22/11/2003 - report - photos - Dalpura Canyon track notes - Wotta Canyon track notes
Participants: Tom Brennan, Gill Fowler
I'd done Wotta Canyon only 3 weeks ago, and, to put it bluntly, it wasn't any good. So you might ask why I was here at the start of the same canyon only three weeks later, in the rain. Well, it had to do with my GPS. A GPS which I last remembered seeing at the start of the same canyon. Not that I was that hopeful of finding it - three weeks, a few storms, and possibly other people meant the chances of it being there were pretty slim, but I figured it was probably worth a couple of hours of my time. And I'd coaxed Gill along, mainly on the grounds that we'd do another canyon as well.
The rain pissed down on the drive from Sydney, and continued to piss down as we walked in. We found a better route in this time, down a different ridge and a rough track. No sign of the GPS at the start of the canyon. We stripped down for the first abseil. A fresh (poorly tied) tape on the first drop gave me cause for concern, as others had obviously been through in the last couple of week. We did the deep wade, much warmer because of the rain, and then dropped quickly down the next two abseils. Still no sign of the GPS. I stuck to the creek to make sure I didn't miss anything, and saw a flash of yellow on the bank to the right just as the canyon opened out. At first I thought it must be a leaf, or a fungus, but closer inspection showed it to be the missing GPS! I was amazed. Flicking it on, it worked ... sort of. Lines across the screen indicated that it might not have been quite as waterproof as it should have.
We held a short conference, and decided to bail up the next gully. A short scramble to the top and we were on the ridge on the way back to the car.
Lunch at Mt Wilson was the next stop, as we suddenly had a lot more options for the afternoon. And the sun decided to come out as we sat at Wynnes Rocks!
I wanted to do Dalpura as I hadn't done it before and it sounded quite nice from most accounts, so we headed back to Bells Line of Road.
The creek quickly turned canyoniferous, but then opened out again. I hoped that was not the main event. It was a little further until we found the cavern where the abseil is. Again we stripped down for the drop through the waterfall, which was quite spectacular from inside the cavern. We managed to avoid doing any swimming, and the creek opened out again. However, the creek shortly narrowed again, and remained more or less canyonlike through to the end, where it dropped into the Grose Valley. There was one wade of a little more than waist deep, but that was about it. We were pretty happy not to have lugged wetsuits around.
The track out was pretty obvious - at least up to a ridge of pagodas, where the fog set in. The track seemed to be heading somewhere odd, so we left it and scrambled up the pagodas, picking up another track at the top. As we hit the fire trail, the heavens opened and the warm rain came pouring down. It was fantastic, and we happily sloshed our way back to the car.
Postscript: Happily, a few days in a warm, dry place and my GPS seemed to work properly again!