Windows again

15-09-2018

With Tim’s crew

So I wouldn’t normally repeat this one so soon as there are other trips nearby I prefer but Tim was back and his trips are always awesome, plus  I was keen to see if it was possible to descend the side slot we visited from the bottom last time, also Ed still hadn’t done Windows and was free, and, well, what the hell

Anyhoo, Ed arrives at my place and we head off to meet the others. With a couple of extras the group was going to be over the max group size recommended by NPs so we decided to break into 2 smaller groups.

I’d head off with the first group and Tim would follow with the second group 15min later. Well I say Tim but we all know Chardie is the real leader, or so he says or sumfink.

We planned to take my pass up for something different. It adds about 30min-1hr to the trip depending on how long to spend soaking in the ambience as the route takes in an impressive bit cliff line that is riddled with slots and niches.

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Marchelle in a mirco canyon on the way up
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After a fairly hot muggy climb up the breeze coming up this natrural chimney was like standing under and airconditioner on a hot day

We spend a bit of time enjoying this and the second group breifly catches back up as I’m leading my group out.

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The plan is to meet up again at the top and stay reasonably close until we find the top of the side slot but first we need to get up my pass

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Laurie squeezing up the narrow pass
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morning tea with a view while we wait for the second group.
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Not a bad view either

Now we had a breif bit of scrub to get through then we should drop down right on top of the slot I wanted to look down and, sure enough I come to the top of a slot except I turned off the ridge slightly too early and living up to the reason I orginally dubbed this spot Kenobi point, this was not the slot I was looking for.

I should have used the GPS….

Anyhoo. It was a tad scrub-bashy but the slot lead us down into the valley easy enough and while it did threaten to canyon up at one point it was nothing on the other slot

Click to enbiggen

And then we split up again. My group would push forward with the bulk of the ropes and set the first couple of abseils. Tim’s group (Chardie’s group) would follow collecting the ropes which would then be exchanged again at the lunch ledge.

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Marchelle on abseil 1
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Ev Abseil 2

 

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The best shot I’ve ever managed to get of the arch that has the window

Actually, I don’t mind this one either

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I set the rope just to have it out of my pack and headed to the lunch ledge. Pointing the way to the ledge to those behind. Laurie missed the memo and as I was eating lunch I hear him call, On rope is any one on Belay?

NO, we’re up here.

I can here them down there but I cant see them. Is some one on belay?

We’re up here. No one is down there.

Oh, laughter

Crisis avoided…

Click to largify

We finish lunch and have a bit of time to soak in the ambience before we hear the second group behind us so we meet them at the base of the abseil, exchange ropes and continue on

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The second group coming down
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Ev ready to continue through the Window

click to size up

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Emerging to confront the paparazzi
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Abseil 4
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Ev about 3/4 of the way down the 5th and final and most impressive and fun abseil

Once down we wait for the second group to catch up before all stringing out for the short walk back to the cars.

Another great day out with awesome people

Most of us are pretending to awesome while struggling to be normal. But what’s the point of normal? Normal never left it’s mark on anyone.

 

Time: A tad over 6hrs car to car

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Windows canyon with extras

30-06-2018

Chardie, Madie and meeeee

Windows is a nice winters canyonish abseil trip and I was keen to link it up with a slightly different way up the hill using the pass we mistakenly discovered on our scrub bash to nowhere, using the approach I later took with Yuri, as I thought it would add to the trip with out adding much time while also avoiding the need to go right to the top of the ridge before fighting our way done through the scrub.

Turns out it works well.

Anyhoo

We meet up at the usual spot and head on down the valley. Up top a bitter wind made things nippy at best. Once in the valley we we’re out of the wind. Still jumpers and beanies were on as we crossed river via the log and made our way up the old rail line.

Soon though, beanies and jumpers were stowed in bags as we left the easy grade behind and headed steeply up beside Penrose gully.

Instead of continuing up the slot through the final cliff line like normal we skirt around below the upper cliff. This section cliff between here and my pass is riddled with slots, erosion caves and other interesting features.

