Sunday 4th March 2018: Boogarem Falls, Mt Jerusalem NP
Participants: Debbie G, Clive K, Kelly R, Bryan J, Leader Shane M
We rendezvous at the corner of Koonyum Range Road and Wilsons Creek Road and left the 2WD behind. We travelled along Boogarem Road and then stopped on the high side of the Bridge next to the track down to the creek. The creek was flowing harder than I had seen it before. With boots wet at the first crossing the rest of the walk down to the top of the falls was a piece of cake. We anchored on a large fallen tree and a large bolder giving us a good line on the water flow with redundancy. Two 100m ropes were deployed and rope protection placed at intervals down from the top edge. Then we headed off into the bush on the right hand side of the creek looking for the anchor tree to be used in our return prusiking. I used a 50m x 9mm rope and after a couple of dead end abseils and prusiking back managed to find my original markers. With that all set and tested by Clive. It was back to the falls all this had taken until about 12:30.
It was decided that Debbie should go down below Kelly on the second rope to act as a bottom belay while I remained above in case a rescue was required. I heard after the event that there had been a bit of a rope tangle below but that it had been sorted and all was good. Then it was Clives turn followed by Bryan while I remained at the top. With all down and off the rope I proceeded to pull up the ropes and pack up. This was accomplished by 3:00 and I then waited for the others to return from below. It was 4:00 by the time we were all back at the cars. A challenging day completed without injury by some competent and some newly trained participants. Shane
Saturday 22nd and Sunday 23rd September 2018 Reynolds Creek Gorge Canyoning , Main Range NP Qld
Participants: Gary W, Andrew C, Mandy G and Shane M from NRBC and Peter W and Yuliana H from YHA Bushies.
Peter put this event up with YHA and Yuliana and myself were the only takers so I added it as a late notice for NRBC and three from NRBC decided to come along. Saturday afternoon late we arrived at the second creek crossing on Wickman's Road and set up camp ready for an early start on Sunday morning. Weather was forecast as a pleasant 25c and no rain. Peter had sounded out the owner of the private land that we passed through. At 6:30 we headed up to Mt Bangalore a steady climb up paddocks and then in brush and bracken until we reached the Bangalore cliff face (this area alone deserves a further look). The intention was not to scale Mt Bangalore but to skirt it to the south to the saddle. This was the highest point on the day at 625m after a climb of only 300m stopping for a breather then down the other side. Steep and slippery, a toboggan would have been useful. We reach the dry, rocky upper portion of Reynolds Creek at 9:30am then followed the creek down hill. Soon the sheer cliff was on our left, then a little water, following the creek and then a cliff on our right and a canyon/gorge in front of us with the first deep pool which was absolutely crystal clear. Gary waded through the water the rest of us climbed around. Then it was obvious there was no getting around the next one and we all kitted up with wetsuits and dry bags. Then it was the plunge into the coolish pools one after another. I lost count of the number of pools but it was many. Only one required a tape rope assist. For the record a single 15m tape was wound around a large boulder and from its end a 15m tape was doubled. The lower 15m tape was retrieved but the upper tape was left in place. It would require at least 30m of rope next time, and I believe that there would not be much chance of pulling the top tape back around the boulder. That last drop was just a little too far to jump and the water was too shallow. Not much really, less than a 7m drop. There were a couple of slides and bends and turns and we were out the other side. We changed out of our wet gear and had lunch next to another gorge coming in from our left. Another one for the bucket list. After lunch we headed off down the creek a way. The GPS was saying cars are 3.1km this away, over the other side of Mt Bangalore. However we headed at a tangent to that line. We were then in the paddocks as we circumnavigated Mt Bangalore, dusty and dry. A not particularly brilliant end to a wonderful day. We arrived back at the cars at 2:40pm and glad that the last bit was over. We had ascended 780m in total and walked 11.9km. We shall do it again soon with a different route staying within the NP. This walk is suitable for fit non-abseilers and good fun! Shane
Wednesday 21st February 2018: Abseil Recce Tributary of Terania Creek Nightcap NP
Participants: Duncan F, Brendan W, and leader Shane M
