Views over the wolgan


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.


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


Ignore me, I’m an idiot… ©Madie
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.

Chris stretches out in the warm sunshine
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

Me in my happy place ©Autal
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

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

Madie preparing to drop into the hole ©Autal

From below the hole is stunningly circular


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

A short, dark cave section follows


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

Autal at the start of the short canyon section ©Madie
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


Cat and Chris in the canyon ©Madie

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

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 🙂

Madie demonstraighting the technique
Autal emerging from the hole

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

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

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

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





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



Dione Dell


Tim, Scott, Louise, John, Autal, Craig B, Peter and I

Canyoning out near Kanangra Walls generally means epic full or multi-day adventures in big terrain.

Dion Dell is a little more sedate trip than most out this way. That said the waterfalls are very pretty and the terrain is just as aweinpiring.

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Craig B got nominated leader of the trip and so leads down the first drop
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Dione Falls at the junction of Dione Dell and Christys creek
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The early spring light was very harsh so photos were hard to get

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I always though the 60m absiel down the slot of Wallarra falls was a sure way to get wet. Tim proves otherwise
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The first half is the easy bit.  Now to stay dry it’s across  the slot and down the side
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The bottom of Wallarra falls. I’d set up the usual shorter drop (red rope) while others choose to have a got at the direct route (Blue rope)

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Autal and Tom admiring the views from the top of Margaret Falls
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Lunch at the top of the 110m drop at Margaret falls
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An arse of a cave… I mean the grotto of Uranus
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Wallaby pass up to Pindari tops
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On a clear day with a set of binoculars you can see Sydneys Center point tower. But it’s not all about the view


Party Size: 8, all experienced.

Time: 5hrs relaxed pace


To those devoid of imagination a blank place on the map is a useless waste; to others, it’s the most valuable part: Aldo Leopold







Yileen Canyon


Ed and me

Ed hadn’t done Yileen before and I thought it was good one for this time of year as its a nice trip and the swims are fairly short.

The walk in is a nice stroll down a ridge with great views out over the Grose Valley


And it’s not long before we reach the left branch of the creek with some of the clearest water you are likely to see.


There is a brief canyon in this section then the right branch joins and the creek opens out a bit before the canyon proper

A shallower canyon section carpeted in moss
Canyon formation

We get to the first little drop. Apparently some people abseil it but it’s a fairly easy shimmy down a squeeze on the right or you can skirt along a high ledge on the left with one balancey move and then walk down just down stream. Some one has set up a hand line on the left that just looks dangerous.

Ed down climbing the slot. You can see the long fix line in front of him. That’s a long hand over hand to overhang.
Lower down the water must pass through a mineral deposit as it takes on a glassey green tinge
Canyon formation
It’s like jumping into a pool of midori 


Ed Dropping into the final constriction
Then it opens out with cracking views over the Grose


What follows is a big abseil down to the back of the cliff line. This is one of the bigger canyon abseils in this part of the Blue Mtns

There is a choice of routes down. We choose this one to keep out of the spray

The usual method is to rap down to the big ledge then rebelay for the last 8m or so. As we had plenty of rope we did it in one drop.

For the first time ever I got a rope struck. I had carefully pulled the knot passed the vegetation at the top and then passed the lip on the ledge and thought it was all good, however as the end dropped down it threw a loop around a boulder at the back of the ledge….

Cheer to Ed who scampered up the sloping wall to the side of the drop to free the rope. No knots or tangles just the friction of the rope end looping around the rock.

All in all a pleasant day out in the bush

Party size: 2 both experienced

Time: 4hrs car to car relaxed pace




2017 Wests Cycle Classic

The Wests Cycles Classic is a charity ride based around the Newcastle area that raises money for the Westpac Helicopter rescue service. I work for one of the major sponsors and my work mate, Jill has been quietly suggesting I should do it for a couple of years now.

But I never felt it was my kind of thing. Five days of longer (for me) rides of mostly on bike paths and fire trails, I didn’t think it would be my cup of tea.

You have to do it this year, says she. It even does a lap of Awaba bike park.

