What’s that white stuff on the rock?

MT WILSON – Dalpura Canyon, 24 February 2019
More about that white stuff later …  the plan for the day was to go down the unknown section of Upper North Bowens Creek, but, with the outside temperature of 11ºC, did we really want to do a canyon which might have numerous compulsory swims?

Everyone arrived at the designated rendezvous right on time … Heather R, Alan G, Steve R, Emma P, Murray N, Anna O-B and Jon F.  We drove around to Wynnes Rocks to look at the route and the wind was blowing up to the lookout … it was really, really cold.  Everyone was happy with my decision to do a “dryer” canyon, except Heather (who’ll go anywhere with me), she was still keen to get wet … never mind Heather, we’ll definitely do the canyon when you’re next free.

So, we agreed to go do Dalpura, which is “almost dry”, a few of us had done it before, and I decided that we’d do the final abseil, which is fun, and take them on the dry route, which is also fun.  So, we headed over to the car park at the entry.  Too bad for anyone else who turned up to do it, the car park was full after we arrived!

I put Jon, Emma and Murray in charge of going first, always good for people who haven’t done it before to go first.

The start of the canyon, not easy to stay out of this pool, but Heather held on with her finger nails and managed it.

A lovely cascade, that ordinarily we’d jump in, but this time we skirted around the top to stay dry.

We came to the usual abseil spot, looked over the edge and decided that it may not be possible to land on the ledges under the water this time, maybe the water was a little higher than normal, with all the rain, so I took them on the dry route.

This involved crawling through a slot, with a gaping chasm beside us, the slot is quite long, probably has another 5m at the back, hard on your knees but lots of fun.

After the slot there’s a bit of scrub to negotiate through, then a small ramp, I set up the 20m rope as a handline, it was just long enough to get to the small drop here.

After the small drop, there’s another climb down, again with a drop at the side, but with Anna’s tape as a hand-line it was easy to do.


We walked back 50m or so to look at the pool that we could have abseiled into if any of us were so inclined, just in time to see someone abseil down, yes, it would have been very wet!

Back on track and walking down stream, there are some pretty canyon sections.

And yes, spots where we were wading up to our waist.

Despite having wet legs, the next challenge was to avoid a really deep pool by walking the log!

Anna found a long stick which made the log walk so much easier, everyone’s waiting to see her fall in!

Shortly after the log walk we were at the final abseil.  This is optional, and there are two routes down, the wet route through a small waterfall and the dry route off to the side, we chose the dry route.  I still wasn’t sure how long it was so we set the 2 x 40m ropes, in actual fact, one 40m rope would have been enough.

We had a bit of lunch out of the wind and then headed back.  It’s a really easy walk out, a good track and then up over some pagodas.  Now, Dalpura wouldn’t normally be blog-worthy, other than the fact that we wanted to stay dry, but, once on top of the pagodas, we came to the really interesting part which I thought was blog-worthy.

Heather and Murray are standing at the bottom of a pagoda (see below), and Murray was questioning this white grit like stuff all over the rock (you can see the white patches and Murray has some in his hand).  Looked like the sort of grit that you might give to chickens.  And then it tweaked, someone had stood on the pagoda above and scattered someone’s ashes, the ash must have flown off, but the ground up bones (heavier), landed on the rock.  Note for the future, when scattering ashes, don’t do it in a place where people walk (lol).

The lookout where the ashes were scattered from.

Group photo, minus Heather and Alan.

An easy walk out, we were back at the cars at 2pm, with enough time for me to pick a billy of blackberries by the side of the road.

Thanks everyone for being so easy going about changing the trip from an exploratory trip to a little half-day canyon.  I will put upper North Bowen on the calendar again, maybe when the weather gets warmer!

Banner: Anna making her way down with a hand-line
Thumbnail:  the group on the pagoda

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2 Responses to What’s that white stuff on the rock?

  1. Steve Rowse says:

    Thanks Marilyn
    Another great trip with M. See you next time.

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