01/03/2015 - report - photos - Rocky Creek Canyon track notes
Participants: Tom Brennan
I had a fairly lazy start to the day, camped at the end of Fire Trail No 7.
There were already a lot of cars in the car park by the time I arrived at about 10:30am. I set off at the same time as another group of three. They stopped at a track junction to ask if I knew which way. I didn't actually know - I didn't remember any track junction! I thought left. They pulled out my notes, which didn't help. Eventually we went right since it looked more worn, which turned out to be correct. At the end of the day I followed the left branch, which ended after a short way at a small cliff and lookout. Of course, the track on the current topo is wrong, as is the location of the barrier!
In the gully, we were surprised to see two guys who had camped overnight, walking out with their dog. I didn't know what to say.
I moved ahead of the other three and ended up behind another group. Near the start of the canyon, the last guy in the group slipped on the track and fell several metres into the creek! Thankfully he seemed uninjured.
I bypassed the jump at the start since I thought it would be better for the camera gear. I did the slide past the Washing Machine since I didn't remember how to climb around it, though given how slippery it is, it's probably safer just to slide. A little further down there were some sunbeams, so I got the camera out and started taking photos. There weren't any sunbeams in the main corridor - I wasn't sure if this was because I was too late, or if it was a bit late in the season. Possibly a bit of both.
Finally I made my way through the final swims to the Budgary Creek junction, where the two guys who had passed me last were just starting to head back up. I was expecting to find a group or two still at the junction, but it was quiet. I retreated as well, catching up to the two guys - Kurt and Tristan - at the slide, where Kurt was enjoying the fun over and over!
I stopped at the top of the Washing Machine, which was now in good light, for some more photos.
I was surprised it was only ten to three when I emerged from the canyon. I thought about having lunch, but decided to just push on back to the car.
I was back at the car for ten minutes or so when Paddy's group turned up. It turned out they were connected with the group of three - Pat, Gemm and Gemma - that I walked in with.
The storm hit just after turning on to the Old Bells Line of Road that leads back to Clarence. It was raining so heavily I had to slow down to even see the road! After the storm, I headed to Govetts Leap, and then Kings Tableland for some photos. Sunset looked a chance, but the grey clouds just kept getting greyer.