What the hell. It’s for a good cause and I haven’t had a break from work for a while. I get my leave pass and sign on up.

Still, I’m a bit apprehensive. I hadn’t done much riding in 2016 at all and was still having achilles issues on the bike. But it seemed like a good excuse to try and get a little bit fit again.

As always it snuck up faster than expected and while I’d managed to get a bit of time on the bike I wasn’t sure how I’d hold up over 5 days.

Heading up to Newcastle I almost needed a boat along the Bells Line. Some of the heaviest rain I’ve ever driven through. This is going to be interesting.

Driving into the helicopter base I was a it nervous. Not being to most socially apt person out there I was worried about how I’d fit into the established group, most of them ride or work together around the Newcastle area and most of them were old hands at the classic.

No one I knew was there yet but those that were made me feel welcome straight off the bat. I often say mountain bike makes me feel like a kid again and one of the ways it does that is by breaking down the barriers of making friends.

Remember as a kid how you became best friends with someone just cause the lived nearby, or you randomly sat next to each other at lunch… Well it doesn’t matter if you’re the executive general manager and I’m the guy that sweeps out the office, you’ve got a mountain bike, I’ve got a mountain bike, we’re riding in the same general direction at the same general time. Automatic friends.

Finally everyone is there and luggage is stowed in the pantec and ride captain, Bernard, calls for the rider briefing. It’s going to be a wet five days but lets get this show on the road.

Day 1 Broadmeadow to Norah Head

day 1

Into back roads and then bike paths and down the Fernleagh trail. The pace was pretty steady. Riding two abreast and lots of chopping and change so got to have a chat with a few 0f the bunch. I soon got the idea of the ride. Cruz along, drink break, morning tea break, lunch break, coffee break… OK my fitness should be OK for this.

It rains on and off but it’s not cold so it’s all good. Once we hit the dirt though it is very damp and the wise decision was made to drop off the single track segments that had been planed. Wise but I was still eyeing off the  swooping trails that paralleled our paths at times.

We roll into Catherine Hill bay. The rain has eased and over lunch the sun comes out with vengeance. That is until Bernard calls 5 minutes to ride and  it pisses down again. This would set a pattern for the entire trip.

This might be a bit wet through here says Wiggy, our  guide for the time. We head down into swamp land. There are stepping stones, but they are 3 feet under water and stop 20 meters short of the either side of the water course and may in fact be alligators. I’m sure this is how people end up on the news but we wade (some ride, some attempt to ride) through the water before heading up for some awesome coastal views as we follow the head lands down into Norah head.

I’m bunked in with Scott P AKA Noodles and Scott B AKA Scott or Beddo. We bond over beers and bikes. There is Yoga for those so inclined, nibbles for those so inclined and diner. Then more beers

All in all a tip top Day

Day 2 a loop of Tuggerah lake

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More of the same. Cruzy riding. Chatting. Plenty of stops. In the wet with just enough glimpses of sun to somehow get sun burnt. A cooling dip in the rock pools back at Norah Head then beers and out to diner. Here Patrycja decides it’s vodka night.

Being Polish, Patrycja is impervious to hangovers and come morning is bright as a button. Others not so much.

Day 3 Norah head to Myuna bay. Buddy Day.

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This was a bit of fun. You are paired up with a buddy and are suppose to stay within a few meters of them all day. Riders are split into A and B grade… Riders from A are “Randomly” paired to riders from B via a lucky draw and some bribery.

Little sprints and break aways disrupt the usual steady pace as riders compete for nothing more than bragging rights

Now I have to say I’m looking a bit tubby at the moment. Heaviest I’ve ever been so it’s ease to see why, not knowing me at all, Bernard put me into the B grade bucket. Paired up with Beddo we make a pretty strong team.

Rolling out we hit some dirt and soon Kerry and Merryn launch a surprise attack and take out the first hill climb. A bit of Cat and Mouse ensues with no one wanting to take the lead.

There’s a small pinch coming up, Beddo informs me.Then a nasty downhill and a longer peak. I’m up for it if you are you are.

The girls veer across the road trying to get those following to take a lead. We see a gap and go for it. I’m not made for climbing, never was. But we get a gap and hit the top in the lead.

