[SUBW-A] Trip Report - Canyoning 10-11 Aug 02

David Noble dnoble at ozemail.com.au
Mon Aug 12 17:33:40 AEST 2002

Trip Report - Blue Mts Canyoning 10-11 Aug 02


Party - Rik Deveridge, Dave Forbes, Martin Pfeil (from UTSOAC and SUSS), 
Greg Nash (a climber friend of mine and Dave F's) and Dave Noble.

We met up at a turnoff on the Bell Rd - and did a short car shuffle. 
Then we set off along a ridge towards what we hoped was a new canyon. 
Several years ago - I had spotted an interesting slot from the valley 
below, and more recently, Rik had inspected the slot from the top - and 
reported that it sure looked like a canyon. It was Rik's recommendation 
that this was the canyon that we do.

We arrived near the top of the slot with high hopes. At first there was 
a short section of easy narrow canyon. It looked short - but it had 
three abseils. With these out of the way - we soon reached the main 
slot. With some trepidation we looked down. It looked awesome! We could 
not see the bottom (we could not lean out far enough) - so we sent 
Martin down to see if the rope made it all the way to the bottom of the 
drop. It did (just!) This abseil took us down to a most impressive 
chamber that resembled an ancient sarcophagus. At this point the slot 
was very deep and narrow. A giant chockstone was poised above our heads.

A narrow, awkward abseil followed. The most interesting part of this was 
the bottom - where some tricky bridging was needed to avoid a deep cold 
pool. The rope just reached the bottom of the next drop - so the abseil 
continued down to a large ledge that was the end of the canyon.

After everybody got down, we traversed across some nasty talus slopes, 
found a spot to have lunch and then continued under the cliffs till we 
could reach a pass back to the tops.

This was an excellent day of canyoning - and a fine new canyon. Back at 
the cars, Rik headed back by himself to Wentworth Falls while the Sydeny 
contingent headed back to town via the North Richmond Hotel (which is 
not as good as the Kurrajong Pub).


I went to a party on Saturday night - so my memory of the day is a bit 
hazy. I can remember Siobhan's SMS saying her party had gone on much 
longer than mine - and she was unable to come, and that Alex had missed 
the train to the mountains. But at Blackheath I met Zenek, and we headed 
first to the new bakery on Wentworth St for a pie and coffee and then 
out about 6km on mountain bikes to a local lookout.

The road going out to the lookout now has a barrier - so the bikes were 
really handy. Then we had a look at the views (they were very 
impressive!) and set off for our canyon. This canyon was short but very 
nice - with about 4 abseils down a quite nice slot. There were a few 
pools - but these all could be avoided. All we got were wet feet. The 
last abseil took us down into another canyon, that I had seen 
previously. Further down was a swim - but again we could avoid it by 
crawling along a ledge and doing a short abseil back down past the pool. 
Then there was a convenient pass out that took us back to our bikes and 
lunch. The ride back to Blackheath was a pleasant way to finish the trip.

Dave Noble

David Noble
dnoble at ozemail.com.au

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