13/12/2015 - report - photos
Participants: Tom Brennan, Rachel Grindlay, Richard Pattison, Sue Bucknell, Ali Curtin
The next day we set off for a bit of exploration. We had lunch on some pagodas overlooking our first creek. It looked pretty narrow from above, so I had some hope that we would find something. We scrambled down to find that the slot was still some distance below us. Rich managed to find a way into the slot without abseiling, though with jumping, and then pointed out a route by which the rest of us could get in.
The slot descended until we were in a nice bit of canyon. Then the bottom dropped out of the creek down a very narrow slot. Rich again managed to bridge over the slot and jump down at the end. The rest of us abseiled through the squeezy hole, and lowered packs. Unfortunately the canyon opened out just beyond this, so we had lunch in a pleasant overhang looking out over the valley.
After lunch we followed the cliffs around looking for a pass. We ignored a scrubby route that looked like it would go, only to find that passes weren't quite so forthcoming further along. There were lots of large overhangs in this section of cliff, but the rock was fairly poor quality, and I couldn't spot any aboriginal art. After a while, we sent Rachel off to scout around the corner, otherwise we'd have to retrace steps back to our first pass. Luckily she found an easy broken gully that we could get up, and a good lookout at the end of the ridge with valley views.
Then it was up a scrubby ridge to the top of our next creek, which we reached by a fairly circuitous route due to lazy navigating. Rich slid down a tree while the rest of us found a walk down route in. Shortly we reached a large drop at a junction. The other branch looked like it might have had more promise. We tied two ropes together for the abseil and ended up in a deep, pretty gorge, but not canyon. Further downstream it continued to look like it would turn into canyon, but never sustained. There were a couple more drops that Rich and I walked around and the ladies abseiled. Finally the creek dropped into a section of canyon, though I was somewhat disappointed as the canyon faced west, and the sun was shining directly in, making the photos crap!
The canyon had three drops, all into pools. The third drop was quite long, and had to be combined with the second due to the lack of anchors. The canyon finished at the bottom of the third abseil, and we were able to scramble down to the main creek. From there we made our way out, picking up a track for a pleasant walk back to camp.
An interesting weekend of exploring.