Abseil / Canyoning Reports
Here is a collection of Abseil / Canyoning Activity Reports for 2019
Others may be found under their year.
4~6 October 2019: Abseil - Lynch's Creek, Border Ranges NP
Participants: Andrew C, Mandy G, Jimi S, Jake S, Brendan W, Karl S and Leader Shane M.
This truly is about as good as it gets. We all met up at Forest Top Camping Area the Friday night ready for an early start Saturday. At 6:00am organised to drop a car at the saddle below Forest Top for our return, and then waited until 7:00 for Brendan to arrive. Then the car shuffle to up near the Pinnacle car park 115-580, where we left two cars.
At 7:12 precisely we dropped off the road (116-580 alt high of 1016m) into the bush to the west of the car park and proceeded to follow a new course down to the main creek. Not any bush bashing, a dry creek (well exposed stones). We soon had running water, the source of Lynch's Creek. Following this we reached the first of the waterfalls at 7:42 (115-575 alt. 888m), a short drop of only 2 metres which we scrambled around. The next was at 8:05 ( 111-555 alt 869) getting near our preferred anchor tree was a trick the tree being guarded by a very large 2m plus python. We dislodged the python to a lower level only to find its mate snuggled up there also. The drop was a clean 6m on to a melay of fallen timber and rocks. Some of the rather large rocks became dislodged under feet so caution required there. From there on the creek developed into a gorge, dropping steeply. At 9:48 we reached the next abseilable drop at (107-578 alt 784m), a picture postcard fall of 25m into a pool. The next was at 11:00 ( 107-579 alt 770 ) a drop of 25m. From there on the four more drops were consistently 25m with varying landing from pools to fallen trees and rock scree. We lost GPS contact in the deep gorge so the next position are abit speculative. 106-579, 105-580, 104-580. An important note at the fifth waterfall it was noticed that one of the ropes was severely damaged. Fortunately we still had a 50m as backup so we rotated that one into the system. All were safely down to the next. After we were all down the last of the falls at 4:00 we had a rope jammed during removal and unfortunately had to cut and leave it. The next hour was spent rock hopping down the creek looking for a decent camp spot for the night. At 5:00 we setup camp on the creek bank at (099-583 alt 530m) and prepared for a long night, all in bed by 7:30. We were 500m short of the previous adventure's campsite.
Sunday we arose early but didn't take off until 8:00. The day, to lunch, was spent rock hopping down a pristine rain forest creek with much to see and enjoy. Two male python dancing in a contest for a large female being one of the thrills. Very few have ever been here and few ever will due to its extreme difficulty to reach. At 1:00 were left the creek (066-582 alt 341m) and followed the creek tributary following NW up the banks of the creek. The next three hours were a struggle with a steep climb negotiating many areas of thick vines. We arrived at the cars at the saddle 4.30 (057-588 alt 735m). Mandy being the first female club member to ever do this event, and possibly the first female ever in time to do this event. What an experience.
Notes for the future. Warmer would be good. Need 4 x 50m of rope. 30 belts with 7 sets of stainless steel links were used. There is a sharp edge on the 4th that needs to be avoided it has now damaged two ropes. The last drop the debris at the top should be cleared to prevent the rope jamming.
