Newnes Canyon, AKA Starlight, AKA the Amazing Wallaby Tunnel

07-10-2017

Ed, TJ, Sav, Tina, Rob, Autal and me

Most people do Newnes ( or Starlight) Canyon as a round trip, climbing up the pipeline trail, working their way around the ridges and abseiling in. And don’t get me wrong that’s a great way of doing it but there is a lot to be said about doing it as an up and back from the bottom.

The canyon is off limits over winter as it is an important hybernation cave for bentwing bats and disturbing them during their sleepy time invariable leads to a percentage of them dying as there is no food around food them to replenish the energy it takes to come out of hybernation.

Anyhoo, I had planned to do this earlier in the year on the last weekend before the closure except in the week leading up NPs put out a notice that they were hazard reduction burning and all the canyons in the area were closed…….

Fast forward to the other end of hybernation season and we were good to go.

The plan was to ride down the maintenance trail from the locked gate, stash the bikes then make up way up to the cliffline and into the canyon.

I’ve done it this way several times and have always been able to get all the way up to the bottom of the abseil point (the top of the canyon) no dramas. However, last summer people were reporting deep swims in the tunnel and while that is normal after heavy rain the fact that the water hung around post rain had me thinking maybe something in the floor or blockage had changed.

Not tha I was too worried about long swims after the dry winter we’ve had but the thought of a deep wade through stagnant, bat shit filled water wasn’t that inviting. I needn’t have worried as the tunnel was as dry as a nun’s nasty.

But I get ahead of myself

While bikes arn’t necessary they do turn an hour long fire trail walk either way into the 20min ride and the ride down was uneventful, almost. Tina had a small off at the bottom of a loose down hill on a sandy corner and hurt her elbow. As a mad trail runner that didn’t bother her. a sore elbow would not stop her from running so no worries. We hide the bikes in the thick scrub and head across the river which is about as low as I’ve ever seen it.

 

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A bridge over the wolgan

Up the hill we went taking a bit more of a meandering route than I usually take which made the climb up fairly simple, then we took in the views down the Wolgan from the base of the upper cliff  before working our way around into the canyon.

 

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Looking down the magnificant Wolgan Valley

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Entering into the lower canyon is like entering another world. The micro climate is completely different to the scrub out on the exposed hill side

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This is magical, Flynny, says Sav as we make our way up through ferns, coachwoods and vines so big that at first you think you are stepping over a fallen tree, only to realise its a living vine.

I smile to myself, this is just the appetiser and I think that is the reason I like doing the reverse trip of Newnes Canyon. The starlight section is so awesome that when you come through it from the top you are in such awe of the top section that you kind of over look how spectacular this bottom section is.

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There are a few scrambling sections but everytime you would otherwise be blocked tree roots and vines have grown into the perfect pass up.

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And then, just as you are thinking the walls are petering out and the canyon is about to open out the upper cliffs encroach and suddenly the canyon closes in

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A lovely narrow section of canyon follows and again people remark how awesome it is. But again I know it gets better
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Autal in the long section of deep, narrow canyon
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Tina with head torch on as the walls get higher and the canyon gets darker
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The canyon breifly opens out and what was dry, bare and sandy suddenly becomes damp, lush and green
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Tina in the green section

And then we reach the Amazing Wallaby tunnel, better known as the Starlight section, high up the walls close in so much, become so twisted, and are jammed with chock stones that it forms a high narrow tunnel.

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Autal and Rob entering the tunnel

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I feel on previous trips the glowworms were far more abundant, maybe that has to do with the dry winter, maybe it’s just the time of year as I think it’s around mating season for the flies, maybe it’s just modern headlights are so bright now you don’t notice the worms unless you tuen them off and give your eyes a few minutes to adjust, or maybe the bats had a wormy feast when they awoke

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After 300m or so of tight twisting tunnel the roof opens back up and just around the corner is the waterfall that is the normal absiel in point.

