08/12/2004 - report - photos
Participants: Tom Brennan, James Yorston
After our night at Barcoo Swamp, we drove out along fire roads on the Newnes Plateau, and set off on bikes down another fire trail. Near the end we left bikes and wandered out to a lookout. We then headed around the cliff edge traversing gullies and looking for canyons. After a short distance, we came across a deep slot, and headed up it until we could drop in. After a scramble or two we came to a drop, and assessed our options. Not knowing the route out, we decided to back off, and continued further around. Luckily, only a little further we came across a steep gully that went all the way through the cliff line. I went down and checked it out and could see that we could reach it from the bottom of the other creek.
After a quick lunch, we left most of our gear at the top of the exit, and took harnesses and rope around to the canyon. A conveniently placed tree made a good anchor, and we dropped into the lower section of the canyon. Another abseil/handline followed and some tricky bridging was required to avoid getting too wet. The canyon opened out into a spectacular chamber at this point. Then there was a straight narrow section requiring some more bridging to avoid a swim, before the canyon opened out at the end. A final 25m abseil took us to a ledge where we could scramble off.
We traverse around to the exit canyon we had checked out before and headed back to the bags, and then up the ridge to the bikes. It was a slow ride back up the hill, and again the thunder rumbled and lightning crackled around us, but not much rain.
An excellent trip. We stopped at the "Wicked Chicken" on the way back as I figured I deserved some fat after a successful expedition.