skills are a little rusty so we used a prusik back up, just in case.
21
22
Tal bridges up and out easy peasy
23
Ignore me, I’m an idiot
25
Another crack across the way
26
Pagoda country
27
Enter a caption
28
Top of Cathedral Canyon

And of course I went back, stopped sooking and squeezed through