I’m blowing hard but the steep winding descent I see before me has me grinning. Grab my wheel, I call and  take off. So much fun on slippery wet roads. I hit the bottom and start up the next climb thinking Scotty is on my wheel and expecting him and everyone else to pass me at any moment.

As I’m grinding toward the top I hear Bernard yell out. I think you may be a bit far from your partner! I look back Scott is about 20m back, no one else (other than Bernard) is close.

That’s only 2ms says I. Are you sure? The bungy chord hasn’t snapped there’s no one between us.

Fine. But I’m officially awarding you the sandbagger of the year. Hey I didn’t nominate B Grade.

Scotty catches up. Sorry about that I thought you were on my wheel. No worries. The next one is the coveted one. We hit the tar and there’s about 15km of undulating road until the snacks break. We still have a fair gap and decide o go for it.

It felt good to blow the cobwebs out and I’m surprised I could sustain a reasonable pace without my achillies playing up. In fact they are feeling better than they have in a long time.

There are a few shorter sprint points and we are pipped a the post  on the final one by Patrycja, who seemed to be dragging her partner Jared along. Or he was pushing her as she screamed at him to “slow down you …….. idiot.” One of the two.

A good day on the bike. I’m enjoying it far more than I thought I would.

Day 4. King of the mountain.

Ok Day 4 was suppose to be Awaba MTB park day. It was the bait Jill used to reel me in but with the wet weather it was pretty obvious we shouldn’t  ride there. Alternative plans were made. The Bentley brothers would organise a hill for a KOM stage. Have I mentioned I’ve never been made for climbing and am at present as tubby as I’ve ever been?

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We roll out get to the very bottom of the nominated climb and have a drinks break.

And then it’s on. I give it a crack but I’m well back in the field. Early on I hear Patrycja unleash a tirade of swear words and she comes screaming past. Once again J Bentley is barely and arms length behind. This time however his brother C Bentley is on the other side and equal distant behind her.Together the brothers propel Patrycja up into over all 4th with her pedalling as hard as she could too.

Noodles took the over all win with a strong climb.

Me mate Jill had a point to prove after the ride captain may have jokingly fined all the male riders  (lots of fun fines each night to boost the fund raising) who Kerry and Merryn smashed up the first hill yesterday, ie all of us. There may have been a tongue in cheek comment about girls shouldn’t be able to out climb boys.

Jill is riding amazingly strong at the moment and let’s just say she smashed pretty much every one else. (Can’t remember if she was 2nd over all or 3rd. either way she was a long way in front of me.) That night she fined Bernard for every hill she beat him up that day. We must have rode up 50 hills. It was an expensive lesson

From the end of the KOM stage it was up and up and more up on the wet dirt that seemed to alternate between rocky steps and slippery clay.

Jared and Clint earned some curses as they kept promising there was no more up before deciding to go up to this lookout or take this short cut up a rocky trail. Most walked that bit. Short techi climbs I don’t mind and I found it a great challenge but didn’t have the legs to get up the final rock step. Jared rode pretty much the lot with just a dab here and step over and get back on there…

The descent down of the top was hella fun. By even 1/4 down all was forgiven and I was grinning like an idiot.

Once down and regrouped Jared lead a freight train along the flat. Al always jumps down here and its a sprint to the 60 sign you can’t beat him but we can try to break him before we get there…

The pace was on. I don’t think I’ve ever held that speed for so long on a road bike let alone a MTB. Even at the back of the line I was starting to struggle.

Al jumps right on cue and I try and top grab his wheel. I think we hit about 65km/hr. I fall off his wheel as he passes the 60km/hr sign. Stuffed for the first time on the ride I exhausted and it’s a slow ride back into camp.

I am suppose to be heading back tonight for a 3hr race at Rydal but I get a call. It’s still pissing down at home so the race is cancelled. There are a dozen phone calls and a lot of (de)organisation but at least I can now ride the last day.

Day Five. Myuna Bay to Spears Point. Bike rafting

day 5

There’s the promise of single track. It’s the most technical stuff we’ve done so far. My legs are heavy from yesterdays effort but I’m looking forward to it.