I have known people to absiel in here but be blocked by deep water in the tunnel so they had to prusik back out and abseil in further down. I also know of at least 1 group who pulled their ropes without checking the tunnel was passable and were forced to spend a couple of days huddled here waiting for rescue…. When absieling in the first person need check all the way through the tunnel before getting others to absiel or pulling ropes.

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And after taking time to enjoy just being there we leave Ed and TJ to get about photo phaffing with their good cameras and the rest of us make our way back down

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Autal in a narrow squeeze admiring the bats far above
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Autal in the green section

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We have a bit of lunch and then explore up a side canyon called Upside Down canyon.

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Bottom section of Upside Down Canyon.

The bottom section of Upside Down involves some tricky climbs up through small holes. I made the first look far harder than it was mainly as I forgot had the go pro on a chest mount and had to do some contortioning so as not to scracth the crap out of it.

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Rob squeezing up through one of the holes. It’s about 7foot straight down, if you squint you can make out Tina down below him
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Ron in Upside Down canyon
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Our path was blocked by this small waterfall

I remeber the water fall from previous visits and  started brisging up, the walls were a tad slippery, I had no doubt we could get everyone up, what I did doubt thou was getting people back down safely without ropes… I’m sure there use to be a log or something here to make the down climb simpler.

Anyhoo despite knowing the top section has some pretty bit I decide it’s not worth the risk today so we turned tail and headed back down.

Ed and TJ are still phaffing so we sit back and just take in the surrounds

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Honey comb walls. we sat and watched the bird dart in an out of pockets and holes
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Supurb Lyrebird on the wing
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Then it was time to head on out
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I’d noticed this massive vine knotted around the base of the tree on the way up and was hope to catch it in the right light on the way back down. The light did not disappoint. Another advantage of doing the canyon as an up and back the changing light can be magical

 

 

 

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And before long we are back at the Wolgan river

The ride back up the valley is a bit more difficult than the ride down but for a mountain biker it’s still better than trudging along a fire trail.

Party size: 7 mixed canyoning experience levels but all experienced outdoors

Timing: 6hr 20 with lots of photo phaffing and chilling out

 

People talk about their comfort zone as though it’s a place they want to stay don’t they realise your comfort zone is the most dangerous place to be

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Coachwood and Rocky Creek Canyons

27-09-2017

Julie, Michael, me

Last time I did Coachwood canyon was about ’97. I couldn’t remember much about the trip other than the Coachwood forest made for nice photos and  as I abseiled out the end I could hear what I first thought was airforce jets zooming over the gully. Turned out it was a wall of hail that was just about it hit. It struck with avengence just as Della and Mandy joined me at the bottom. Gathering the rope as Rocky creek began to rise we made a dash down stream to the big bend where we cimbed up to a little cave to wait out the fury. An hour or so later we cimbed up a hail covered ridge. Photos below (Click to enlarge)

 

Anyhoo, I had a week off work and I know Julie is always looking for people to go canyoning mid week so I hit her up.

Yep I’m off Wednesday, says She. Want to do Coachwood?

Sure do, says I

I was keen to get back, it’s reasonably dry but I had no recolection of the canyon itself.

Want to reverse up Rocky creek to exit? says she.

Are you freaking kidding how freaking cold is that going to be… I think but instead my brain replies with, Yeah, sure.

Anyhoo We drive up to the Bungleboori picnic spot to meet Michael. Instead we meet Geoff, Anna, Peter, Ruth and other assorted UBMW members heading off to do a rarely visited canyon not so far from ours. Anna looks confused as she does a head count. Oh we arn’t with you guys we’re meeting someone else.

all good they pile in cars and head off. Michael arrives shortly after and we do the same. Veering on the the Galah mountain road we see Geoff and his group driving backout. That was quick.

Big tree down just up ahead, we couldn’t move it. He informs us. We’re changing plans.

Oh we might as well have a look. Yep big tree. we go bush and carefully edge around it and continue on our way.

I think I know why I couldn’t remember much of coachwood. It’s not much of a canyon. A bit of fun but nothing overly “Wow!”

