Winter Magic – Katoomba

A half-day canyon and a longish abseil at Devil’s Hole wouldn’t usually be blog worthy,  but snow the day before at Katoomba and the forecast of near zero temperatures sounded like an adventure, so, Trish, Greg, Rod and I rugged up and headed to the Blue Mountains (aka hills in most other countries).

We were a bit surprised to find water in the creek at Whore’s Bed, although with the recent rain/snow we shouldn’t have been, but it’s usually dry.  Anyway, we managed to keep our shoes dry (or almost).

Trish on the first abseil, note the trickling water near her feet.

Rod on the last abseil

I was wearing three pairs of thermals plus a wind stopper, everything was warm except my fingers and feet!

Whore’s Bed has two little abseils and then the big one, around 40m (give or take).  As Rod was going down, he said “check out the ice on the left”.  Then he got down the bottom and yelled something else, we weren’t sure what.

Trish and Greg abseiled next and then me.  As I went down I tried to take some pics of the little icicles over to the left, and then I saw some to the right, just a few tiny ones, but still cool.


Trish on last abseil

I got down to the bottom and Rod said something but I was too engrossed in trying to pull down the rope, it seemed to be stuck for a while.  Once we got the rope down, they all drew my attention to the small waterfall (not really a waterfall just a drip from the creek above).







Ice on the branches – just like freezing rain in cold countries

The vegetation surrounding the waterfall was covered in ice.  It was like an ice garden, absolutely magic, I couldn’t stop oohing, ahh-ing and OMG-ing!

Ice covered vegetation at the side of the waterfall

Took loads of pictures but they just don’t do it justice.  If ever they have snow in Katoomba again, I’m heading up to the mountains to do Whore’s bed again, it was truly spectacular.

close up of the icicles – how cool is that!

After that everything else was a bit of an anti-climax, other than the pools of ice up where we had lunch, the ice was about 1/2″ thick!

Trish climbing the pagoda where we had lunch


We went on to do the two abseils at the Devil’s Hole Chock Stone, either side of it,

Trish wasn’t so keen on the first abseil, it was sort of awkward, and then when we did the second abseil and I said “this one’s easier”, it turned out to be awkward too, so we got to do some tricky starts which is always good practice.

Trish on the big drop next to the Chock Stone at Devil’s Hole

Greg on the big drop


A great half day in the mountains, long way to drive, but well worth it!

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10 Responses to Winter Magic – Katoomba

  1. brad says:

    great pics .[how is the frost bite] crazy

  2. Jeff says:

    Love the close up of the icicles shot

  3. Jen says:

    After watching the news Friday night and seeing all the snow in the Blue Mountains, I can’t believe you still went!!!! Yet as always you judged it right… it looked worth while going ! Glad to see you are wiser than me, I would have stayed home and missed out on that amazing ice garden!

    • marilyn says:

      Ah Jen, you give me too much credit! I too was worried about the roads on the way up but by 10am it was sunny enough that ice/snow had melted so was quite safe! Plus I figured, what the hell, go for it!

  4. Greg Gibson says:

    A great way to spend a cold day. A ‘civilised’ 8am start. Blue sunny skies for the drive up. Thermals to stay warm. Bits and pieces of snow and ice. Nice abseils. Short walks in and out. Hot chocolate to finish and back to Central Coast by 6pm. Terrific. Thanks Marilyn.

  5. Trish says:

    I certainly “wasn’t so keen” on that first abseil off the chock stone! Plain scared and awkward is more like it. Funny how balance and coordination disappear on you sometimes. Watched Rod on the first entry into Whore’s Bed, which I had found awkward (but not scary that time) – he was totally smooth and effortless. Aaah, the Zen of abseiling gracefully! Great day, thanks Marilyn.

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