We’ve had a soggy 4 days so far but day 5 belts down, some of the heaviest rain I’ve ridden in. The trails around the foreshore are Noodles home trails and he leads us in. It’s slippery. It’s snotty. And, at times it has an axle deep torrent of water flowing down, across and long it. It was great fun.

So there we are 5 days of riding in the rain. I haven’t bothered lubing my chain all week as I’m just assuming it will be trashed and the brake pads will be shot. Surprisingly both are fine and after regreasing all my bearings and servicing the folks the bike is all good.

So all up just under 300km riding for the 5 days. I didn’t think I’d enjoy it all that much but I did. So much so I’ll be back next year if at all possible.

30 riders. Over $100K raised for the rescue helicopter which helps ensure it stays free of charge for those that need it.

I believe the presentation is not until may so there is still time to chuck some money towards the cause


Rocky Creek Canyon


Jeff, Sam, me

Rocky Creek canyon is the most popular canyon on the Newnes Plateau , especially when combined with Twister Canyon,and it is easy to see why.

They are fairly easy to get to, don’t require abseiling and are relatively non technical. Twister is like natures theme park. Lots of jumps and slides and fun. Rocky Crk is deep dark and awe inspiring, It is the canyon that got me hooked on canyoning.

Despite the ease, or maybe because of it, many people have been caught out under estimating the dangers. There are been many rescues over the years and at least 1 fatality. Rocky creek has a massive catchment so the threat of flash flooding is very real. I have been flooded out of it myself, second guessing an afternoon storm.


Jeff grew up exploring the iconic canyons of Zion NP and has been keen to check out Rocky Crk. Finally we go a weekend where we were both free. One of the advantages of living close by is you can time your trip to miss most of the crowds. Last time we went at night this time around we went really early and the light was awesome. It changed in the little time it took us to go down and start reversing back up.

And we didn’t see a soul until we were back at the car park.

The start of Twister Canyon
One of the many water jumps in Twister Canyon
Where the entry track meets Rocky crk with Rocky coming in from the right and disappearing down the cleft on the left
Sam coming down the entry chute
Sam in Rocky Creek

Click to enlarge

Jeff and Sam make their way down the canyon
The soft morning light
Looking back up the canyon where it opens out just up stream of the Budgary crk junction
The majestic Rocky creek canyon
As you carefully pick out your footing you have to remind yourself to look up


With the sun a few degrees higher the soft light disappears and these striking rays appear


The more open section around about half way through
Jeff and Sam in the last swim before climbing back out where the canyon started
Jeff and Sam back at the start with Rocky creek canyon behind them

Party Size. 1 experienced Aussie caynoner, 1 experienced USA Canyoneer(er). I beginer

Time:3.5hrs car to car


Empress Canyon, AKA Valley of the Waters canyon


Ed, Tal and I

A quick trip through Empress with Tal and Edwin after aborting an attempt at something else.


Tal at the start of the canyon. Hot day and relatively warm water so we opted not to take wetsuits.
You can make out the bridge that spans the canyon as part of one of the walking trails
Canyon formation
It was a busy day in the canyon, even before the commercial groups start showing up after noon. We leap frogged these guys at the start as they suited up and they caught us as we waited for the group in front to finish absieling
Waiting for a slower group with some beginners on the abseil. Waiting in the breeze coming down the canyon here was the only time it felt a little cool. We could have set up on the right hand anchor but we weren’t in a rush and I think it can put beginners off a bit having another group set up beside trying to push past.


Ed on the start of the dramatic 26m abseil
The group behind follow on their brand new rope.

Party Size: 3 all experienced.

Time: 1.5hr car to car with a bit of waiting.


Basking in the Glow of Worms


Tal, Ed, Ethan, Jodie, Gaz and me

It’s just before 9 as we pull into the Rocky Creek car park and we have the place to ourselves. That might sound unusual but it’s in the PM and our head torches cast eerie shadows through the mist.

Ethan and Ed soon join us. The refracted moonlight gives a strange illumination. We lament the lack of stars but soon we’ll be greeted by constellations of another kind.

