25/01/2009 - report - photos - Lower Bowens Creek North Canyon track notes

Participants: Tom Brennan, Rachel Grindlay, Lisa McGinnigle, Julie McGinnigle

The next morning Lisa and Julie were early and had to wait for Rachel and I to get organised. It was cool and overcast, though the sun looked like it was trying to emerge at times. We had decided that Lower North Bowens was the go, and there were a couple of cars parked there at 9:30am when we arrived. Thankfully most of the people at Cathdral Reserve must have been doing something else.

Walking in along the fire trail I was a bit worried when I hadn't spotted the turn off. I hadn't checked my notes and just assumed I would remember where it was. Luckily I did remember the anthill and it appeared just before we were about to turn around! The track in was steep and slippery as usual, but some judicious track finding got us ahead of the party in front just after the North Bowens junction. They must have stopped for morning tea since they did not appear until well after we had finished the first abseil. The abseil was Julie's first, but she had no problem handling it. I sat wedged across the canyon at the bottom coiling the rope.

The next drop was similarly dispatched. Julie had borrowed Gill's drybag that Gill had taken on the Larapinta Trail, and had sat on in spinifex country. Unsurprisingly it was not particularly waterproof, and most of the things inside were pretty damp, including bread rolls! Luckily the camera was in another bag. We made our way slowly downstream through the impressive canyon. With no more abseils and no tricky sections, all too soon it was at an end. We had lunch on rocks in the intermittent sun at the South Bowens junction and then headed up the exit, scene of the unfortunate rockfall incident last time we had done the canyon. Lisa was off up the first scramble hauling Julie in her wake, and by the time Rachel and I were up that, they were up the next scramble as well. No ropes hanging down this time.

The rest of the walk out was uneventful and we were back at the cars by about 2:30pm, a pretty short day. Lisa and Julie headed back to Sydney while Rachel and I went to Summit Gear in Katoomba where Rachel bought a pack. After milkshakes we drove out to Malaita Point lookout and took photos while watching the shadows lengthen over the Jamison Valley. Dinner back in Katoomba was followed by a drive to Steve and Lou's place in Mt Vic where we talked and played darts.