20/01/2006 - report - photos
Participants: Tom Brennan, Mitchell Isaacs
I hadn't met Mitchell before, and our plan for me to pick him up somewhere on the M2 was hardly watertight. So it was probably lucky that his fluorescent green helmet and fluorescent orange rope could be seen from some distance.
Once we had that sorted, we headed out on the Waratah Ridge Rd in very light drizzle, after the usual stop at the NRB, and pretty much had the place to ourselves. The plan was to do Luna Park Canyon, but since Scatters Canyon was on the way, we figured that it should be pretty easy to include it in our plans. The ridge was pretty easy going, with spectacular cliffs across the other side of the valley. A sluggish black snake awoke and slithered off at our passing. From pagodas near the end of the ridge we scrambled with some difficulty down into a side creek, and from there down the main creek to the Bungleboori. There were some bits of canyon in both creeks, but nothing particularly spectacular.
Then it was up a steep but convenient pass on the other side to the ridge. The rock formations on top of the ridge were extremely delicate and ornate, but also very fragile. Lots of arches and other decorative stuff. Then we dropped into our creek, and abandoned packs to explore upstream and the tributaries. The first tributary yielded a lovely little canyon with plenty of convenient roots to climb up. We called it "Coney Island" although we assumed that someone else had probably been down it already. Further upstream we found some sections of creek dropping through the pagodas, but not much in the way of real canyon. So it was a wander downstream to collect our bags and then a bit further to get to the start of the main event.
It was getting fairly late by this stage and we weren't even in our canyon, so we stopped for a bite to eat. Then it was on to Luna Park itself. This was an excellent section of canyon, with a number of jumps and slides, one of the trickiest abseils I've done, and several arches. As expected, one of the arches is much like a clown's mouth. A number of abseils later we were back at the Bungleboori. A bit of searching found us a tricky pass nearby, already affixed with fairly new looking 11mm ropes. Odd in a fairly remote area! Once up the top the going was pretty easy, and we had a longish walk back to the car. Then it was on to Lithgow for dinner, and a big struggle to do the long drive out to Kanangra late at night.
Trip Report: Luna Park Canyon, 20/1/06
The Party: Tom Brennan, Mitchell Isaacs
After successfully negotiating a safeish pickup point on the side of the M2, we made our way up the mountains on a slightly drizzly morning. After leaving the car, we made good time along our ridge, before dropping into a couple of short but pleasant canyon sections along the way. We reached and crossed over the Bungleboori, and found an easy pass through the cliffs on the other side. With the sun doing its best to break through, we navigated along a couple of ridges before dropping into our creek with a short scramble. Here, we left our packs and explored upstream finding a short but pleasant canyon section. After a short bash downstream we reached the start of the canyon proper, where a tree had fallen along the start of the slot, making entry a little more interesting. We stopped for lunch in the sun, before abseiling into the canyon.
The canyon was very good, winding through short pools, archs (including the famous Luna Park arch), and several short abseils, a couple with very tricky starts. All too soon we once again reached the Bungleboori, where we warmed up in the sun and looked around for a pass up the other side. We found a tricky but do-able pass up the other side, which we were surprised to find complete with fixed ropes in 3 sections! After admiring the view from the top, we bashed back through the thick scrub until we reached the main track, and then reached the car shortly before dark. We then drove into Lithgow for well deserved pizzas, before making the drive out to Kanangra to meet up with Chris and Rob for a weekend trip.
A pleasant day in some fantastic country.