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We somehow missed the top of the first absiel and walked in below the waterfall
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The Coachwood forest I remebered being so picturesque

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Julie on the first of our absiels
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Michael dropping in
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Michael on the the very nice second last abseil
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Julie on the last abseil
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Lunch in Rocky Creek
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All Rugged up ready for the swim up Rocky Creek

Now traditionally for me Rocky Creek is a NewYears day or later canyon. It’s always cold so I was a little apprehensive. But we’d layed up. I had a thermal top, 3mm steamer wetsuit with a 3mm spring suit over the top. Woolen beanie to keep the noggon warm and over it all a light spray jacket to keep the wind off.

With all that on and working our way up stream I never felt cold at all. Infact because the beanie stayed dry it got a little warm and I ended up splashing water over my face a couple of times to cool my head down.

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Rocky Creek
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Rocky Creek

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The light is so different each time you visit

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Toasty warm

And of course the early waratahs were out on the ridge

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all in all a fun day out. I’d classic more of a trip up Rocky Creek with an alternate entrance

Party Size: 3 all Expereinced

Time: 5.5hrs car to car

 

What if something is on TV and it’s never shown again? Smudge

 

 

Then the next day it was off to do Zorro and Cathedral canyons with the Cracks of Doom Thrown in

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The Timber Chute

03-09-17

Mandy and I

A long time ago dad told me about this timber chute up a slot that gave easy access to the cliff tops above the Wolgan. They use to slide logs down it, said he. It’s somewhere around here, it’s an easy road up to the base of it and you can sit on the cliff edge at the top and see the whole valley.

So I’ve been looking for it on and off for years, well not really. I’ve always hoped to come across it in my travels but hadn’t really done any detective work  or set out with a goal to specifically go looking for it, just had it in the back of my mind that it would be cool to stumble across.

Once I found an old timber platform hanging over the Wolgan cliffs out past long swamp and thought maybe that was it, may be dad had is spot mixed up and they accessed it from the top rather than from the valley. No, he said, it’s down past the pub somewhere. Well that left a big somewhere. Not sure what it was we found, someone suggested a hang glider launch… Anyhoo

Last year while flicking through an old climbing guide that I had read and read again back when we had first gotten into climbing, one that has been sitting in my draw for the last 20 years, Lo and behold there it was staring me in the face. “The Timber chute walls”. You eeejiot Craig!

How had I missed that?

So I dragged Mandy out for a walk and we followed the cliff lines around and found a likely creek. But just up stream we were blocked by a small water fall. Our up and down route along the cliff had sucked up too much time and we needed to beat a retreat. Next time Gagdet.

12 months later I was keen as keen for another look.

This time we followed the old road up the gully before spearing off and making our way up to the cliff line. The lower cliff line here is more a jumble of broken slabs and each time we got into the creek we were stopped by another unclimbable waterfall so we traversed back and forward up through the scree and finally reached the base of the upper cliff. From here it was an easy walk around into the canyon.

And what a little ripper it is.

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Old retaining wall
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The Wolgan Clifflines never cease to strike awe into me
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The Portal
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The entrance to the Timber chute. Those two logs spanning the gap arn’t dead fall or wash down they are have been carefully measured and set into carve notchs. Unfortunitely there is no trace of the chute below this
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to get an evan ramp some of these notchs are 2 or 3 meters up in the walls

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It looks as though flash floods have wash quiet a few beams down

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I wonder if they had a bullock dragging the logs or if they just let them fly?

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When the canyon opens out at the top the tallest tree fern I’ve seen greets me
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Looking back down
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And back down at the old logging road this little lyrebird wasn’t shy at all.

Party Size. 2 Both experienced

Time: 3hrs car to car with lots of photos and a long lunch

You have Nothing to loose and a world to see. What are you doing in here?

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What a Nightmare!!!

Nightmare canyon

19/08/17

Tim, Kent, Sheila, Marchelle, Ev, John, Doug, Craig, Pete and me

 

Nightmare canyon, it sounds, um, nightmarish but it’s a pleasant, if somewhat short, canyon in the Wolgan valley with some interesting abseils.

