Hat Hill – another Adventure with M (Marcia)

HAT HILL CANYON – 21 December 2018
Friday’s trip had all the hallmarks of being doomed … 3 of our 6 participants couldn’t make it; then I drove in peak-hour traffic through torrential rain with 50m visibility; if that wasn’t bad enough, each of the 3 mountains I crossed was shrouded in thick fog – 25m visibility; and then 20 minutes from my destination, power lines were down and the traffic was at a standstill for 10k! The only bullet I managed to dodge was golf-ball sized hail at Blackheath!

But, against all odds I arrived at Marcia’s only half an hour late and we got down to the serious business of demolishing half a bottle of a really nice Shiraz.  I woke on Saturday morning with a hangover (a couple of Panadol fixed that)!

Marcia and I had been looking forward to this trip for months now, we weren’t going to be deterred.  I was going to do a canyon I hadn’t done before, Hat Hill, Marcia would lead the way (excellent leader)  and  Alan G and his go-pro joined us for the adventure.

We did a quick car shuffle then the walk in was dead-easy, nice open track from the car all the way to the creek.

Once in the creek we were walking mainly on sandy creek-bed.

Lots of leaves floating on the creek and some downed trees to negotiate – evidence that the hail storm and strong winds that hit Blackheath had also hit the creek.

A few spots where we had to wade, the water was icy cold (melted hail maybe?)

A waterfall you could bridge down “where to now?” (photo: Alan G)

Marcia making a better job of it than me (photo Alan G)

More swims (photo Alan G)

Alan chose an interesting way to cross the creek.

Dark grottos

On a sunny day this section would be magnificent (photo Alan G)

Marcia preparing to get wet (photo: Alan G)

Easy hand holds so you don’t become fully submerged

Eventually the canyon opens up and there’s a nice walk through Coachwood forrest

My camera lens got a bit blurry here, but nice section of canyon.

An overhang, you could easily set up camp here and explore some of the side creeks, easy walk in via the exit.

And finally we approach the piece de resistance

Waterfall with spa pools, the water flow isn’t always this good so we were fortunate. (photo: Alan G)

Marcia at the end of the canyon overlooking the Grose Valley.  There is a big pitch that you can do but the walk out is horrific.

We retraced out steps about 100m back upstream and hit the exit track.  This view shows the cliffs above the spa pool.

Alan on the dead-easy walk out – almost a super highway!

I can definitely say that this canyon lived up to expectations, and certainly delivers on the WOW factor – particularly the spa pool at the end.  Car to Car was about 5 hours, and we took our time, so you could definitely do it in half a day.  Thanks for taking me Marcia and Alan for the photos!

Banner Image:  Ironstone formations on some rocks up on the top of Hat Hill.
Thumbnail:  Marcia at one of the small waterfalls.

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