We rendezvous at The Channon at 8:30am (NSW Time). We headed off towards Terania Picnic Area parking at what was once Mackays Road. Weather was raining and overcast as we headed up hill along the trail. There was evidence of foot traffic as high as the hair pin bend and then none. A description of the track would be fairly easy going with the occasional tree fall to negotiate. Palms and Eucalyptus having grown in the middle of the old road some as large as 100mm girth but none any bigger. There was one section where approximately 30% of the track had collapsed into the valley below but not a real hazard to walkers. Reaching a trail fork (GDA 56 J 530491 6839169) we veered right with the trail along the top of the range and passed our numbered creeks on the right. Arriving at number 4 (GDA 56 J 531055 6838321 ) we first had a look at the cascades and mini canyon slide on the high side of the track and admired the size of the tree trunks that were once a bridge. Heading off following the creek downstream it was not long before we reached our first waterfall of about 15m with a log jam at its base. Unfortunately a rope decided to roll over the edge and disappear in the pool below. A bit of duck diving by Brendan and it was retrieved. A bit further downstream and we encounter our next waterfall not very high but this time clean with no debris. We had a repeat performance of the disappearing rope bag, then on to the next drop off. There had been speculation as to whether it was going to be one big drop or down to a ledge which we would have preferred. With each of the previous waterfalls our confidence of an easy final drop had increased, however arriving at the top of the main falls that confidence disappeared. There was ample anchoring points with a large tree (300mm+ girth) wedged horizontally across the creek and happy where it was with vertical branch that had themselves become trunks. Duncan abseiled down a short way on our spare 30m rope for a look over the edge. Prusiked back to tell us that it was more than 100m. After considerable discussion of pros and cons it was decided that it was too risky to go on a double 100m as we may not have reached the bottom. The final decision was to deploy the 100m x 11mm rope full length with the other 100m x 10.2mm hanging on the end which would give us a possible 150m descent albeit with the passing of the knot. I went first and deployed the ropes as I went spending considerable time and effort untangling ropes on the way down. I wont be deploying ropes like that again! There were considerable sharp and abrasive edges that the rope went over and round that was most evident in the rope feel. I headed for the right hand edge of the falls as I had previously seen that it had the highest point on the floor. I reached this spot and touched down on the single 100m. However it was a little difficult to disengage from the rope as my weight temporarily stretched the rope a good 5m. Back at the top Duncan moved the rope a metre so as to move the wear points. Then Brendan came down and finally Duncan. All three safely on the ground we pulled down the 10.2mm leaving the 11mm to be reclaimed from above. Packed up we headed rock hopping down the creek to Terania Creek and across to the road and back to the cars it was by this time 4:30pm. A most challenging, memorable day. If done again the procedure would be to first anchor at the top tree and run say a double 20m to a small ledge in the middle of the water flow, and then set a double 100m to go down in the main stream my reasoning being that the rocks are much smoother there and less likely to cause rope damage. The top rope could be pulled down by the last one down and the bottom rope when all were at the bottom. However there would be another 5 to 10m descent added to the what is already higher than Minyon Falls. Shane
Saturday 10th March 2018: Sphincter Falls, Mt Jerusalem NP
Participants: Simon C-C, Andrew C, Mandy G, Steve M, Barbara S, Ruth C and Leader Shane M
We met at the corner of Mann Road and South Chowan Creek Road and headed off up South Chowan Road. After a couple of stops to investigate camping areas we arrived at our venue. Loaded up with the gear we headed down the very steep slope to the creek arriving just above the falls. It was the best flow that I had seen in the creek with the falls really powering. Goodie!!!! . I set the top anchors and deployed a 10.5mm single to the shelf about 10m to 15m below. Disappearing to the shelf, the 2 by 70m of 10.2mm were anchored and then thrown over to the valley floor about 55m below. Much care was taken with the fitting of canvas rope protectors as twice previously the rope had been damaged on that sharp ledge edge. It was then just a matter of enjoying the sheer exhilaration of waterfall abseiling. The stream, the rainbows, otherwise unknown sites and angles and of course the deafening hammering of the water on the helmet. All to soon you are down and wishing that it would continue. Next after what seemed an eternity it was Mandy, got some good photos of that. Then Ruth and Andrew with Simon taking up the rear. Once they had seen us over the edge, Barbara and Steve went off with their own rock hopping recce for a day walk just listed for Sunday April 8. I should point out that with the exception of Simon the others are new to abseiling and it was Ruth's third ever abseil. We all agreed that we were not cold on the way down due to the adrenaline stimulated excitement. Ruth had come up from the Clarence Bushwalkers to a training session a couple of weeks earlier and then did Hell Hole before this day. From her experience, we are the only club outside of the capital cities who does abseiling, interesting to know. The climb to the top, the gear packing, carrying, and the scramble to the cars, the drive to Main Arm Store for the coffee or beer and the debrief and chatter and all too soon we are on our way home thoroughly exhilarated by the adventure. Shane