08/01/2011 - report - photos - Clatterteeth Canyon track notes

Participants: Tom Brennan, Rachel Grindlay, Jim Close, Huw ap Rees, Neil Soutar, Marcia Kaye, Jon Bracs, Jacquie Yates, Alex Gould

Despite rain and drizzle on the drive up, the day started to clear up as we all arrived at Mt Wilson. We met up with Vivien's party who were doing Bell Creek, and after starting off separately, soon recombined. The leeches were out in force and hounded us until we left the basalt and got into sandstone country. Vivien's group headed off right at the saddle as we headed left down a very overgrown track towards October Creek, the largest tributary of Du Faur Creek.

Down at October Creek I made the call to inflate lilos and don wetsuits as there was a large pool. Too early by half, as despite a quick dip, we had another 500m of creek to negotiate before the canyon started. Huw showed off his bodyboard-style lilo, though sitting on it turned out to be impossible! From the Du Faur Creek junction, there were some long, spectacular lilo pools interspersed with some longish sections of boulder hopping or creek walking. The rocks in Du Faur Creek were as slippery as I've ever seen in any canyon, and exacted a toll of knocked knees and banged shins, at least from those of us without steamers.

At the Bell Creek junction, we met Vivien's party again, though they headed back up the way we came. After negotiating some massive boulders down the big boulder chute in Bell Creek, we hit the Wollangambe just after Jon's lilo met a floppy end on a sharp stick. Soon we were at the exit, where we had a solid climb back to Mt Wilson. Unfortunately the weather forecast was no good for the next day's trip so most people headed back to Sydney, while a few of us celebrated a birthday, with multiple cakes, at Cathedral Reserve.