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A slot above the cave dubbed Penrose Cave by Yuri Bolotin. The photo doesn’t so the size of this justice

Following the cliffs we pass many slots, most finishing too high to explore from the bottom but eventually we come to the micro canyon I call Kenobi.

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Like a natural chimeny the wind whistles up here and jumpers were dug out of packs while we explored it’s confines.

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Chardie and Madie entering the void
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©Madie

 

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©Madie
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©Madie

After a short stop here we continue around the corner to my pass. A steep gully leads up and soon becomes blocked by chock stones but a hidden pass up an alcove in the walls lets us continue up. I slip up and drop a rope down for the others to use as a hand line. We are now on a ledge which will let us get on top of the chock stones.

What follows is a narrow squeeze

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Chardie decides it’s too narrow for both him and his pack and chooses to drop his pack back for us to pass up. But he drops it fair over the edge…..

I slip back down to collect Pete’s bag and opt to climb around the squeeze

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©Madie

Once up we have a quick look at the Top of Kenobi but the harsh contrasting light made it hard to photograph so we slip up the other side to take in the views from a spot Yuri has dubbed Jedi Point

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Looking up the Wolgan from Jedi Point
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Looking down the Wolgan from Jedi Point

And then we are only a couple of hundred metres west of where we normally drop into the gully that leads to Windows canyon right next to the side slot.

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A worthy micro canyon in it’s own right. It’s more canyony than the canyon

And then it’s down the gully until it canyons up

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Chardie dropping through the hole
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©Madie

It was here admist banter and laughter I pull the ropes and then realise there is a second part to the abseil….. We hitch a make shift anchor and go again.

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©Madie

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One of the best lunch ledges going.
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Looking back up the canyon

We bask in the sun and have a bite to eat before we continue down to the windows

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Chardie heading down toward the arch which gives the canyon it’s name

 

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An idiot through a window ©Madie
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Madie through the arch
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Madie doing her thing

And then it’s down the hill and back to the car

Group size 3: all experienced

Time: 5hr 45 car to car.

If life gives you lemons you might be a lemon tree

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Views over the wolgan

19-05-2018

Madie, Autal, Catherine, Chris and meeeeee

With the weather turning cold it’s time to focus on dry trips. Depite popular opinion there are a number of dry(ish) canyons not to far from the usual summer trips that are worth a look. This one is a short day in the Wolgan.

The canyon itself isn’t that great in regards to length and depth of the constriction but it has a couple of standout features and great views.

We met at the servo bright and early and sorted car pools to drive down to the car park. Mick was joining us for the haul up through the cliff lines but then leaving as he had afternoon plans in the bigsmoke

Madie was running 5min late but, hey she had a 4hr drive to get here so no one blamed her. Oh, in a previous blog I stated she needed a constant supply of chips and chocolate. that was just a bit of fun after she brought a large pack of chips on the trip I didn’t mean it to sound like she was a snack scoffing fatty. She usually eats nothing but kale washed down with a cup of steam, or sumfink. I’m the fat guy on our trips.

Anyhoo.

The frost was lifting off the tops and down in the valley it was a glorious morning so we wasted little time in setting out up the hill.

Our path up is typically steep but relatively easy for the Wolgan.

Some Pretty section of creek and grand overhangs break up the climb

 

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©Madie
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Ignore me, I’m an idiot… ©Madie
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Autal reaching up for that last hand hold….

and soon we are bathing in sunshine on top of the stunning clifflines that seem so impenetrable from the valley below.

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Chris stretches out in the warm sunshine
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Nice spot of a morning tea break

This is where Mick leaves us and heads back the way we came up. For the rest of us it’s a relatively easy stroll up through the scrub to intersect a faint trail along the ridge.