Conclusion, this is absolutely the most challenging and enjoyable walk I know of. Look forward to doing it again next year. My thanks to an excellent competent crew. Shane
Saturday 14th September 2019 Mackays#4 at Terania
Participants: Simone G, Debbie G, Duke A, Brendan W, Rachel H, Leader Shane M
Rendezvous 8:30 Saturday at Channon Tavern. Gear divided and issued on the track at 9:00. The usual climb up the track arriving at 9:40. We then had a short refresher on using auto blocks before we headed down the creek. We used the first two sub 5m drops to ensure that all the gear was functioning correctly. The third drop I went around as it required full submersion in the pool below not really necessary. There is a track on the Eastern bank that avoids these three drops. At the top of the main drop anchors were placed around the large fallen tree and the 50m x 9mm rope was deployed as a double to the first ledge. Just ample length with perhaps 1.5m in excess. The anchors on the shelf were inspected and needed replacing. Two length of 1m x 6mm chain were added to the two bolts. This was not long enough to reach the edge and an addition 1.5m x 12mm sling was added which still came 0.5m short of the edge. So a rope bag was inserted under the rope as protection. The two 70m x 10.2mm Salamander ropes were then deployed to the second shelf. Transfering to those ropes the two 70m Petzl Club 10 ropes were then flying foxed to the first shelf. Brendan then came down to the first shelf as I went down to the second shelf untangling the ropes on the way down. There was about 15m excess in rope length. At the second shelf I deployed the two Club 10's to the bottom. The anchor points at that second shelf are perfect, allowing for a breather and easy rope transfer. Meanwhile Duke had followed Brendan down and passed him to arrive at the second shelf. With Duke safely moored to the the anchors I then proceeded to do the final drop. There was quite a tangle of ropes below where the two sets of rope had become intertwined, a future improvement required, there was about 20m excess rope at the bottom. Safely down I stood back from the face to avoid any falling rocks, belayed and watched as the rest of the crew came down. Debbie and Brendan bringing up the rear assisting the others and then the pulling ropes down. We packed up and headed to Terania Creek it was by then about 4:00. We met the land holder out walking as we packed the cars, no problems there. Notes for next time the anchors on the first shelf need to be modified, photos of that were taken. A most enjoyable day at one of the best spots. 25m, 50m, 50m mostly dry. Shane
Wednesday 4 September 2019 Caving Campbell's Folly near Mt Barney/Mt Lindsay
Participants: Doug McD, Shane M and Leader Peter W
8:30 start at Hardgraves Road Mt Lindsay. The day was more of the really dry conditions with clear skies. We headed up the track and through the gate at the top and met Steve Hardgrave on horseback. We were warmly greeted and introduced ourselves not a problem as long as we let them know we are there. Steve's email address was given and we continued on our way. At 750-683 we left the open paddocks and started the climb up the gorge, very dry and quite steep. Several places we had to work around areas that were too steep. We arrived at the bottom of the cave 755-681. Peter stayed down in the cave while Doug and myself climbed further up the gorge. When we had gained another 50m we contoured to the right onto the rock slabs and soon found the opening at the top of the cave. There was a handy tree complete with the sling from someone previous. Doug proceeded down first deploying his 50m x 11m. He found that indeed the rope was all the way to the bottom and invited me to join him. The entry was not vertical rather a gradual slope with ample room for an abseiler with backpack. We were both on the rope on a ledge within the cave. I braced myself while Doug disappeared below. Not long after the rope was free and I joined him on the bottom. Peter taking photos from below. The excess rope was measured at 12m, so rope required for this pitch was 40m. Down and out I made a brew while Peter climbed up to the top for his go. We were all safely out of the cave by 12 and had lunch. The sun was now directly overhead and with little shade we had a hot climb back down the hill and across the paddocks. Arriving back at the cars it was decided that it was too hot to do anymore so we packed up and headed for home. We will put it on as a club event next winter. 5.0km return with 300m ascent. Abseil was simple. Shane
