WATAGAN MOUNTAINS – Unnamed side creek of Gap Creek – 8 October 2017
After our exploration of one of the Gap Creek side creeks back in April, Laurie A suggested that we check out another creek which he dubbed “Asterisk Creek”. This creek wasn’t actually a side creek of Gap Creek, it ended at the cliff line (possibly 70m), and then was just a gully beyond according to the map.
Laurie’s wife Chris, his daughter Tracy and son in law David R, Steve C, Heather R and Trish M joined us.
After we did the car shuffle the entry walk into the creek was initially very good, nice open country.
And then it deteriorated for a while, we were fortunate that David and Steve broke through some of the dead undergrowth providing a nice route for us!
Heather on one of the nice slides in the upper part of the creek.
Most of the upper section was easy going though, very open. Little evidence of logging in the upper section.
The (dry) waterfall above the abseil, you could walk around this.
Laurie setting up the ropes. There was a manky old seat-belt webbing anchor here which we cut off and replaced. Just when you think you are the first ones to do an abseil, you see that Watagan Wanderers have been here before you!
Laurie on the abseil. Some came to grief on the first small drop (only about 3m), the full length of the pitch was about 35 – 40m and a nice abseil.
David on the abseil, he’s new to abseiling/canyoning.
The abseil itself. I was the last one down and had to bring the knot to the edge, took me ages to feed the rope through the bloody pit-stop. (photo: Laurie)
Once down the bottom we headed down the creek, there were lots of “caves” here’s David in one that had a leaf litter roof.
A climbable Fig Tree (David and Heather climbing the roots), photo: Laurie
Chris exiting another cave that we walked through.
Heather and Steve found this amazing cave caused by fig-tree routes, they didn’t think they could get into it, but I assured Heather she’d fit! Just had to angle her body sideways.
Heather in Fig Tree Cave!
And more boulders. Everyone looked at this one and decided to walk around it, but the fig tree roots on the rock provided a nice easy controlled slide down! (photo Laurie)
Steve decided the slide looked like so much fun he climbed up the roots.
And then slid down, his descent wasn’t so controlled though.
After a few hundred metres we decided to exit the boulders (too slow going) and head down the adjacent spur, which was lovely and open with what looked like an old bullock trail (for pulling the logs down to the creek), so we were on a track (of sorts). We got to Gap Creek at about 2.00pm, the creek was bone dry, only one small (30cm) pool of water in a rock. We took a direct route up a spur, straight up hill, very steep and loads of leaf litter to slide on (one step forward, two back), and at the top came out at the Bangalow Camp site where we had parked the vehicles, a short/sharp route up.
A nice day out but with only one abseil not worth a revisit (long way to carry 3 x 60m ropes, thanks to the rope carriers). So back to the drawing board, there’s got to be something there, all we have to do is look harder!
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