Bull Ant – another canyon off the wish list

WOLLEMI NP – 29 October 2019
I’d seen lots of photos of Bull Ant but had been put off by photos of an exposed looking climb (we all know I’m not fond of climbs), but John G reassured me with “I don’t remember any climbs other than what we’ve done to get up to Drowned Rat Canyon”.  So, with our adventure up Coorongooba Creek cut short with a fire on Gospers Mountain, we decided that Tuesday we’d go and do Bull Ant.

It was also appealing because of the six of us, four hadn’t done it before.

After the small climb that John set a handline up for me, there were one or two other scrambles up the cliff face.

And anther scramble

And another scramble

Followed by another one! and then we were at the top

And making our way down the other side of the high point.

After we got down to the small saddle, we followed the cliff line around to the head of the unnamed creek that was where the Bull Ant canyon was located.

And then dropped down into the head of the creek.

This is me, on the small climb down to get into the creek, you had to be careful to make sure you didn’t fall into this manky looking water – we weren’t sure how deep it was.

Emma at the top of the first abseil.

Anna on the 1st abseil, if you were really careful you could avoid the pool at the bottom by skirting around to the left.

A stalactite in an overhang at the bottom of the first abseil.

John on the 1st abseil

Anna at the top of the 2nd abseil

Looking down the 2nd abseil

2nd abseil from below

small downclimb

Followed by the 3rd abseil – this was the one that has a pool of water at the bottom and a “nose sniff” to get out of the pool.

Here’s Jim on the abseil going into the pool (about thigh deep), there’s a small hole in the wall that you have to get through to get into the next chamber where Murray and Emma are standing.

Jim about to shove his back pack through the hole.

Anna putting her hand through the hole to get my back pack.  The water was really manky and when we stirred up the leaf litter on the floor of the pool it really stank!

John getting through the hole,  I took my helmet off and laid on my back to get through, only got a bit of my hair wet!

Emma walking through the canyon in yet another cold pool.

Emma dropping into the next pool – she’s our depth sounder to let us know how deep it is.

Jim about to go down the slide, which is much more slippery not that some of us who were wet have gone down – NO traction!

Lining up to go down the slide into the deep water.

Another small pool but only ankle deep.

This was a tricky one, slippery-as, but you didn’t want to slip down as there’s rock in the middle and deep pool on either side, Emma missed the landing spot and landed in the water.

Anna trying to slide in without getting too wet.

Anna bridging across, I actually managed to get across this without going in the water!

We’re now in a lovely open creek, no more pools.

Anna standing in a forest of aerial roots.

The second to last climb down.

Anna on the 4th abseil.

Murray on our 5th (bonus) abseil, the others climbed down.

Climbing down the last short drop, Murray chose to use a small tree as a fireman’s pole.

Emma and I chose to get down using an easier route.

The walk out was “eventful”, we started on the lh side of the creek, although Anna went down the middle, then I snagged myself on a log and we had to stop for some first aid.  Then we decided that the rh side of the creek was better, and it turned out to be a dream run.

We were back in camp around 3.30 or 4pm and cleaned ourselves up so we could drive into Rylestone (for a pub dinner) and for me to go to the hospital to have my wound dressed.

The cut arm took me out of canyoning for the rest of our stay there, and in fact the park was closed the next day and we decided to go home.

Soooooo, would I do Bull Ant again – yes in a heartbeat, BUT, I’d like to see a good rain event go through to clean out the pools, they were really, really manky!

Thanks John and Jim for taking us all through this canyon, it was great!


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6 Responses to Bull Ant – another canyon off the wish list

  1. john l'estrange says:

    What a lovely canyon, I’m pleased that you all enjoyed yourselves.

  2. Shirley says:

    Dig those arm muscles M !

  3. Jenny hughes says:

    How is your cut arm now?

    • marilyn says:

      It’s pretty much healed up now, but don’t want to bump it at all – I think that pesky log has been burned up in the fires in the Wollemi now (lol)

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