We wish you were with us Nat

me on the 2nd pitch. Photo: Julie BMIRROR BALL ABSEIL – MAY 2016
Julie B, Aine G and I had intended going out to the Mirror Ball abseil to scatter some of Natalie’s ashes.  She had already been blasted out of a cannon at IronFest, scattered by acrobats at the Canberra Folk Festival, sprinkled in Fergies and MidWinter canyons and buried under a hundred tree seedlings.  Mirror Ball was the last abseil that Nat did (with Julie and Aine) before she found out she had cancer.  The 3 pitches. Photo: Aine GSo, it was fitting that we scatter some ashes, almost exactly a year to the day that she did the trip last.

The route is actually a climbing route into the Grose Valley, 150m straight down, in 3 pitches, all around 50m, some a little less.  The first one is very exposed, you climb down a small chute and then walk around the corner of the cliff, very exposed, the anchors are up above where you take off, not for the feint hearted and I was very nervous.  You land on a nice ledge with a big rock between you and the cliff face, so that was good, and then you scramble down a small down-climb (Elsje and I abseiled this we were a bit chicken).


At the 1st pitch, me getting the rope out of my bag trying not to drop either over the 150m cliff! Elsje photo bombing. Photo: Julie B

Julie scattering Natalie's ashes

Me on 1st pitch. Photo: Julie BThe 2nd abseil is very nice, you’re not so nervous after having done the first one!  It lands on a small ledge between the cliff face and a pinnacle.  You have to be a bit careful as the landing zone is only 3 or 4m wide.

Julie setting the ropes for the 2nd pitch.
Me on 2nd pitch. Photo Julie B
P1050550From there you take off for the 3rd abseil which is fantastic, it’s down between the pinnacle and the rock face and is like a chimney.  Absolutely fantastic, you start abseiling and almost immediately there’s a small overhang, then you start abseiling into the void between the pinnacle and the cliff face, you are sucked further and further into the chimney until you are more than half way down and you have to turn sideways so you don’t get stuck.  I had a rest half way down all I had to do was put my feet against one wall and I could lean back against the other, nice back rest.  When you reach the bottom, there’s a small ramp down out of the chute.


Julie at the top of the 3rd Pitch   Me on 3rd pitch, the tiny little spec in the middle of the photo. Photo: Julie B

Once down the bottom, it’s a 3 – 500m walk across gullies to a base-jumper’s track which takes you all the way to the Pierce’s Pass tourist track and back to the cars.  A great day out, thanks to Julie for organising it, too bad Aine couldn’t join us!

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