There is a pleasant bit along the ridge before we drop back down through the scrub to our first anchor point above a 30m abseil down through one of the  highlights

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©Autal
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Me in my happy place ©Autal
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Autal filming Cat as she starts her descent into the unknown. ©Madie

Over the millenia water running down a sloping face have carved a deep groove into the rock befre hitting a band of iron stone that created a small pool halfway up the cliff line. Evenually this pool eroded deeper and deeper  until it bored a hole staright through the cliff

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Abseiling down through that hole is an amzing experience and somewhat scarey as at first it looks and feels like you wont fit ©Madie

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Madie preparing to drop into the hole ©Autal

From below the hole is stunningly circular

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And once through there is still a long abseil to the gully below

A short, dark cave section follows

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Then there is some bounder hoping and scambling down beside the creek before it tries to canyon up

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Autal at the start of the short canyon section ©Madie
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Autal dropping in ©Madie

On our trip last year we were greeted with a deep, very cold pool here that soaked every up to their necks. Today we didn’t even get our feet wet.

click to enbiggen

 

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Cat and Chris in the canyon ©Madie

And then the next highlight is a drop down through this stunning hole through the rock

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©Madie
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The light in this section is just magical but hard to capture with a little point and click camera

At the bottom is usually a deep plunge pool that takes some manoeuvring to get across without falling in. Today it was nearly dry but I made them do the bridge anyway 🙂

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Madie demonstraighting the technique
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Autal emerging from the hole

The hole opens into a chamber with an amzing window out over the Wolgan

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Autal in a hidden slot int he wolgan cliff line
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Yours truly heading back out into the sunlight ©Madie
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Autal emerging from the upper cliff line
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Chris

We have lunch in the sun light on the halfway ledge and then there is one more long abseil before the quick march down the hill to the cars

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It doesn’t get much better than this on a warm Autumn day ©Autal Farkas
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Autal high above the Wolgan ©Madie

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A day in the bush with a fun bunch of people is the perfect chatharsis for the stress of the modern world

 

Party Size: 5 all experienced

Time: 6hr car to car

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Windows

05-08-17

Tim, Yuri, Scott, Louise, Peter, Sophie, Craig, Autal and me

Ah Windows 95, while Machintosh ensured “1984 wouldn’t be like 1984!”,  Windows 95 took Graphic User Interface and plug and play and made it accessable to the microsoft masses who had thus far been stuck in MS-DOS. It may have been the first and last time people got excited about a Windows release.

Anyhoo.

Windows Canyon is nothing like that.

It’s more of an absiel trip with canyony sections and the access as well as the length and tricky starts of the abseils has probably kept the masses at bay.

We park up and do the meet and greet. This time around Tim is going to be ringmaster it’s his circus and we’re his monkeys and he rallys us up for the pep talk then we are off

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Up we go. Out of the wind it’s a pleasant winters day wind jackets and thermals will soon be shed
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In the spirit of adventure we opt to go a slightly harder route up that contains a little shimey up a rock climb
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After climbing up through the cliffline the cliff edge is a great spot to have a drink and a bite ot eat
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Yuri on a brittle shelf way above the Wolgan

Don’t worry it is a bit of an illusion as there is another wide ledge just below and the pedistal is way more solid than it looks.

Autal thought he’d replicate Yuris photo and handed me his brand new TG5 camera. Now over night it was windy. All morning it has been windy. But we really didn’t get too much wind all trip, except as Autal approached the pedistal where a gust of wind plucked the beanie right off his head and made it soar.

Like wow, I’ve seen some pretty impressive paper planes in my day but nothing that caught on the wind like that beanie. Go little beanie. Go!

It went and went and went and went before finally dropping down into the tree line and snagged in a tree in the distance.

Bye bye beanie

Oh well a bit of scrub bashing later and we were in our gully

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One of the impressive side slots
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Sophie in the tunnel
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Scott leading one of the tricky to start abseils
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Craig 1’s new rope gets a test out. Flynny’s rope law. New ropes always tangle
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Over the chock stone or under the chock stone?
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About as canyony as it gets
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Can you keep your feet dry?
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OK it does get a bit canyony
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View from the lunch ledge
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Louise absieling through the arch “Window”
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A window on the world. Louise setting up ropes
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A fine Window it is
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Autal through a window
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Autal under the arch with a window
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Scott leading the last absiel
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Tim about halfway down the last pitch
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Homeward bound

Another great day in the bush with great people

Time: a tad under 5hrs car to car

Thanks to Tim for organising and making it run so effortlessly.

 

 

 

“Get out there now and make sure you become part of the glorious past in somebody else’s future!” Andrew Penny

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