28/03/2009 - report - photos - Crayfish Creek Canyon track notes

Participants: Tom Brennan

Unable to find anyone to canyon with, I set off with my bike and a large pack on the 7.18 to Blackheath. Riding down the Burramoko Fire Trail, anyone who thinks riding with a full pack is a good idea should think again. It's a pain in the back(side).

It looked like a steep drop into Crayfish Creek, but once on the ridge it turned out to be fairly gentle. Near the bottom, I thought I may have to contend with some cliffs, and was tempted to drop off left into a tributary. However, pushing on, it was an easy walk into the creek.

Pretty much where I had it marked from the aerial photos the creek dropped in to canyon. First just a slot along a joint line, then a proper, if lower quality canyon. It was more than I was expecting, having been primed for something pretty worthless. It was good while it lasted, but ended after 100m or so at a camp cave. Crayfish Creek certainly lived up to its name, as there were as many yabbies as I have seen in one place in a short section of the canyon.

Below the canyon, the creek was fairly pleasant. Flat pebbly and sandy sections with only small burnt trees hanging across the creek to contend with. These trees got a bit more intense before it looked like some more canyon was coming up. However, the canyon never really materialised, and I arrived at my exit gully.

Having come up from downstream once previously, I couldn't remember what we had checked out. Since it was unlikely I would be back for a while, I thought I should go down to the main cliffline just to be sure. Nothing much there though. Back at the exit gully, the side creek we had climbed out of before looked quite steep. But climbable on closer inspection. However, I figured I should check out upstream as we had been in quite a rush. Lo and behold there was canyon. And with a deep pool and waterfall disappearing around a corner, it looked impressive. I couldn't quite stay dry crossing the pool, and it was a bit of a challenge getting up the waterfall with the aid of a log. Another couple of awkward climbs followed through more canyon before it started to open out.

I decided to call it a day and headed up the slope. The cliffs above had other ideas. It looked like it was going to be possible but tricky to get around to the nose, though a higher route looked more promising. However I ended up on a hairy ledge above a short drop ... above a long drop. In the end it seemed easier to abseil. Assuming the ledge below went. Luckily it did. I was able to pull the rope and walk back up the ridge to my bike.

With all of the biting horseflies around, I decided not to hang around for lunch. It was a bit of a slog back into town with my pack and bike. I had lunch in the park, being accosted by a very strange gay guy who tried to pick me up!

For some reason, shortly after that, the cold that I had been harbouring for a couple of days hit me badly. After a couple of hours and an attempted ride out to Perrys, I gave up my plan of camping and bailed on a train back to Sydney, making a complete waste of all the gear I had lugged around.