We turn off onto the steep track that descends into the head waters Twister. Thick vegetation creates a tunnel effect and the bright spot of the head lights focuses your attention. Without the peripheral distractions of grand landscapes the walk in seems even shorter than normal.

There is nervous chatter as we change into wetsuits. It had been a long time since I’d canyoned at night. The Wollangambe trip at night use to be a favourite of ours. The looks you got from the masses as they were getting back to the car park just as you were leaving… Youse are too late. You’ll never get there before dark! That’s the point we’d grin. Dolphin torches at the ready…

Anyhoo for most of the others it was a first. Me too, I’d never done this trip at night. Wetsuits on. The cloud cover had trapped the warmth of the day, there were a few comments of how hot it was in the suits. Hold that thought.

In we go… Marvelous. Nerves turn to adrenaline.

Heightened awareness.

Man Twister if fun!

The water is Twister and Rocky crk seems warmer than normal at the moment. As warm as I’ve ever felt it. OK not bathy and you wouldn’t just float there of hours in your speedos but it not take your breath away bracing either.

Concentrating in finding foot placements in the dark I had to remind myself to stop and look around. Not far in I spot that familiar green glow. The first of the glow worms. A few dim spots nestled into cracks in the wall

Jodie had never seen glowworms before. Lights off. let your eyes adjust Wow its like Christmas lights, says she. I Love Christmas lights.

Every chamber it was tempting to turn the torches off and just soak in the glow but I knew it was only going to get better


Twister felt like it was over in no time and we continued down towards Rocky Crk.

More and more Glowworms adorned the steep walls that overhang the access trail. Soon enough we reach the start of the canyon. In the still night the roar of the waterfall seemed amplified 10fold.

This was the first canyon I’d ever done. I still remember the feeling of awestruck wonder I felt first looking down that drop into the narrow chasm. It sparked my love of canyoning. Countless trips later that feeling returns every time of reach this point.

In we go.

I was hoping to get some stars in the background. But still… Wow

The glowworms in Twister were nice. The ones along the entrance track were magical. Once in the jaws of Rocky they are on another level again.


Even the snotty webs coating the walls reflected the light of the head torches, making the whole canyon seem to glow.

Unfortunately just as we get to the Washing Machine Jodie jars her ankle on a submerged ledge. She and Garry decide to start heading back up while the rest of us continue down to the starts of the tunnel swim. Not knowing how bad the injury is we opt to finish the trip there and head on back up.

Brown Eels, glowworms and yabbies greet us in a passage. We try not to disturb them too much

Ghosts in the machine.
The Tunnel swim
Light trails and glowing walls


I couldn’t get my little tripod set up here so it was hard to capture just how awesome this cave section was. With torches off there were enough glowworm to be able to see.


Beautiful by day stunning by night
Light trails under shifting glowworms
Time to exit

Party Size: 6. Mostly experienced

Time:~4hr car to car with a slow ascent due to injury

There was a bit of history repeating tonight. Just before I started canyoning my little brother and his mates did a few night trips to Rocky Creek. 1 I remember as one of the girls in the group broke her ankle before they had reached the canyon. While we were able to walk of injured out (Some tough determination and a lot of grimacing) they were not so fortunate and spent the night carrying her back up to the car park…

Disclaimer: While canyoning at night poses pretty much the same risks as doing it in the daylight the consequences of things going wrong is much greater. Without the beams of sunlight to warm you between darker swim sections Hypothermia is a heightened danger. Limited peripheral vision may mask hazards that would otherwise be easily identify.

Navigation can also be much harder. You should be very familiar the canyon and it’s entry/exit tracks before attempting it.Even on this trip with clear trails the guys missed a turn started back up towards twister on the way out.

It’s also worth noting the creatures out and about at this time of day are creatures of darkness. They don’t want thousands of lumins shone on them and massive groups disturbing their peace. We kept our beam set on low and trod as lightly as possible. As you always should in these pristine environments.


