04-05/08/2004 - report - photos

Participants: Tom Brennan, Duanne White

Driving down the Grassy Hill Fire Trail, I was quite surprised to see a 4wd following me. Getting to the rocky sections, I pulled over to let them pass. We chatted for a bit - they asked us if we were heading for Canoe Creek, and I said yes, but we were aiming to push on to Mt Savage.

By the time we reached the car park, they had already left. The gate was unlocked (broken?) but since we were unlikely to be coming back along the same trail, there didn't seem much point in driving through the gate.

We made good time down the fire trail and down to the creek. The other guys, Chris and Phil, were there already, and we chatted for a while. Chris offered us some fruit cake, so we chatted for a while longer, mostly about bushwalking and canyoning.

Eventually we headed off, losing shoes and socks to wade the rather cold Colo. Once on the other side, we headed north a bit to find where I had seen a handline last time. To cut a long story short, we did a lot of scrambling up and down exposed rock ledges, and didn't find a pass. The closest we came was a route that required an easy but exposed climb at the top, onto the halfway ledge. I got up there, but traversing the halfway ledge was going to be anything but easy, and with the rain, I decided to back off.

Of course it turned out that the pass that Geoff and I had climbed last year was the right one. I had written it off as being too dodgy.

We decided to cut our losses and camp on the river, in a nice camp cave. In the meantime we headed upriver to check out the clifflines further upstream. There was one promising line up a steep gully that looked possible - everything else was pretty well cliffed out.

After the obligatory cheese and bikkies, red wine and port around a nice campfire we retired to bed.

The following morning, a bit more exploring relocated the pass, but we didn't bother climbing it. We exited via Bob Buck's Pass 15, which was reasonably straightforward after the first few bits. There were some good views once we hit the ridge, so we used Duanne's binoculars to check out some of the cliffs and the river from a bit higher up. Once at the top of the ridge, we picked up a fire trail fairly quickly and followed that back to the car.