Saturday 31st August and Sunday 1st September 2019 Canyoning at Stag's Head MT Barney NP QLD
Participants: Andy C, Mandy G, Jimi S, Jake S, Hilde G, Leader Shane and observer Tess D
Rendezvous 8:30 Saturday at Woodenbong Hall. Hilde left her car at the Police Station. We drove along Summerland Way to Bald Mountain SF and then 4WD rough track to the Rabbit Fence at Stag's Head, the foothills of Mt Clunie. We were in the creek by 10:00 and started down the gorge. There were seven waterfalls to abseil down some of which were into swimming depth of water, all were wet, surprising considering the semi-drought . All the pitches were securely bolted save the last which still had my sling from the last time. That needs replacing next time with a length of chain as had trouble trying to pull the rope down. The falls in order were 15m,15m,15m,20m,10m,30m,8m. The 8m is where the sling replacement is required. The best section started at the 20m which entailed close pitches through an almost covered in S bend and culminated in a 30m into the huge Bat Cave complete with a sandy beach. Gear wise, it was ascertained that 5 falls needed 40m of rope and 2 needed a 60m, could be done with just 3 or 4 x 40m if two 40m were joined for the bigger ones. Water was really cool, a guesstimate at around 8c~10c, not really dangerous but definitely uncomfortable. Oct to Feb would be better timing, but then the track may be impassable. We were fortunate that the track was dry but rutted except for the usual boggy creek crossing. One tree was down to block the track ably removed by Jake's chainsaw. Unfortunately Tess's Mitsy sustained considerable damage on the way in and even more at the site in our absence. The track and the place in general is only suited to real 4WD's. Sunday Jimi and Jake headed off home, we contemplated a walk and packed up then on inspection of Tess's car it was found that she had completely stuffed her radiator and most of the plastic underbody and both ends of the car. With a bit of improvising we got the Mitsy hooked up to the Prado for the long slow tow back to Woodenbong. Andy actually accomplished it by 10:30 to our surprise. The Pub was even closed Dad's Day I guess. So it was an early parting of company. It was a good choice to call it a day early as there was no way of knowing what sort of dramas could have evolved on that long bush bash back to the highway. Tess left her car at the police station and loaded her dogs and gear into the Jeep and we were back in Lismore at about 2:30. There are a few pointers in these notes for future reference. A marvelous day in the bush with a good crew. Shane
Sunday 28 July 2019 Sphincter Falls Mt Chowan Mt Jerusalem NP
Participants Holger G, Tippi G, Sam G, Debbie G and Leader Shane M
9:00 start at South Chowan and Mann we then drove up the track to our spot and had a beside the road fitting and practise with the club's gear. Debbie soon arrived and we descended to the creek. The top rope was the 20m red and then the 70m Edelrid from the ledge. We used the new green marine carpet at the ledge, not quite long enough so canvas was tied to the bottom of it. We used the PTT radios for communication which was handy. Debbie volunteered to stay behind and hold the fort at the top. Other four down with no drama at all, albeit a little wet. We took a look at the cave and then did the short cut up to the top. We then were in a quandary as to whether to go again as it was only 1:00, but by the time we had lunch and a brew the consensus was to pack up. So ended another wonderful day in the bush and it was most pleasant to have two teenagers along for the ride. I believe they will be back for more. So until next time. Shane
Sunday 2nd June 2019 Recce Smith's Creek Toonumbar NP
Participants Alan G, David R and Leader Shane M
We spent the Saturday Night huddled around the fire brazer in the hut at the camp ground not sharing the park with anyone. It rained overnight. 9:00 in the morning we moved vehicles to the gate at the entrance to Cobb OCorn road and piled into one vehicle and drove up to Poor Bullock Road. We then set off down the track getting wet by the long grass and the shower from every bumped tree branch. We followed Poor Bullock for 2.7km taking the right track at the intersection with Eden Creek Falls track. A further 500m down Nobles Track at 805-453 we left the tracks and headed down to the Smith's Creek. A slippery and precarious descent of 800m and 200m descent. Reaching the creek we headed up stream. There were many cascades and three 10m waterfalls in the next 1km and 85m ascent. At 797-453 while skirting around a larger waterfall we inadvertently left the main creek and it took 260m and 50m ascent before we realized our error. We then decided that the best option was to return to the track which we did arriving at 798-456 after 400m and 103m ascent. Back on the track we headed back to the car arriving there after a total of 7.7km, 376m ascent and 4 hours. On the way out we noticed a track heading down a ridge line at 485-457. The next time we will recce down this track to the source of Smith's. Synopsis, it has potential for a club walk but needs further exploration from the top down. Shane
