Jen, Jodie, Diana, Joel, Ed, Russ, Chewy and meeeeeeee
In an effort keeping positive vibes flowing on the Australian Canyoners FB group through the “Off season” (And to break up the flood of stunning photos Madie’s been posting about European Canyoning. Not that we are jealous. Not us. No…) I put out a Xmas in July canyoning challenge, So far Kylie and Colin had lead trips resulting in awesome photos.. Now it was our turn.
After a round of photos it was into our first canyon, Zorro
And then it was back up to the tops for a lovely Xmas lunch over looking the One and Only Emerites Wolgan resort
Then it’s back to the cars for a short drive around to our next destination. Not so much a canyon as a crack.
So my nephew is keen on canyoning but for one reason or another his options for doing a long wet canyon are limitted.
I’ve been meaning to get him down another dryish canyon for a while. My original plan was to take him down Tiger Snake canyon but we had to get back to town early and I had not taught him to abseil yet so we descided on this one with an optional abseil for the hell of it.
Now some people dismiss the smaller, drier non abseil canyons but this one has one of the prettiest constrictions going and it’s close to home so it was a no brainer
Nathan and Mandy enter the canyon from the bottom
A massive storm 18months ago scoured the sand out of this bit leaving a puddle just on balls deep. Today it was icy
With frozen toes we decide to slip up onto the tops for a bite to eat and a bask in the sun
It was glorious
looking back into the depths
Warmed and fed we continue on
And make our way back to the cars for a bit of wedding cake action
What if something is on TV and it’s never shown again? :Smudge- Outdoor type
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.
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.
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.
Like a natural chimeny the wind whistles up here and jumpers were dug out of packs while we explored it’s confines.
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
I slip back down to collect Pete’s bag and opt to climb around the squeeze
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
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.
And then it’s down the gully until it canyons up
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.
We bask in the sun and have a bite to eat before we continue down to the windows
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
Acoustic/SunnySide/Wombat(WTF?) is a great little canyon to visit in Winter as it has a nice constriction, some awesome erision caves and with a little bit of care it’s possible to get through it in normal conditions without getting you feet wet.
It’s fairly short so it’s usually conbined with other trips out that way but we had some other stuff to do and living close it’s an easy half day.
Pulling into the car park I handed the map and compass to Tal. Navigation is as straight forward as it gets in trackless terrain so it’s not a bad one to practice on. I gave him a bearing and he lead off following the path of least resistance through the scrub while staying on course. A decent effort delivered us to the dry water course about 100m upstream of where the pogodas sprout out the the ground and the creek canyons up.
Just before the jaws of the canyon Mandy decided to have a lie down when she stepped in a hole and twisted her ankle. After a bit of drama queen stuff she got up and said she’d be fine to keep going.
We left her to walk out the sprain a little as I lead Tallis up an easy scramble to check out the Acoustic chambers from above. The ridge above the western wall is easy to negotiate and gives a great perspective on the canyon.
After quickly checking it out from above we make our way back to Mandy and head on in.
The canyon starts with a little twist and then a nice little tunnel scramble
There’s a few spots where it looks like you are sure to get your socks (and more) wet but with a bit of route finding and care you don’t even get the soles of your shoes wet
and after a little bit of fun the eastern wall opens in to the large chamber…..
You soon have to tranverse across the base of another chamber. In any other canyon this one would blow you away but it is eclipsed a bit by the previous one.
It’s advisable to traverse the right hand ledge above the last 100m of canyon. this avoids a little scrub as well as some delicate vegetation in the final slot which ends in a boulder choke. It also gives better views out into the Wolgan as the canyon opens up.
The view down into the final slot is also pretty cool
There are a few ways to exit. On my first visit we climbed an easy spot on the west wall and went back along the tops. It is also possible to scrmble out the exit portal and scramble around into Bushranger creek or to simply reverse the canyon but most parties now seem to use a hidden slot in the east wall. There a bit of a step up to access it so those short of leg may need a boost but once on the ledge it’s an easy ramp all the way to the top of the cliffs.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
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Once up there are vista’s applenty and it’s worth having a good look around.
Then Tal was back on map and compass to lead up up the ridge to the old fire trail and hence back to the car
Party size: 3 all experienced
Time. 1.5hr car to car even with the photo phaffing
Video to come if I can work out why my external drive with the go pro file and editted video on it decided to go RAW…
“many believe that the nature of the universe is to hide itself from mortal eyes. That we must search and meditate upon all around us to see and grasp the simple truth that
is enlightenment. However, perhaps the answers are being told to us all the time and we have just forgotten how to hear them.”