Pilcher/Juggler Canyon – 5 November 2016
It was meant to be a quiet weekend but sometimes there’s just too much to do! I had persuaded Albert and Eli to go and do Pilcher by Night on Saturday night, David S came along for the ride, then I managed to squeeze some rock climbing (if you can call it that), and parasailing into the weekend, it’s no wonder I’m a little average today.
If you can remember Saturday night, the winds were pretty fierce (around 25k) and the sound of the wind through the power line wires was deafening. PLUS, David and I left from Sydney where it was a lovely warm spring day, around 25 degrees, by the time we got to Katoomba it was down around 16 or 11 (whatever it was, it was bloody cold). As someone who shall remain nameless says “what do you expect, it’s the mountains!” Fortunately, I had brought along thermals and a wind-cheater, David at least had the canyoning jumper that his mother knitted for him (in the dark ages). He assured us he wasn’t cold with only shorts on (shades of Lindsay B!).
It took a while for us to put together our glow sticks (for a bit of fun), and then we were off, arriving at the first climb down just on dusk.
Doing Pilcher by night is certainly a very different experience to in the day, it’s sort of like caving (without being underground), you only really see what’s in your light, you don’t even notice the massive cliffs beside you.
We’ve had little rain over the last couple of weeks, so there weren’t many glow worms around (would have been one of the highlights). The wind didn’t let up and it wasn’t until the last 2 abseils when we got really close to the valley that it started to affect us, barrelling down the canyon, with the deafening noise of the wind in the trees above us and (for me) really cold.
It wasn’t as easy to see the crossing at the main creek so we went down a little further than needed but were soon across and on the exit track, I was a bit concerned that we’d go too far and hit Beauchamp Falls, but David assured me he had it covered – by this time my caving headlamp had flattened (serves me right for forgetting to fully charge it), and I was relying on my secondary torch!
We stopped in a sheltered spot and had supper, it was supposed to be at the look out (not that we’d be able to see anything), but the wind was still too strong so we opted for a small overhang, it was nice having a cuppa without tourists passing us and having the whole of Grand Canyon to ourselves!
We then resumed the climb out, car to car it was 5 hours, with a long break for supper! Thanks Eli, Albert and David for coming on the trip with me.