Saturday 1st June 2019 Upper Cobb OCorn Creek Toonumbar NP
Participants Alan G, David R and Leader Shane
We arrived at Iron Pot Camping Ground for a 9:00 start and piled into one vehicle and made our way to approximately where we left the creek the previous time. A little thick and steep near the road then the understory opened up as we followed a gully down to the main creek. We emerged at the creek at 787-545 which was up stream from the larger waterfall in the previous trip. We then went downstream the 350m to check our position by seeing the falls. Now we started the upstream recce. There were numerous waterfalls and cascades none of which were as large as the previous, disappointing in a way as we expected there to be fewer but higher falls. After 2 hours, 2.2km and an ascent of 162m we arrived at the road crossing 780-458 we then walked back down hill to the car 2.0km and 56m. No big waterfalls in this section but never the less a most rewarding walk and we will be adding this to the clubs repertoire. Shane
Thursday 30th May 2019 Abseil Rope Retrieval Mackays #3
Participants Debbie G, Brendan W and leader Shane
We had the usual Channon Tavern start at 9:00 and found ourselves at the top of Mackays Trail at 10:30. No change from the previous Sunday. At the escarpment the 70m was deployed which gave us access to the two ledges 35m below. There it was discovered that the Axis Tube protector had become jammed in a rock crevice. Then a debate about a new anchor point and after much contemplation it was decided to leave it where it was and just replace the rope protector with a mat. The rocks at the edge being soft and unsuitable to anchoring. After replacing the protector we were all off down to the bottom. Then there was a tense moment as the rope was pulled and it came away easily so a good solution. The scramble out with the heavy ropes and other gear was then undertaken not that easy with the 170m of rope carried by Brendan. Then off to the Tavern for a refreshment and chit chat. Parting company at 3:30. A successful but not particularly easy day. Shane
Sunday 26th May 2019 Abseiling Mackays #3
Participants Brendan W, Debbie G, John M. Leader Shane
Rendezvous at Channon Tavern at 9.00 and walking at 9:30 and reached the creek at 10:15. Donned harness before heading down the creek. One less thing to do at the top of the escarpment. There was no need to abseil the several small falls before the top. There had been no notes of the ropes lengths required so we went with the maximum we had available. Arriving at the top of the main falls the 70m Salamander was deployed from the tree at the edge. This was the correct length to reach the second take off. All were down to that ledge using that rope. I then pulled the top rope and deployed the bottom two 100m Salamander ropes and used them to join the group on the ledge. The carpet mat from the previous visit had disappeared so an Axis tube protector was deployed with a clip. We all then enjoyed a wonderful abseil beside a picturesque lightly flowing falls. There was no dramas of any kind and it was enjoyed by all. Once we were all down on the rock pile in the gorge we proceeded to try and recover the ropes. Unfortunately the ropes became snagged at the top and that required a return to the top to investigate. The length of excess rope at the bottom was measured at 20m so that last drop had been 80m. We had guessed the rope length required perfectly, it is now recorded. We were down and out at 3:30, shadows were already long and it was quite dark in the forest. All that is left to be done is go back and do it again ASAP and retrieve the ropes! Another great day with a good bunch of capable people. Thanks everyone, Shane.
Sunday 19th May 2019 Abseiling Goonengerry Cliffs.
Participants Steve M, Andrew C, Duncan F, John M, Debbie G, Leader Shane M and with guests Marina B, David C.
