27/12/2004 - report - photos - Grand Canyon track notes - Jugglers Canyon track notes
Participants: Tom Brennan, Rachel Grindlay, Jonathan Potts
Leaving Sydney at a relatively respectable hour, we headed to Katoomba to lay in supplies for lunch and then headed out along fire roads from Medlow Bath. After a while I thought it a good time to check where we were on the map - only to find that I had left the Katoomba sheet at home! Not a good start to the day!
After heading down the wrong fire trail I recognised where we were, and we headed down a trail to the start of the canyon. After a short scramble and some creek bashing, we were at the top of the first drop. A few drops later we were at the bottom of the short canyon section admiring the high walls above us.
Just as we were pulling ropes down, a man came wandering up the creek asking if this was the exit! In the tradition of Star Wars, I told him that this was "not the exit he was looking for". Apparently he was trying to get to Neates Glen and had lost the rest of his group. I led him back to the Grand Canyon track where his family was calling out for him.
We then headed up the track to the Grand Canyon, passing hordes of tourists along the way, most of whom looked at us quite strangely. One couple were dressed in jeans, but with full overnight packs - sleeping bags and bedrolls strapped to the outside, and the woman was carrying a plastic shopping bag! I dont' know where they were heading at 4 o'clock in the afternoon, but they looked like an incident looking for a place to happen!
Further up the track Jonathan had a diamond python slither out in front of him and into rocks on top of the canyon. At the shiny new bomb-and-everything-else-proof anchor presumably installed by NPWS, Rachel got her desire for an audience as a few walkers passed and watched us abseil out of sight.
Once in, we were again distanced from the rest of the world, in the cool, green surrounds of the canyon. It was quite spectacular, and we got a number of nice displays of light shafting down through the high walls. After a good distance, we reached the final (and only) swim, and stripped down to keep our t-shirts dry. With that out of the way, we quickly made our way up the Pilcher Track and back to the car. We headed for Katoomba to do the shopping for our week of camping, and had dinner at a Thai place before heading out to Barcoo Swamp for the night.