Abseil / Canyoning Reports

Here is a collection of Abseil / Canyoning Activity Reports for 2019

Others may be found under their year.

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