Rendezvous at Federal Shops at 8:30 and Goonengerry at 9:00 proceeded to the Second waterfall, our usual venue to find a group of high slack line walkers doing their thing across the top of the falls. Thrilling to watch but a bit beyond ours group's capabilities or desires. We then settled down to a rookies instruction with Marina and Steve while the others went off and explored the possibilities along the cliff face. Marina and David did a few 10m drops and then we moved over to a tree along the dry wall and proceeded to do a few drops each of 50m. At 3:00 we packed up and adjourned to Federal for the customary refreshments. We parted company at 4:00 after a satisfying day, my thanks to the participants. Shane
Sunday 5th May 2019 Boogarem Falls Abseil, Koonyum Range
Participants: Karl S, Mandy G, Andy C and Leader Shane M
Mandy and Andy drove down from Brisbane Saturday night and camped at the Range. Karl and myself drove from Lismore. We joined up at the camp and drove together to Boogarem Creek. Donned harnesses and loaded up with ropes etc. Set off the 200m to a point 50m from the escarpment. We then went off track south about 80m to install the rope ready for our ascent, we looked for my previous pink ribbons and soon found them but were unsure if it was the correct spot, a rather steep climb. For the retrieval rope we used a 80m 10.2mm rope which was really an overkill, for future reference 50m of 9mm would be adequate. Back at the top of the falls a 100m of 11mm used as a single was deployed using the two bolts that are installed at the top. Karl climbed down to a ledge, as ace cameramen do. We then followed each other down the rather spectacular clean dry drop to the bottom. The climb out was then on, with a little bit of 'try this way and that'. We were soon under the spot that we had laid the ascent rope. Unfortunately it was in a tree and a little out of reach. Andy climbed the tree and we were soon in business. Karl first then Mandy, Andy and myself. None found the prussiking particularly easy perhaps more practise is called for, well at least before doing this venue. Back at the top Karl was ready to go again by the time we were all there. Andy and Mandy followed Karl down while I stayed at the top to retrieve the rope and pack up. All was accomplished and by 3:30 we were at the cars. We then drove out to the lookout for a look see, and then parted company at about 4:00. Another great day doing what we love. Thanks for coming. Shane
Friday 12th Saturday 13th Sunday 14th April Abseil Thru Walk - Lynch's Creek Warrazambil Wilderness
Participants: Alan G, Andy C, Mandy G, Simon CC, Tony L. Leader Shane
With a bit of wishful thinking we headed up to Forest Tops on Friday afternoon in the pelting rain. There was no let up in the drenching and three of us decided that spending the night in the camp's kitchen on the cold concrete was preferable to a night in tents. After a restless night we rose at dawn and by consensus decided to give the cold, wet and slippery Lynch'd Creek a pass. We then decided, as we were there, we had to do something. The something turned out to be into the Lost World Wilderness down the border track to Grady's Creek. We started the walk at the Antarctic Beech picnic area. Leaving the cars there for our return we walked south down the road until we reached the NP's Wilderness sign. We then headed off down the recently cleared and pink taped track passing the first two tributaries of the creek and arriving at the main one on the saddle. The yellow tape then led us down the creek. No water at first but soon developing into a pristine fairy land of Nothofagus, truly Middle Earth. We stopped for a cuppa in a wonderful setting then off again following the creek for a way. The decision was made to take to the south bank at about 20m elevation above the creek, this a much easier and safer option as a firm footing in the creek was not always available. We then did a little bit of over, under and around all the vines. We were soon directly beneath the Lost World Wilderness Lookout and the car park. It was then just a 200m vertical climb up the hill to the cars. At the picnic tables a couple of refreshments were produced and we sat for awhile before once again the rain started. Disappointed we parted company and started the drive home. Less than half way home and the sun was out, just typical. So Lynch's Creek is postponed to a longer and dryer day next summer. Thanks for your effort guys in less than ideal conditions. Shane
Sunday 24th February 2019 Reynolds Creek Gorge, Main Range NP Qld.
