Surefire Canyon - track notes
Surefire Canyon is an excellent canyon in the lower reaches of Rocky Creek. It involves a number of short, tricky abseils and a long, impressive constriction. It was named after a Tom Williams comment that he knew of a "surefire canyon". The attempt on that trip was aborted due to rain and other problems. It was first descended by Tom Williams, Dave Noble, Ted Daniels and Tony Haigh in October 1976.
See Newnes Plateau & South Wolgan Fire Trails for information on how to drive to the starting point.
From the start of the Deanes Lookout track at the locked gate at AMG462141, follow the fire trail N for about 1.8km to a junction. Keep left, and follow the trail for another 3km to a large clearing, where another track joins from the SE. An old fire trail heads along the ridge to the NE, leaving from just north of the clearing, although its starting point is very vague. It becomes clearer fairly quickly, and it is easy enough to just aim to intersect the ridge to pick up the trail. The trail swings around to the east and finishes around AMG471198. Head E down the ridge into the creek. It is possible to get down without abseiling. The canyon begins shortly downstream.
The canyon starts with a 12m drop from a tree on the right, followed by a hand over hand or 4m abseil. A tricky 10m abseil over a chockstone is next, and then a section of classic winding canyon. Finally there is a 10m drop through logs from a massive log jam. Consider your choice of anchor carefully. There is a short awkward climb down and then a short wade or swim, and then note the exit canyon that comes in on your left at this point. Continue downstream through a magnificent sustained slot, until the canyon opens out about 300m later at a large cave.
The exit is quite tricky, and involves a few exposed moves.
To exit head up the exit canyon for about 100m until you can see some tree roots hanging down on the right. You can climb here, or about 30m further up there is a slab you can scramble up. Head up to a groove, where a sling hangs down. Climb the groove with the help of the sling, and scramble on to the ledge to the right. From there, climb trees to get up the next two sets of ledges, and scramble up the scree slope to the upper cliff line. You can use some form of belay to climb the trees.
Once at the upper cliff line, traverse along under the cliff to the W and continue up the creek eventually getting back to the fire trail. Follow the fire trail S back to the car.
Tom Brennan : email@example.com : updated 2008-01-12
© Tom Brennan : firstname.lastname@example.org : updated 2008-01-12