[SUBW-A] Trip Report: (Beginner?) Canyoning 10th March

Richard Wood rwood at student.usyd.edu.au
Mon Mar 18 21:05:42 AEDT 2002


Trip Report for the canyoning day last Sunday (10th March)

Bodies: Jon, Lindsay, Nikki, Sandy, Abby, Mitch, Me

well its taken about a week to write this trip report, cause neither Mitch 
nor I are claiming responsibility...
and in the good sense of most reports from the last few weeks, we'll invoke 
the "this is not what all trips are like" quote, but it was good, and i 
think everyone enjoyed it in a tired kind of way...

so, at the risk of being subject to return jibes from Alex, here's the report:

After getting away a little late from Sydney, and being forced to stop at a 
nursery, and then an actual fruit shop to pick up grapes that were 
advertised on the side of the road, we eventually made it to the north 
richmond bakery to discover the place dirtied by earlier ruffians (not to 
mention any names, but a certain Dave N and crew were heard to be in the 
area..). Mt Wilson was reached then left at the gentlemanly/gentlelady hour 
of 11am, and after a quick inspiration of confidence in the new people, we 
worked out the right track on the 3rd attempt..
A bit of a trek down a hill (accompanied by masses of biological info 
thanks to Lindsay (and some geological info thanks to Mitch)), then a bit 
of a bash up the other side (in which we unfortunately managed to return 
Nikki to her asthmatic days) and then a bit more of a bash down another 
hill, followed by, you guessed it, a bit of a bash up the other side, we 
reached a place with a really nice view. Since the point of the day was 
nice views from inside canyons, as preferential to nice views from ridges, 
we bashed down the other side till we got to a side creek above the canyon 
we were targeting. A nice long slippery dip afforded us a rather rapid 
entry into the canyon from the side creek, getting us nice and wet just in 
time for lunch, which was by now, more of a mid-afternoon meal.

The canyon followed, and was very beautiful, and supposed to be very green, 
although i don't think it was much greener than others... But there were 
some good rock jumps, including a narrow twisty one, a bit of an 
underground exploration, and some interesting abseils for those who hadn't 
tried it out before.
anyway, going wasn't really the fastest, probably due to the largish 
beginnerish group, and frequent hand over hands and abseils.. but we 
reached the gambe around what is generally called dinner time.
we had about a km and a bit of downstream walking to follow, that we really 
hadn't bothered to think about much, but it started off really nice, albeit 
slow. The long swims (which also hadn't really been thought too much about) 
also added to our slowness, but on the other note, everyone in the group 
was really good by keeping moving and not waiting around to get cold. 
Anyway, it was in this section that we decided to entertain everyone with 
our surprise bit of "night canyoning", with glowworms affording 
illumination from the side of the canyon. Everyone was keen to push on 
(regardless?) though, so we shelved the idea of camping it out, and instead 
held hands in order not to lose anyone.... hmmm.... we then had the awesome 
idea of getting the torches out (thanks Sandy!) and made better progress to 
the exit, at which we dug into Mitch's bag for various warming devices 
including bags of lollies and nuts. Then by the cool breeze of the night, 
and the weak illumination of the stars (and torches) we hit the return 
track, and somehow managed not to lose it. We also passed a really cool 
flourescent fungi that we would have missed if we came out in the day...and 
if you really want to know what time it was by now, it was ~11pm, (but that 
still qualifies as Sunday evening...). The only problem with this was that 
all the restaurants/pubs were closed, so instead, we ate grapes, and the 
leeches ate us (or at least ate Lindsay).

Now for a bit of a spiel...Whilst everything didn't quite go to our time 
plan on this trip, we had a really good time, mainly due to everyone 
getting in and supporting everyone, leading in the dark, keeping on moving, 
and generally being a pretty cool bunch. I think (hope?) all the others had 
a lot of fun and got a lot out of it too..

Anyway, if you've made it this far down, and are new (or not), and want to 
come on a trip in which you don't have to canyon in the dark, then i'll put 
a plug in for.....The Freshers Walk!!! It's this weekend, and not just for 
freshers!. Down to an awesome campground in a 'majestic forest', it should 
be awesome fun, especially if you don't forget the requisite bottle of wine 
(or alternatively cask). And at the risk of trying to organise anything at 
all, if people coming from Sydney who are catching the 6am train want to 
all get in the Second carriage from the front, everyone can head up together.

cheers,
richard




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