Participants: Dean T, Renee T, Alan G, Karl S, Leader Shane M
On Saturday 23rd at about 5:00 pm we met at the second creek crossing on Wickman's Road. Set up tents had dinner and chatted into the dark. Rising at dawn and after packing up we drove up Wickman's to the start of the NP. At 7:30 AM we walked along the road to the two gates and then headed up hill aiming for the cliff line on Bangalore. I had only done the walk once before and was keen to trim some distance of the previous track. Unfortunately this was not achieved in fact it added a considerable amount of effort to the ascent. We did however get to the saddle at 1:00 PM which was our objective albeit two hours later than the previous attempt. It was then decided to revert to the previous recorded track and all went well on the descent to Reynold's Creek. For the record it was a very dry summer and the area had its last rainfall in December but there was potable water at GDA 502-810. It was running and clear and appreciated. We then followed the creek down stream about 1 km. The water had disappeared underground as we rock hopped to the gorge. The gorge starts as the cliff line closes in on the left. From there on there was a series of jumps into lovely clear pools, no record was made of the number but in excess of 10. A truly wonderful place to be on a hot summer's day. All too soon we were at the last drop of about 7 metres. Some could have climbed down enough to jump but a 15 metre tape rope was laid and we all hand over handed it to the bottom. Just a little bit of wading and we were in the dry creek again. At 4:00PM we had our boots on and headed off in the circumnavigation of Mt Bangalore arriving at the cars at 6:00PM. A wonderful day enjoyed by all. 18km and 1160m ascent/descent. Shane
Tuesday 5th February 2019 Recce Goodwin Road, Nightcap NP NSW
Participants: Duncan F, Shane M
Rendezvous 8:30 at Channon Tavern all into one car then off to Mackays Road at Terania. Saddled up with two 50m x 9mm ropes and at 9:15 headed up Mackays on our well trodden track passed the road fork on the left at the first creek and to the ridge before the first descent GDA 308-388. We then started the climb. Easy fairly open forest up the ridge line, becoming narrower as we ascended until finally its turns into a narrow rock scramble not indicated in the map contours. After the rock scramble it levels off and broadens and becomes quite easy going. We soon found that we were on an overgrown but discernible Goodwins Road. We proceed to follow this track for some time as it was heading in the right direction North-East. At GDA 371-391 we changed direction heading due North towards the top of the escarpment. We soon found the left branch of the creek and decided to follow it down. The creek was running but barely there were numerous precarious slippery bits to negotiate and a couple of abseils the tallest was 25m.and pretty unspectacular. We followed the creek down until we reached a an old track with the remains of one of those hollow log bridges. We dropped packs and followed the track across the other side of the creek and were rewarded with the right branch coming in down a 20m waterfall. Back to the ex-bridge we contempted a good camp spot then headed off West for a short while following the track. This was not really the direction that we wished to go so we changed to off track due South and reached another track at approximately GDA 310-393 and descended this track for approximately 800m and arrived at the fork in the road. It was just left for us to retrace downhill to the car. We arrived at the car at 4:00 having walked, scrambled 7.5km and ascend, descend 600m.
Precise - Conclusion
An interesting day in the bush definitely the easiest way to get to McNamara's Road waterfalls.. There is the possibility of a grade 3~4 walk up Mackays and across Bat Cave Creek and down to the picnic area. The left branch is interested but the abseiling is not that stunning. A good route was found to McNamara Waterfalls albeit with a 600m climb. A very dry Summer but we were still able to find water.
