Dalpura Canyon

26-03-16

Tal, Mandy and my good self

DCIM100GOPRO
DCIM100GOPRO

Dalpura is a Wiradjuri (?) word meaning “Calm.”

Dalpura brook is a calm little creek off the Bells line of Road, near Bell, that has some shallow, short but very pretty canyon sections along its length before it plumbles over the cliffs into the Grose valley.

It was a bit of stop,start, on again, off again, change plans again and again this weekend. I was originally aiming for something a little more remote, an over nighter out to Crikey or something. But for various reasons it just wasn’t going to happen so then we revised the plan for a double header of Dalpura and another, lesser know Canyon nearby. It was just Me Mandy and Tal available so it didn’t really matter what we did.

Then Tal got invited to go camping with his mates so we thought maybe a little romantic walk up near the Glowworm tunnel to scout out a dry-ish canyon I knew about but wasn’t 100% sure of the location.

Then a few of Tal’s mates called in sick so he didn’t go camping.

Sleeping in a little and waking up to a very pleasant day we finally decided on plan D 2.1. It would be a shame to waist a nice day so let’s atleast do Dalpura on it’s own.

Dalpura is a fairly short trip with a few short, shallow canyon sections. Not something people would set aside a whole day to drive up and do but living close by it seemed like a valid option to me.

Once again trying to keep that exploratory feel I didn’t read too much about it but printed out the notes for Tal and Mandy to use as a guide. We parked off the highway at a little gate blocking an old fire trail. It kind of matched the description but we were a bit further east than the Grid reference given. Looking at the map it looked possible to head straight down south and hit one of the many upper gullies that ran into Dalpura Brook. So that’s what we did.

It was a little scrubby along the ridge but we avoided a hanging swamp and found ourselves following a small water course down to the cliff line. Where we were blocked by a reasonable size drop. We scramble around to the left where another gully drops in. and are stopped by a smaller drop. Back around under the cliff line to the right we find a fallen tree that gives easy access to the canyon floor.

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Mandy sliding down the log. It’s steeper than it looks

We have come into a dry creek bed in a pretty amphitheater. Down stream is a short canyonious section

 

but then the gully opens up and became very over grown. Looks like the 2013 fires had burnt right through here. There was lots of dead fall and the regrowth was jungle like. Thick scrubby and not much fun in the heat of the day, in wetsuits.

Then the cliffs closed in and the now flowing stream dropped through a narrow cleft into an amazingly green pool.

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It looks so inviting

 

We had debated about whether to bother with wetsuits but in the end had decided I’d rather carry them in and not need them than leave them at home and go hypothermic. We had put them on in the first little canyonette which had some deep wades but they had been getting uncomfortably warm during the scrub bash down the more open section. Peering into the sublime chamber below we couldn’t wait to get in.

We set the ropes and Tal lead the way. This is a nice little abseil into what would have to be one of the prettiest little canyon chambers in all of the Blue Mtns. My photos just don’t do it justice.

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I’m not sure what minerals give the water this colour but it really is sublime.

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Mandy happy to swim back through for a photo

After stuffing around with photos and videoing , and Tal exploring the possibility of scrambling back up to do it as a jump (to no avail) we continue down stream.

 

There are several short canyon section inter-spaced with pleasant creek walking

 

Even the yabbies have taken on the pale aqua-blue colouring.

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2 large mesial carpal spines of E.Spinifer

Although the slot was never that deep there was some nice bits to it including a tunnel like section. Part way through this a log jam has created a tight duckunder that I had to remove my pack to  enable me to swim through

We stopped for lunch at the top of the optional abseil that marked the end of the canyon. Shall we head down for a look? says I.  OK says Tal. Not I says Mandy.

It’s an interesting little drop done in 2 stages, both slippery a snot. Tal steps into what he thinks is a shallow pool between the two stages and promptly sinks well  over his head…

The ledge below had promised views over the Grose Valley (I’ve never understood what’s so grose about it. Even Charles Darwin described it a s”Stupendous” and “Magnificent” maybe it should be the “Grouse Valley, mate”) However these as just glimpses through the scrub at the edge of where Dalpura drops over the steepness amongst a mass of boulders.

We scramble back up beside the water fall, pick up Mandy and make our way out along Jinki ridge which has some great views out over the pagoda country almost as spectacular as those at the Lost City,

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Tal on a plate pagoda to left of shot. Mt Vic in the fast distance to right of shot and the cliffs of Blackheath in the distance just right of center

Party Size: 3, all experienced

Times: 4hrs car to car relaxed pace lots of photos and mucking around

 

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