[SUBW-A] Trip Report - Canyoning Sept 28 - Oct 2, 2002

David Noble dnoble at ozemail.com.au
Thu Oct 3 09:50:56 AEST 2002

Trip Report - Coorongooba Creek Area, Exploratory Canyoning Sept 28 - 
Oct 2, 2002

Party - Rik Deveridge, Martin Pfeil (SUSS and UTSOAC), Phil Maynard 
(SUSS), Dave Noble

For a few photos of the trip look at


We drove up to Glen Davis on Friday night minus Rik - who was joining us 
a day later due to a neck injury.

On Saturday, we drove down the Capertee to the Running Stream Creek 
junction (The NPWS has recently  acquired the "Coorongooba" property at 
the  junction) - and visited a nearby canyon. This canyon had a very 
steep scrambling pass to reach it and 4 abseils, the last three were 
down a very narrow slot. We had lunch back on Running Stream creek and 
after lunch checked out a few other nearby slots from the bottom.

Rik joined us later back at the campground, and we had a pleasant night 
with a few cups of wine.

On Sunday morning we headed off up a pass onto the tops and then checked 
out a nearby slot. This was long and narrow and had an amazing drop off 
the end. All the vegetation in the slot had been trashed - and we 
assumed a goat had gone down the slot and not been able to get back out 
of it (and balked at the final 60+ metre drop). We then walked along a 
nice open ridge to the area were we intended to explore. Reaching the 
first canyon at lunchtime, a sudden cold snap changed our plans - so we 
made camp nearby and sat around the fire instead (14 degrees was too 
cold for canyoning!).

Monday was fine - so we headed off early and checked out two possible 
canyons. Both were canyons but poor ones with short slots. Retracing our 
steps we startled a black snake basking in the sun - a sure sign that it 
was time for a wet canyon. We decided to repeat a canyon that Rik and 
myself had  found and been down with Don Cameron and Dave Forbes last 
Easter - and one that we all regarded as one of the best in the area 
(and one of the best canyons anywhere). This canyon features a skeleton 
chamber (the Black Crypt). It began with an ordinary abseil into a slot, 
then a tricky downclimb to reach the top of an awesome abseil down a 
deep narrow slot. It was here that Martin found he had left his harness 
back at camp (he had to make do with some tape, a crab and a munter 
hitch). Then followed a few more tricky downclimbs to reach the top of 
Faggot Falls - so named because of the only belay point available. This 
led us into the Crypt. Then followed more narrow canyon, more tricky 
downclimbs and swims. We were happy to finally make it back into 

After lunch we descended another canyon, one that Rik and Don had 
checked out the bottom of last Easter, but had been first descended by 
another party a few days before us. This had 4 abseils - and was a nice 
canyon, but was overshadowed by what we had done earlier.

On Tuesday we visited another of the canyons that we had found at 
Easter, and then checked out a nearby slot (it was a dud), and then 
headed off with packs up another creek to reestablish camp in its 
headwaters. A few side creeks were visited - but proved to be 

Wednesday was the last day of the trip, and we walked along dry tops 
towards the major cliffs. We did a short side trip to investigate a 
major slot - which was so narrow that we called it "Bag of Bones 
Canyon". Even Phil and Martin, the two cavers in the party balked at 
trying to go through it. We had lunch in another possible canyon - that 
was a dud (it had looked good in air photos) -and then descended down 
through the cliffs to farmland and a hot roadbash back to the cars at 
Glen Davis.

Back at the campground, we found Rik's ute had been broken into. Nothing 
had been taken, but they had tried to start the engine (this would have 
been hard to do as Rik had the distributor rotor in his pack).

On the way back we stopped at the Capertee Hotel for a beer and the 
Gardeners Inn at Blackheath for tea.

Dave Noble

David Noble
dnoble at ozemail.com.au

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