I’ve been enjoying heading out with Tim, Kent and their band of canyon addicts, they run great, well organised trips.

Anyhoo, it was back to the Wolgan and up everyones favourite little hill, the Pipeline trail

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You can’t walk up the pipeline without a side trip to the lookout. It’s the law.

Click to enlarge

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Hazard reduction burn late last year has left the ridge denuded of the usual nightmareish scrub
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And it wasn’t long until we drop into our creek
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Tim leads down the second drop which looks delightfully…. I mean nightmarishly tight
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And it just gets worse
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Horrible Canyon formation
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They look terrified don’t they
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The kind of absiel that wakes you at night in a cold sweat
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Ev hugging the log for comfort
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What terror awaits us around this corner? Probably a demented clown or something, We’ll let the girls go first

Marchelle disappearing into the abysys

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Everyone knows lime green is Disney’s colour for evil

 

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I have no words
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Tim battleing a evil split rope
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Oh the horror
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One step closer to the edge

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Total nightmare
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My go next
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Actually this aint so bad
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More like a sweet dream really…

Well except when you plunge into the nut deep pool. My outie became and innie again.

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Oh sure they pull Kent across so he doesn’t get wet… Favouritism
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Ok The halfway ledge has it’s moments
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Like the fossilised remains of this dragon

But it also has it’s grandour.

Click to make huge

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Then all too soon we are back in the valley at the ruins.

 

Party Size: big but all experienced and a rope for every drop

Time: 6.5hrs car to car

“May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing views…” Edward Abby

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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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A Glen Davis Adventure

29/07/2017

Kent, Tim and their band of merry adventurers.

Glen Davis is a bit of a canyoners paradise. A quick scan of the clifflines shows slots carving through the sandstone pretty much everywhere you look. Yet being a bit further from Sydney the canyons are less frequented than those in the Blue Mountains or over the hill in the Wolgan. Publicised track notes are also scarce and getting up through the cliff lines takes a good bit of route finding, navigation and rock scrambling (if not outright climbing) skills.

All of this means the canyons here retain a bit more of a wild, explorationy feel. It is an epic location.

When Kent sent out an invitation to do the Coin Slot lets just say I was keen as mustard.

it was going be a large group but the plan was to split into smaller groups and take different routes up. Just about every one was carrying ropes and the first group to get to the canyon would set the ropes and the last group would retrieve them before we all met at the base of the last abseil.

I pick up Peter and Ben and we meet the others at Capertee. I’m so use to pulling into the car park, grabbing packs and heading off. This standing around socialising is a all a bit of a novelty.

We roll down into Glen Davis and regroup. More socialising. This is going to be a relaxing day. or is it?

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The narrow slot in the shadow centre of shot is our goal. First though we somehow need to get up through those cliff lines.

Big groups are often hard to get organised but Kent is the consummate ring master and he gathers everyone together, gives the spiel on how the  day is to go and splits us into our group. Climbers here, scramblers there. and we’re off.

The groups soon spread out on the haul up the steep fall zone to the base of the cliffs

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It’s a steep scramble from the river up to the base of the cliff

We gain a lot of elevation quickly but the clifflines still tower above us and the route is not overly obvious.

We harness up. The first pitch is pretty simple. 1 balancey move as you step across a gap and you’re basically up. Autal makes short work of it and I follow him and set ropes. the rest of the group will be roped up. Ruth joins me to haul packs while I belay the others as they climb up one by one.

With everyone up it’s a traverse along a narrow ledge with stunning views before we wind our way up and onto a sucession of ledges.

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I think I spent most of my day capturing this view from different vantage points

The zig zagging route takes us through some stunning erosion caves with sands of  different colours and textures.

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Working our way up through zig zagging ledges beneath erosion caves.

 

I’m caught up in the experience and am snapping photos of the views.

Craig and James we need you guys up this bit next to set ropes on the last pitch. Calls Kent. Apparently we are the “climbers” in the group.