Sunday 20th January 2019 Mackays #4
Participants: Simon C-C, Karl S, Brendan W, Phil S, Paul L, Richard H, David H, Leader Shane M
We all met at the Channon Tavern at 8:45 and after introductions and greeting Stephen's walking group we headed off to the Terania Creek Picnic Area. Saddled up we started up the road and were soon puffing and sweating profusely, arriving at #4 about 9:30. #4 was pretty dry or non-existent it was also noted that the bridge had deteriorated significantly since the last visit. A 10 minute breather then the two groups separated. Abseilers going down the creek and walkers up the creek. There was a flow of sorts and most rocks in the creek were dry and not slippery. We soon reached the first abseil of 10m. Possible to climb around it but good opportunity to make sure gear was functioning properly. Ropes were flying foxed down. All good so on to the next. This was repeated another two times and then we were at the top of the escarpment with the 125m drop off to the valley below. The swimming pool at the top was completely dry (the first time that I had seen that). A 60m rope was deployed around the fallen tree at the top. This enabled the 25m abseil to the first ledge. The two 100m ropes were then deployed, this would be enough to reach the valley floor however previous attempts at pulling the 2 x 100m ropes down had been unsuccessful. The plan was to place anchors about 50m down on another ledge enabling the deployment of a third pitch using the 2 x 70m ropes. I carried the 2 x 100m down to this ledge deploying from their bags. At this point Simon came down to the second ledge and pulled through one of of the 100m rope so we now had one of the 100m ropes up and back between the first and second ledges. I then abseiled the 2 x 70m ropes to the bottom taking 1 x 100m with me in its bag. All of this was achieved without any drama. Then it was just sit back as each in turn did the three abseils. The ropes were pulled down sequentially by the last person and all good with no apparent rope damage and very little effort. a far cry from previous encounters with this big wall. This venue is now a quite easy setup and 100m ropes are no longer required. We then headed down the creek to the confluence with Terania Creek where we forded the creek and headed across the paddocks to the road and along to the cars. It was 4:00 ish when we left the Terania for the Channon Tavern for the debrief and refreshment. Home at 6:00. Adding it all up total abseils were around 155m. I wish to thank and welcome Paul, Richard and David on their first outing with our group What a great day with excellent company. Shane
Sunday 6th January 2019 Eden Creek Falls
Participants: Alan G, Rosemary N, Yuliana H, Simon C-C, Cherie P, Hilde G, John C-C, Andrew C-C and Leader Shane M
A late start with most packing up camp so as to avoid backtracking. We left the camp at 9:00am and proceeded up Forest Range Road to the Poor Bullock Road parking Area. It was immediately obvious that the locked gate had been driven around recently with the new grass growth flattened and that flattened grass still green and barely dried. Walking down the track the large tree falls that I remember from earlier visits had been chain sawed and moved and it would now be possible to use a push bike. We arrived at the old picnic area at 10:30am and had a breather before setting off down the old track to the bottom falls. It was apparent that the track had been marked by recent blazing of trees along it. Careless and unnecessary vandalism. We arrived at the top of the bottom falls at 11:10am and I deployed a safety line so that we could have a good look over the edge of the 50m drop. We then sat down for morning tea. The geocache was located and note was left expressing our displeasure at the tree vandalism. We then rock hopped up to the base of the top falls where the desire to cool off overcame us and in we went. These falls guesstimated in the 65m ~ 90m range. After a short while we dressed and headed up the right face of the falls. An easy scramble with many vines and roots as support, arriving at about 50m from the top of the falls. By this time it was 12:45pm and time for lunch and another cooling off in the infinity pool at the top of the falls. At 1:30pm we decided to head back taking the shortest route to Poor Bullock. This was accomplished in 30 minutes then all we had to do was walk back along the track to the cars. 3:00pm saw us bidding farewell and parting company after a pleasant easy day. All had enjoyed this easier day and I thank them for their company. Shane
Saturday 5th January 2019 Iron Pot Creek Canyon
Participants: Alan G, Rosemary N, Steve M, Yuliana H, Cathy H, Gail B, Michelle M, Simon C-C, Cherie P, Hilde G, Lisa F, John C-C, Andrew C-C and Leader Shane M Afternoon of Friday 4th we all started arriving at the Iron Pot Camping Ground. We had come from far and wide, Northern Rivers, Gold Coast and Brisbane. There was already quite a few people at the camp so with the addition of our group there was not too many spots left. The late afternoon was spent individually exploring the creek around the camp. At dusk we mustered at the shelter for the briefing of how, what and where. Maps were issued and all were made aware of the frog fungus pathogen issue, boots and gaiters got a good going over and spray, then the sign on and evening meals prepared and consumed. A cold ale and wine was enjoyed before an early night ready for the next day's adventure.
