12/12/2015 - report - photos - Pipeline Canyon track notes

Participants: Tom Brennan, Rachel Grindlay

Rachel and I had arrived the night before and went to sleep to the sound of kangaroos chomping grass around us. Rich, Sue and Ali arrived the next morning, and we moved camp to the uphill side of the campground. They set off for Hartleys Mistake, while we chased the Fat Canyoners up the Pipeline Track. We went in to Pipeline Canyon via the short entrance, and arrived at the junction at the same time as the Fat Canyoners were coming down the long way.

We had carried wetsuits unnecessarily, as I didn't get more than waist deep wet other than some drippage from the waterfalls. The Fat Canyoners let us play through on the main abseil, and we did the next short abseil from the low anchor, which is a bugger of a drop. We were having lunch on the rocks at the end when they finished, but they headed off to do Devils Pinch.

After lunch we climbed a pass and wandered around on to a ledge with good views. We traversed into another creek that I wanted to check out. It soon turned into poor canyon.

The canyon slowly improved, and we soon came to a short drop. I abseiled this, as did Rachel, but we left the rope in place as there was another drop immediately after. This one went down a chute and across a pool, and then down another short drop to a nice section of canyon. Unfortunately this ended just around the corner what looked like a large drop. It turned out to be only about 20m, and someone had been there before since there was a threaded sling.

Getting out of the canyon wasn't the end of the excitement since the ledge we were on was a long way up. Hard to tell, but maybe 15m to another ledge, and then 40m+ (and maybe much more) to the ground. Instead, we traversed on loose ground above big drops until we passed the end of the cliffs, and were able to do two short abseils to the ground. Some fist bumps and then a slip and slide down the hill to a track that took us back to camp.

Rich, Sue and Ali weren't back so we got stuck into the sparkling red, the d'Affinois, and finally, as it got dark, dinner. At 10pm we decided to go to bed, which of course was the cue for them to arrive back. They had had trouble finding a pass out of their creek, and walked the last hour or more in the dark.