The next pitch is fairly simple as far as technicality goes. Someone has already managed to get up  and so the rope is set by the time I get there. Again one or two moves that are difficult more from the exposure than the moves themselves. We are now along way up. Maybe 50 meters above the base of the cliff, which itself is a hundred meters or so above the river so it becomes a head game.

One step out then up and around. Foot holds are solid and plentyiful but at one stage the hand holds are slopers. I get up and replace Kent who has been on top belay. He goed ahead and direct people through the next section.

I take over rope duties to belay others us to a small ledge below the final climbing pitch. Trust your feet, says I more then once.

Over the radios we hear the first group has already made it to the canyon. With a small group of experienced climbers this route would be quick and easy. The size of our group has definitely slowed things down but we are not in a hurry and it’s all part of the experience and the views were breath taking on a stunning winters day.

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Kent doing a tip top job at keeping the large group under control and moving

A bit of a bottle neck is forming on the small ledge between these two pitches. James has managed to free solo the next pitch and drop a rope down and so he starts belaying others up the last pitch as I bring the last of the group up mine.

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the view for the ledge below the 3rd pitch. That little clearing left of centre is just up stream of where we left our cars. Check out that big nose of rock hanging out of the cliff on the right.

The last pitch is the longest we’ll do, maybe 6 or 7 meters, it’s only about grade 9 or 10 but again you are a long way up and it seems like there is nothing but air between your feet and the river several hundred meters below. It’s an awe inspiring place to be.

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The nose always goes: Sometimes.
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Trust your feet. Nichole on the second of the roped pitches

The last pitch starts on small holds and foot placements are smeers more than anything. But with a bit of assistance on the first meter or two everyone gets over it and from there the climb is pretty simple. As people top out they head off towards the canyon. By the time I’m up and James coils the rope it’s just the two of us.

Sue and Sonya wait for us at one of the turns and Kent waits to lead us through the final bit of scrub. The first group have left ropes set up so all we need to do is head on in and retrieve ropes as we go. So despite the big group we were spread out and you were only ever in groups of two or three with little to no waiting at the abseils. The groups chopped and changed a bit as people waited to help cart ropes out and others went ahead.

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James dropping into the creek

 

 

 

 

 

Click images to enlarge

The unique heart shaped chock stone is the iconic image of this trip. it’s a nice drop and you don’t notice the shape until you look back up from just down stream.

And then the creek drops down into an stunning dark slot.

 

 

 

 

click to enlarge

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Kent descending the first big abseil into the dark slot

It was here we struck the only glitch in the smooth running of the day. The rope refused to pull.

Kent scrambled up the bottom drop, throwing himself backward over the lip, legs akimbo. I’ve heard of looking up old friends but that was a bit much. Nichole averted her eyes…

Trying different angles the rope still wouldn’t budge. I climb up to Kent and between our combined weight of mumblemumble kilos and a bit of backwards and forwards on the different rope ends we manage to free it with out needing to resort setting up Z lines or the like.

The biggest hold up of the descent, 15min freeing a jammed rope. Not too shabby.

Just around the corner it looks as though the slot is finished but it wasn’t done with yet and the best was yet to come.

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Nichole on rope with the stunning view of the valley in the back ground.

The “Coin slot” abseil it breath taking. A scramblie start then down through a hole and the bottom of the world seems to fall out from under you. It looks and feels far higher than it is. I lock off to try and get a photo looking down but as I take my top hand off the rope I start to swing back…. Um normally on a big drop my pack is pretty much empty. As rope mule this time around I have 2 60m ropes in there. Lesson learnt. I quickly grab the rope as a guide and continue down. Photos can wait.

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Sue coiling ropes at the bottom of the fourth abseil. This is my favourite shot of the trip. What an awe inspiring place

Oh did you notice the faces in the rock?

faces

And still we weren’t done.

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Sue bridging out to get to the final anchor

 

 

 

 

Click images to enbiggen

With the group back together for the first time since we left the cars we dolled out ropes and head off back down the hill.

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Hi Ho

All in all an enjoyable day with a great bunch of people.

