Canyon Log

The canyon log is my chronological account of the various canyon trips that I have been fortunate enough to partake, and in some cases, lead. 

Sydney is blessed with an abundance of rugged bush land less than two hours drive away, and in this bush land lie some of the most pristine and delicate environments that can be found. 
Visiting these places may require no more than a simple walk along a creek, or demand bush craft and navigation skills just to get there. 

These trips are 'canyon' trips which involves starting high in the range and following a creek or stream as it carves it's way down to the river valley. The Kanangra canyons are generally fairly open and following these is an exercise in abseiling and scrambling. The beauty of this area is the panoramic views along the Kanangra Walls and valleys. The incredible ruggedness of the area.

Blue Mountains canyons like Claustral, cut deep into the sandstone below them and over time have worn channels and gutters, deep enough that direct sunlight never reaches the bottom. Walking and swimming through these is a magical tour through a ferny green wonderland. A visit to the lost planet. 

I have kept these notes as a reminder to myself of the individual trips, as well as to provide 'some' useful information for following excursions, or to supply to others planning similar outings. 

Earlier trips are documented on my original canyons page, and other trips are indexed on my main canyoning page

As I have been hap-hazardly adding pictures lately, these pages are best viewed at a screen resolution of 1024 x 768 pixels !

Tiger Snake
Sparky and Stu
15th Sept 2002
Vert. Elev: 200m
Distance : 10km
Time (approx.) 6 hrs :
a relaxed start

Other Sources of information on this area : Canyons Near Sydney (Rick Jamieson)

Tiger snake with Sparky and Stu ...

A nice day out with friends ...
Stu's thermos of coffee had leaked in the car on the way up and as a result, Sparky had a whole caffe going on in her bag !
Chatting as we left the car, we wandered along the fire trail, not really paying much attention to where we were going. Having been along here recently I had neglected to pack the route description or even the map! Suddenly Stu said something about the turn off.
"what!!?" Oh that's right! It's just back here.
"Are you sure ... " etc etc ...
But it was the one back there !
Lucky ... !

Quick and easy down into the canyon now, trying hard to stay ahead of the group catching us from behind. Alas, not quite fast enough ! As we work our way down the slot, we are met (from behind) by Ian's group, who decide to abseil in behind us. This time through, we spent some time at the "rotten stick" belay searching for the fabled bolt on the rear wall, but I think this bolt is now long gone in the annals time.

As the group behind is fast catching us, we belay around the sticks and move on. Not much water but just as cold as last time !

The big abseil is next and is dispatched with allacrity (unlike my spelling), and the next few minutes are spent wandering down the creek towards the 2nd section of canyon. As we enter this part of the canyon we drop our packs and scramble up along the left hand side to view the top of the "other" big abseil, which drops you down into the keyhole below. With our shortish ropes we decide the abseil down the narrow slot is our best option and back we go, to continue forward.

Our narrow slot option is belayed from a large flake lying at an angle, about 1.5m back from the edge. There is a boulder wedged across the gap and this forms a rope catching gutter on either side of it, especially if your slings from the flake are short. Beware!.

Once again we rapped down in good style, and after an initial problem with the rope, and the obligitary amazement at the canyon at this point, continued on to the slippery dip and the keyhole. Now this is one place I would think twice about doing if it was raining hard !

The canyon opens up quite suddenly and a short rock hop through a steep sided gully brings you to the end. On the left is a small cave that previously had glow worms in it, but the way back out is on the right. Steep scrambling soon gets us to sunny ledges for lunch and a breather, but Stu and Sparky are keen to keep going. No rest for the wicked (err... I mean "me", I guess)!
The walk back to the track is really nice, passing through a cool forresty gully and ascending again to reach a rocky band with numerous pagoda's. (and good views too!).

Once over the pagoda's the foot track back is quite obvious.

Food and drinks back at the car and we're off again, back to Sydney.