ALCATRAZ CANYON – January 5, 2018
A repeat of Alcatraz Canyon ordinarily wouldn’t be blog worthy. However, based on the next day’s adventure, I thought Alcatraz was worth a mention as it shows that not all of my trips are epics, and from time to time, everything goes to plan!
Trish and I were going up to Mt Wilson to spend Friday night before our next adventure, and with long daylight hours it seemed like a good idea to at least do something up in the mountains. I chose Alcatraz because (a) Trish hadn’t done it before and (b) it was written up in the guide as 2 – 3 hours. I was a little restricted as I couldn’t leave the coast until 1pm. That meant that I had 3 hours to get up to Mt Wilson, drop Steve R off (who would be with us the next day) and then get to the Zig Zag railway by around 4pm. A very tight schedule (what was I thinking?).
I put the word out to BWOC and MSS members and ended up with a group of 7 plus Trish and me – a pretty big group, now I started to worry that we wouldn’t be out in daylight!
Nevertheless, I was on time to pick up Trish and Steve C (Coop) then we arrived at the Zig Zag railway right on time, met up with Ev O, and Mark and Sam H and then rendezvoused with Anna, James and Namaste O-B. Pretty good timing by everyone!
Setting out on the track – obvious at the beginning, sketchy towards the end.
At the cliff-edge, the canyon start is over to the right in amongst trees (Photo: Trish M)
Great shot of the creek, we’d be walking down at the base of this cliff-line, makes you wonder at the millions of years it’s taken for the rock-face to be eroded off this cliff. (Photo: Ev O)
A view of the actual canyon section, bottom arrow might be a little lower than it should be. (Photo: Ev O)
We took a little while to all get suited up so Anna (blue t-shirt) went forward for me and set up the rope, she was the one who went down first with instructions to make sure there were no snakes in the pool.
One of our “official photographers” Ev O, about to drop into the waterfall.
Sam about to abseil – dad’s parting words – “make sure you don’t lose your glasses!”
Mark about to go down the waterfall.
James about to abseil, some stepped down into the small pool, some didn’t. (Photo: Trish M)
Coop about to abseil, Coop elected to stay high up out of the water (photo: Trish M)
Great shot looking up at the sky, my camera wouldn’t have done this justice, particularly the drops of water in the waterfall (photo: Ev O)
In the pool at the bottom looking out the letter box opening exit (photo Ev O)
Rare shot of me abseiling, thanks! (photo Ev O)
Coop doing a test pull.
The last one down, Trish.
Looking out from the letter box opening exit.
To give an indication of how narrow the exit is, you can see the waterfall in the cavern, makes you wonder how long it took for this opening to form.
To avoid this very, very slippery rock we went into the bushes above to skirt around and then down the side which had a little vegetation to walk on.
Once past the slippery rock, Mark led the way up into the ferns, I wasn’t willing to lead the way, too snaky for my liking. Once through the ferns there was a track for about 100m and then it “disappeared”. Anna went forward and found it for us again and then Namaste took over, leading us towards our small climb out of the creek.
Ev up on top of the climb, the track is below this cliff-face.
Trish at the end of the climb-out, very pleased that she’s been introduced to this canyon.
So, what was blog-worthy … all up, 2 hours car to car, how efficient were we! What a great way to spend a hot Friday afternoon! Thanks everyone for joining Trish and me, we could have done it with just the two of us, but wouldn’t have been half as much fun!