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Group size: Large but spread out with lots of ropes and capable leaders

Time: About 6.5hr car to car with bottle necks on the climbs

“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of
changing himself.”
Leo Tolstoy

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A wander around some Wollangambe wilderness

08-07-2017

Ed, Etham, Ciaus, Jake and me.

Another trip to this short but pretty dryish canyon out the back of Clarence, and a stop at Goochs Crater on the way back

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This is an awesome sheltered cave. The creek, when it’s running flows through the back of it.
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Venturing up the stuning side canyon. First recorded exploration of this slot by a bushwalking club was a group from Sydney Uni Bush Walking club in 1962, though I suspect Col Oloman would have visited previously either on one of his solo trips or with friends as they explored the areas through here across to the Bungleboori and beyond. Neither bothered to name it.
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I keep forgetting how short this slot is. You get caught up in the light and ambience and time ceases to have meaning
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the large cave in a 180 bend in the canyon.It’s like another world. Ciaus and Ed desided when society falls apart this might be a good place to live
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Ed in one of the more open twists and turns in the very narrow upper section of canyon
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tight and twisting canyon formation
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Ed on the peak, the canyon carves around either side of him. The cave at the bend can be seen in the cliff line, though the scale of it is hiddne by the trees
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We seem to be climbing out to look down on the top of canyons a lot lately
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Ciaus and Jake as the canyon opens out slightly near the cave
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Ed in the canyon
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On our way back out

Then it was over the ridge and out to Goochs Crater

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Ed looking down on the cliff lined swamp known as Gooches crater
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Looking down on Ed and Ethan through the Sky light in Goochs arch
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It’s an interesting feature
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Jake heading over to join Ethan and Ed under the arch
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It really is impressive
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Jake in the well used camp/party cave looking back towards the arch

All in all a pleasant winters day in the bush

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“Life must be lived as play.” – Plato.

Tiger Snake Canyon

01-07-2017

Ed Tal and me

Tiger snake is a cool little canyon. The two canyon sections are very short but the top one is tight with some interesting climb downs/absiels and the bottom section is magnificantly deep and narrow making it very cave like. One of the few “dry” canyons where you need a head torch in the midde of the day.

It’s a hard subject to photograph well but we had a goal in mind for sun set shots at a spot close by and thought this would be a good way to fill in the day.

-7.5° is almost a record low over night temp for the ‘Go, lucky its a short day and we weren’t planning to leave until 10am. By then most of the frost had melted and while cold, the sun was shining nicely.

The walk in was fairly uneventful and we reach the cleft where the small creek drops into the upper section without incident

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It’s an awe inspiring fissure, Narrow and dark

In all our previous trips we have absieled directly down here. It is an awkward absiel, as you have to bridge out over the narrow section to a bit that gives a bit more room, then you are pretty much down climbing on rope, if you slip you are going to swing in and get grated into the narrow bit… This time we deside to check out the alternate anchor point from higher up on the pagodas next to the slot.

 

The views fromthe top are amazeballz

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Tal and Ed checking the view and enjoying the sun shine

It also gives you a great perspective over the top section of canyon. It really is narrow and short

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That dark slot drops 15-20meters down before openning up just around the corner
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The abseil from the higher anchor point is still narrow and awkward but you don’t feel you are goign to get pulled back into the narrow slot, plus you miss a little pool so keep your feet dry for a bit longer
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Ed dropping in

Once in there is a slipery down climb, another advantage of the high anchor and long ropes is you can leave them set to assist you dont this bit and along the log to keep your feet dry again

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And then it’s the infamous bundle of sticks anchor. Where some one has placed a surperfluous fixed line.

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Hmmm that water looks cold, might take a few balancey moves to keep our feet dry
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Tal descends as Ed watches on
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Ed unclipping on a tiny ledge as he contemplates how to keep his feet dry

With the advantage of a bit of hieght I managed to bridge across easily. Tal had a bit of a go but decided the risk of slipping in outweighed the thought of getting his socks wet so just stepped in. Ed took a bit of time and all but done a Van Dam like set of splits but made it across the small, wet, slippery, sloping ledge.

