11/03/2005 - report - photos - Claustral Canyon track notes

Participants: Tom Brennan, Rachel Grindlay, Anthony Dowle

After picking up Ant in Gordon, we headed for the usual stop at the NRB (North Richmond Bakery). I asked Rachel what rolls she wanted for lunch, and she suggested the knot rolls. I wittily replied that "I'd rather have rolls than not rolls". This was less funny an hour later at the car park when it turned out that neither of us had bought the rolls, and that we did indeed have "not rolls"!

It had drizzled all the way to Mt Tomah and was still raining when we signed the log book and set off. I was not too worried about the weather as the forecast was for a fine day. There was not much to see from the little lookout on the way down, as cloud obscured the Camels Hump. Suiting up at the first swim, there were hints of blue in the sky, and the rain finally stopped.

I wasn't sure that my 17.5m rope would reach for the first abseil, and so volunteered to go first. It comfortably got to the ledge where I could unclip. Mysteriously, someone had left a rope rigged up from below the first abseil, going down both the second and third abseils. I thought briefly about leaving it, but decided it was another unnecessary bit of fixed gear, and removed it.

The main constriction was misty with all the moisture in the air from the precipitation, so conditions for photos were poor. We raced through to the junction with Thunder Canyon, and headed downstream for lunch. I had a bite of one of Ant's sandwiches, a few slices of salami and cheese, and a muesli bar, a far cry from the tasty rolls we had prepared for.

By the time we reached Rainbow Ravine, both Rachel and Ant had managed to acquire leeches. Having a steamer rather than a spring suit meant that I was able to avoid them. The scrambles on the way out seem to get harder each time I exit and this was no exception. Rachel had some trouble with the last one, but Ant at the bottom helped her up. The walk out was in blazing sunshine in stark contrast to the way in. We got back to the cars at about 4:30pm, after a 9am start. Another nice day in Claustral.