04/01/2013 - report - photos - Ranon Canyon track notes

Participants: Tom Brennan, Rachel Grindlay

Ranon seems to be my birthday canyon. Including last year's failed attempt, this is the fourth time I've done it within 2 days of my birthday.

Rachel hadn't been into the canyon right from the top, so we entered that way rather than via Mistake Ravine. Some poor navigation meant we did an extra 400m of scrubby creek before reaching the start of the canyon. Mistake Ravine is certainly prettier, with all of its ferns, but it's nice to go in a different way every so often.

At the main junction I walked along the ledge to try and find the rope that the rescued party had left behind, but it had been taken already.

We were much later through the main constriction of Claustral, so it was interesting to get some different light to usual. While many bits were much darker, such as the Black Hole, there were some spectacular sunbeams at play.

Despite our start at a reasonable hour, it was after 3 o'clock when we stopped for lunch in the sun just below the Thunder junction. Rachel blamed me for taking too many photos! As a result, we had to hot foot it through the final section and the exit.

The Tunnel Swim was down about a metre from normal, so there was only a few metres of swimming before it became a sandy wade. The final pool before the exit was also a wade.

Neither of us were feeling particularly fit, but by generally keeping moving we were back to the car in just under 3 hours, the fastest time yet out of three times I've done the new exit. That said, the main determinant seems to be how long a break we have at the top of the Camels Hump! It was 10 hours 15 minutes car to car. I'd say the new exit adds around an hour to an hour and a half to the time to do Ranon, though it does eliminate the car shuffle (which also took time).