Saturday 5th. Alarms went off at 5am (still pretty dark) and much activity as lunches were packed etc. The 7am start time was reached and we piled into 4 vehicles. One vehicle was to be left at the Murray Scrub Loop Trail for our return and the other 3 vehicles to carry the 14 of us up to the start of the walk at Cox Road. I had come in from the Cox Road end the previous evening to check for trees down and also to mark the start as it can be difficult to find. The drive to the start was uneventful except for the two stops for views. Firstly at the Murray Scrub Lookout where we could look down to where we were about to go. Then to Sherwood Lookout to see the view of the mountains in a row. Unfortunately they were clouded out, oh well next time. We finally had cars parked and started descending the track at 8:20am. The parking area and track down had not been used in a long time I would say at least six months or longer. Reaching the creek we descend to the water level and began our wading on the rock slabs. I was pleased to see my caution flag was still in place next to the site of two previous mishaps. A hole in the slabs about 400mm across but at least 2m deep all set to snare the next unwarey walker.
This top section of the creek flows over what appears to be igneous slabs with many hanging vines and with little sky visible. This terrain continued for 3.5km until we reached the waterfall. The drop off is around 30m and quite exposed. Care and caution emphasized as all peered down to the valley below. I left the group and climbed the right bank and lay the 15m tape rope down the first gully. Summoning the group who took it in turns down to the valley below. A bit of bouldering and we were at the creek level again and looking back at the waterfall. The cliff face is a conglomerate of old smooth river rocks set in what appears to be volcanic ash. Very little water flowing over the falls. Not as much water as evident in the creek so must be underground, another deep hole in the slabs perhap. I had gps marked the confluences of the creeks and labelled them 1 to 11 on the left and only 1 to 4 on the right so that we would know exactly where we were irrespective of our GPS as they have a habit of dropping out at an inopportune time. Proceeding down the stream the creek walls came closer and closer until we were looking vertically up 30m of exposed sandstone/mudstone. It now became most wonderful with the odd waterfall coming in on the left From about the 4th on the left until about the 8th we were in the gorge with sometimes very narrow ( 2m~3m ) and steep sometimes overhanging sides. Walking on gravel and rock hopping followed by wading waist deep, balancing on submerged logs or side walling muddy sections. At 10.45am we stopped next to creek left 7 for morning tea having covered only 3.5km but well on our way towards creek left 11 our exit point. We enjoyed the break as the going requires intense concentration rather than intense exertion. After the break we headed off into more of the same until reaching creek left 9 by which time the walls had moved back from the creek and opened up considerably. Just past left 9 we visited our previous overnight camp spot complete with its giant stinging trees. We had been foolish on that trip as there were ample flat spots well away from the stingy leaf litter. On three occasions up to this time we had seen and photographed frogs that we thought were the Richmondensis, but I now think that is not the case. The crayfish we saw was red and white and a good size. One only lazy python and one fish apart from the squawking Sulphur Crest not much other wildlife. At 4:30 pm we reached the left 11 creek our exit point having travelled 10.4kms. The next bit was the climbout of the creek to the Murray Scrub Loop Track above. This was easily accomplished after an ascent of 55m and a distance of 750m. The idea was then that the drivers would take the short way around the loop while the others would take the long way. Unfortunately the map in the GPS was inaccurate so the situation was reversed. No harm done. The drivers were soon in my car and we were off on our 15km and 30 minute drive back to Cox Road and the cars. We arrived back at the turnoff and picked up the stragglers and carried them back to camp. A lot of happy weary walkers enjoyed reminiscing over dinner that night. What a wonderful walk with great company. My fears about the group size were unfounded and the timing was perfect. Apart from a few bruises and aching bodies all good. Thanks to all the competent crew. Shane