28/12/2004 - report - photos - Coachwood Canyon track notes

Participants: Tom Brennan, Rachel Grindlay, Gill Fowler

With Pottsy and Charlie heading off to Cosmic County to climb, Rachel, Gill and I did a car shuffle to the Rocky Creek car park, and then headed out along a fire trail down to the upper part of Rocky Creek. The creek was much more overgrown than last year when I had been down exploring, with some evil-smelling plants the dominant vegetation. Heading downstream, it was a bit of a fight at times to get through. Other times there appeared to almost be a track. I was hoping to explore down to the main section of Rocky Creek Canyon, but after an hour and a half and only a kilometer or so of progress, Rachel had had enough, and we exited up another fire trail. I ran back to get my car and we had a break for lunch.

After lunch, Gill and I set off for Coachwood Canyon, with the intention of checking out the climbing exit out of Rocky Creek. The track from the car park was well marked with numerous bits of yellow tape, and Gill started removing these as we went. We chose a point to leave the ridge, and headed down towards the creek. It got quite steep at the bottom, but some zigzagging found us an unlikely looking scrambly pass, and we dropped into the creek. It was quite pleasant walking for a while, until the creek started dropping through boulders.

At one point I saw a small black furry animal run across the top of a nearby boulder. It looked suspiciously like a young cat, but I couldn't tell for sure.

After a bit of scrambling, we reached the canyon section and abseiled in. I kept pretty dry, although Gill got wet in one of the waterfalls. The advantage of long legs! We almost courted disaster at the end by forgetting to untie the knot in the end of the rope. It jammed at the sling, and only some vigorous waving of the rope got it free. The knot was well and truly tightened when we finally pulled it down.

Once at Rocky Creek, we wandered upstream to the junction with Budgary Creek and looked for the climb out. It was pretty obvious. There was an exposed move at the bottom, but it was technically quite easy. The cams weighing down my pack were wasted. We reached a slab which looked like being quite tricky ... except that there was a rope hanging down! I tested my skills by climbing the slab without the rope - quite tricky in volleys - and then belayed Gill up. It was a bit scrubby along the ridge, but we soon picked up a track at the top. Gill collected some more bits of yellow tape which seemed to litter much of the path, and we headed back to the car, and the campsite at Barcoo Swamp for snacks and drinkies.