15/08/2003 - report - photos - Tiger Snake Canyon track notes

Participants: Tom Brennan, James Yorston

After camping at Barcoo Swamp on Thursday night, James and I headed out on fire roads on the plateau. Parking the car, we unloaded bikes and headed out on a fire trail. At the end of the trail we hid bikes in the bush, and dropped down into the gully.

After only a short bush bash we came to the start of a canyon, and donned harnesses. The short first abseil we did from a small tree above the left side of the canyon, as going straight down the slot looked like a problem to get started.

The next abseil was very tight at the top, and we lowered packs down. It was still a squeeze, and a lot of pushing and grunting was needed to get out into the open. There were a few more squeeze sections, some with climb downs, before we reached the end of the canyon.

The last abseil was a good one, through a hole and then down a couple of ledges. We managed to keep our feet dry the entire time.

We headed right under the cliffs and quickly found an extremely convenient exit gully up to the top of the cliffs, and took in the view.

We then headed over the ridge to Tiger Snake. I got my feet wet in the top section, but James managed to do some rock climbing around the pool below the first climb down, and stayed dry. The only abseil we did in the first section was the final overhanging abseil at the end. By heading right and then up on ledges, it looked like you should be able to get back up to that ledge, making it possible to reverse that section of canyon. Could be entertaining to do sometime.

We did the abseil into the second section from a different anchor - the one furthest downstream. Much the same as from the other side of the chockstone. I tried taking some photos, but none were really successful. The interest came when it was time to leave. A big coachwood above the canyon on the right had come down, taking numerous other trees with it, and blocking the exit. James squeezed down through the tree with some difficulty. I headed across the tree to the right, and down a small gully to the bottom. It could cause a few problems for people for a while.

Lunch was had overlooking Deanes Creek after the exit. It was an easy walk back to the bikes and pretty easy ride back to the car, apart from a couple of short hills.

After packing stuff back into the car, we headed to the Glowworm Tunnel. This was particularly disappointing, as the glowworms were few and faint. The walk back up through Bell's Grotto was also a bit unexciting - not much of a canyon at all. Next time we'll see if we can get up on the mountain above the Tunnel.

Still, the first two canyons were excellent, so a good day overall.