BLUE MOUNTAINS NP – 11 July 2020
I’d forgotten how exposed some of these abseil trips could be. I was introducing some people to canyoning (a nice easy trip – Whore’s Bed) and as it’s a short day, I added on a multi pitch abseil trip that I hadn’t done yet. I can’t remember if I’d warned anyone of the exposure (bit of an oversight on my part). Big thanks to David for leading the (very exposed) abseil pitches for us.
The weather initially was looking good, then it rained steadily in the lower Blue Mountains early in the morning, but I put my faith in Weatherzone and headed up to Katoomba (a 2.5 hour drive). Right on cue, at 9am the rain stopped and Diana, Shiva, Marty, Alan and Murray, David and I headed down to our first adventure.
The first pitch is only short, but it’s got a really tricky start, Alan decided to tackle it this way.
Diana took a different approach (as did I), we all did it with varying levels of grace!
David at the top of the next 4m pitch.
Shiva on the second abseil, which was quite slippery.
Murray set up the third pitch for me, I thought it was 45m but it was actually only 30 and yes, there’s a bit of exposure, but with the cliffs beside you (and above you) it didn’t seem exposed at all.
Murray into the void!
Followed by Alan.
And Shiva …
Then David … it’s a really nice abseil.
We were all pretty efficient which saw us walking up the Devil’s Hole track by 11.30am, the mist had moved in by this time, but still no rain. (Photo: Diana)
We then headed over to our next adventure, two abseils that David and JV had bolted many years ago. The weather still held, but occasionally we’d get mist or low cloud when the cloud/mist rolled in, you didn’t notice the exposure, but when it moved away …. wow!
We were in pagoda country, and were up quite high, so you had to watch where you put your feet and make sure you didn’t trip yourself up. David and Murray put in a safety line as the vegetation and rocks were very wet. Usually this area is as dry as the Sahara.
Shiva on the first pitch, looking very comfortable not at all concerned with the exposure.
We weren’t sure what the length was, so set up two ropes, but David then decided to pull down the yellow rope and just use the blue one (a 60m rope) (Photo: Alan)
Me on the pitch, really nice abseil with an awesome overhang.
Alan on the second pitch, some new bolts have been put in, and it’s a bit of an awkward start not to mention mega exposure. (Photo: Diana)
Alan on the pitch, kudos to Diana who took this photo, I sure as hell wouldn’t have been able to lean over and take it!
The second pitch is probably somewhere between 45 and 50m. David set up the abseil, Murray went first, then Alan and then Diana …. there was a log of swearing in Brazillian (Spanish or Portuguese not sure), but she assured us that she LOVED it and had the biggest smile on her face when she got to the bottom.
Me on the pitch … I’m going to have to do this again as I didn’t particularly enjoy this abseil. I’d used the rack with 2 bars and unfortunately put a carabiner “splitter” on my leg loop to keep the ropes from twisting through the bars. For some reason, the ropes were very twisted/tangled and this ended up with me having to feed the rope through the descender all the way down (photo: Alan)
Me at the bottom, not happy Jan. I was stuffed (Photo: Alan)
Ordinarily this trip wouldn’t be blog worthy, but, David made it so by looking at me at the top of the last pitch and said something like “you’re a kick-arse granny, how many little old ladies are doing this?” Thanks David!
And big thanks to everyone who went on the trip, you were all great and very efficient, amazing that we were back at the cars by 3pm!
There’s nothing glamorous about bushwalking, caving or canyoning, but it sure is fun! If you’re an armchair bushwalker, someone looking for new adventures, or one of my friends who just wants to see what I’ve been up to, this site is for you, sign up to get email alerts now!