Unfortunately my GoPro was playing up and freezing. It missed most of the action in twister

Clarence Dams 11-01-17

With all the people who visit the Railway dams on Dargan crk at Clarence now days I wonder how many have ventured up into the backwater. It had been ages since I’ve done it.








As well as leaps of faith the main wall is also great for deep water soloing



There are lots of climbable lines on the wall, however most involve a blank section 3/4 the way up that require a long stretch or balancey moves on tiny climps while trying to smear with bare feet.

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If you have a bit of reach the green route is by far the easiest. For someone around the 180cm mark it’s only about a grade 16. Where the higher climber’s elbow is in the pic is a sneaky under cling. By stepping down and to the left  you can then come back up right, use your right hand to pull you into the wall with the under cling, this allows you to push up off your right foot while stretching your left hand straight up. A seemingly small hold just within reach is in fact a very nice jug. The black line is the hardest I have managed to do, way back when I was climbing lots. It involves a cool move to get over the shelf and a big dyno further up where the wall gets blank. I only managed it once. the Blue and purple traverse lines would be around 17. The red and Yellow lines were always a bit beyond me.

Canyoning Footwear. Teva Traildozer3 long term test

So I’ve been a long time fan of Teva adventure sandals  for canyoning and it’s been about 8months since I updated my old set to a set of Trail Dozer 3s and in that time they’ve done around 25 canyon trips, a dozen or more bushwalks and they have also seen a little day to day wear so it’s time for a long term review.



The Trail dozer models go for around $115. I think I got mine on special for around $75. Dearer than Volleys, cheaper than some of the canyon specific shoes out there


I’ve never really cared to much about looks. I’ve always been a function over fashion type of guy. I guess they are not much to look at but they aren’t butt ugly either. The greyish green certainly bucks the trend of bright gnarish colour schemes some other brands seem t think outdoors types prefer.


My old trail dozers were a US10, Euro 43 and fit me like a glove (for my feet) so I ordered the same. The new ones were noticeably smaller. They were fine barefoot but combined with my favourite canyoning woolen socks (hole proof heros) they were a little snug around the toes. Not painfully so but noticeable.


Originally the Teva guys strapped a bit of car tyre  to their feet to help stop them falling out of their kayaks or something. Things progressed from there.

I always thought they were as grippy, if not more so, as the Volleys. The new models were no different. In the 25 or so canyon trips I did in them I slipped maybe 3 times, more due to lack of attention then shoe tread.


I think this is what I liked most about the old Tevas. Sure you’d get a bit of sand under your foot at times but the just the act of wading forward flushed it out. I was a little concerned the new, more enclosed design of the Trail Dozer 3 or 4 models might trap the sand in there a bit more. This wasn’t an issue. They flushed themselves out just like the old models. I can’t remember ever needing to take them off mid canyon to rid them of sand.


They really are the best shoe I’ve swam in. It’s almost like you are barefoot. Feels pretty natural.

Velcro strap

I’ve read a few comments on other shoe reviews of people being very wary of velcro in canyon environments. I can honestly say in 20 years of using Tevas outdoors I’ve never had the velcro fail. Infact on my last pair the leather loop holding the plastic lug the straps went through wore out while the velcro was still holding strong



After fair bit of walking the soles are showing a bit of wear but there is plenty of treat left in them.

The uppers have worn a bit but they’ve seen a fair bit of thick scrub. The spungy uppersole showed a bit of wear early on, especially around the heal but haven’t seemed to deteriorated since.

There are a couple of spots were the stitching has copped a flogging and they are looking a bit scruffy, especially the outside just behind the toe box



If you had have asked me 6months ago I would have rated the comfort pretty high. Then I strained both Achilles at basketball. Clambering up steep hills in any shoe at the moment is a little uncomfortable for me. In the canyon they didn’t bother me but on a steep descent and, oddly worse, on a long flat walk out the heal strap and slightly small size has given me a bit of curry and certainly done me no favours.

I’d  still rate the Tevas highly and if it wasn’t for the achillies issues I’m sure I’d stick with them. As it is to get the pressure off the tendon I’ve decided to retire them early and try out a canyon specific boot and have purchased a set of Bestard canyon guides.