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The top section finishes with this 17m absiel next to a small water fall

 

It is possible, with some good scrambling and down climbing skills to do the entire top section, including this bit, without abseiling but it is risky and why would you miss this one? It’s a very nice abseil

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Ed on rope Tal on firemans belay

 

It’s a short walk down the gully, the creek is dry again with the wtare from the canyon soaking into the sandy soil, to the lower constriction

There are acouple of ways in. Entering straight down the creek is nice but it is an awkaward drop and you do get wet at the bottom. This is the way I have been on all previous trips except the last one.

The other way is to scramble along the top of the canyon on a dodgy ledge to a anchor high up on a chock stone bridge. You do miss a bit of very pretty canyon but with a bit of scrambling/climbing skill you can make you way all the way up to the bottom of the awkward drop.

On the plus side the high entry is a great absiel down a dark hole and you keep your feet dry

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Ed Disappearing down the rabit hole
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It’s 20-25m straight downinto the darkness between walls so narrow that half way down you turn around to put your feet on the oposite wall

We spend some time in the dark depths snapping photos. Hopefully Ed gets some shots he can work with. My little TG struggled a bit in the darkness with my small head light trying to light paint the walls. My bike lights might have been better able ot illuminate the scenes.

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Ed sitting high up on a delicate arch within the darkness of the canyon
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Ed on a narrow bridge getting ready to defend 13 dwarves and a hobbit against a Balrog!
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Ed at the exit portal
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Tal and ed making their way downthe boulder scramble below the canyon
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What goes down must go up. Climbing out
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Climbing out

After doing all the “extreme” stuff I go arse over tit on the flattest part of the trail back to the car. I slipped on a slimey log, thought I’d caught my slef only for the momentum of the haeave pack to tip me over and drive my head into the ground. Mush laughter was had at my expense..

Driving back along the Coach rd we are stopped by a car coming the other way. How much further is the camp ground? says he

Which camp ground ar you looking for? say I

The one at New-nes, is it New-ness? says she

Newnes. You wont get there going this way.

We lost GPS when we turned off the highway.

Yep but you turned off the highway 20km to early and have gone 30km out of your way. 45years ago you could drive down from here…

they ask if there were any spots to camp up here and decide on a rough camp rather than trying to drive all the way back around in the fading light. Did I mention -7.5°? The night promised to be just as cold and they don’t really look like the outdoors type.

We point the way to a bit of a area where they might set up camp and wish them well then head off to capture a sun set from the cliff lines above the Wolgan

 

 

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Sun set over Donkey Mt. People might pay thousands of dollars per night to stay atthe resort below us but they wont hae views like this.

Tiger Snake canyon

Party Size 3 all experienced

Time: about 5hrs car to car with a lot of photo phaffing

 

‘It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.”” — J.R.R. Tolkien

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The Dry Canyon

25-06-17

Catherin, Devon and I

So after our trip through River Caves Mandy had to be back in town early but the rest of us decided to take the drive out to the dry canyon which is always a great one for showing newbies

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It’s a bit pongy today, says I. Probably that dead dingo, says Catherin. Don’t know how I missed it. Poor thing looks to have taken a few wounds and sort refuge up in a little alcove but didn’t make it through.
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Standard dry canyon shots to come

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And with plenty of time in the day we decided to slip over the tops to bask in some sunlight and take in the views

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The pagodas that from the Dry canyon with Donkey Mt in the back ground
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At least here we can look down on the rich bastards in the Emerites resort

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Its a long way down into that dark cervice to where we just were
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It doesn’t feel like it arcs so much when you walk through it
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Heading back up the middle canyon section

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All in all a pleasant day in the great outdoors

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“the great French climber called it ‘The conquistadors of the useless.’ Yeah, the end result is absolutely useless, but every time I travel, I learn something new and hopefully I get to be a better person.” –  Yvon Chouinard, 180 Degrees South”