SOUTHERN HIGHLANDS – 16 – 17 & 23 January 2021
This started out as a simple weekend away abseiling Macquarie Pass and a new creek called The Cascades, but then it morphed into a SRT workshop on the Saturday and an opportunity to practice what we’ve taken on board on the Sunday. I have to admit I wasn’t all that excited about SRT when I did the first workshop, but I’ve come to see the error of my ways!
So what is SRT, it’s Single Rope Technique, that is you set up the anchor so it’s releasable (so you can lower someone down), you abseil on one strand of the rope, and you can manage the length of the rope that’s being abseiled on (you only want the tip to touch the top of the water, so you abseil down and straight off the rope, saving time not having to fuss around taking your descender off the rope). We’ve only really dipped out toes in the water of SRT, there’s much more to it, but at least we’ve started on our SRT journey.
So, we’ve done all the waterfalls at this venue, we thanked David and Alex and sent them on their way and went back to Kangaroo Valley.
Next morning, Shiva, Marty, Trish, Anna, Alan C and I made our way to Macquarie Pass. We found the track that would take us up to the top waterfalls. I had already done the waterfalls before so I waited for them at Clover Falls. They were back pretty soon, so we set up the Clover Falls abseil, the first one for the day that I would do.
We finished the day at this waterfall (there are more further downstream) but we’d stuffed around enough by then. Neither Shiva nor I were happy with Sunday, we didn’t feel as though we’d “nailed” anything and none of us were working as a “team”.
So, we decided to do a day trip back to Mac Pass (let me tell you that’s some day trip for me! but I stayed the night with David S, so it wasn’t as big a drive – big Thanks to you David.). There’d be just the three of us (Marty, Shiva, me) and Murray N (an MSS leader who does a lot of big waterfalls but usually using DRT), we wanted to see how he felt about SRT.
So, we drove down at the crack of dawn and met Murray at the car park (which was already full!). We had decided to position ourselves at Rainbow Falls and do that (and the next small one), over and over again until we were happy with our performance (and team work). Those of you in the know, I can just hear you … “you went all that way and did only 2 of the 10+ waterfalls!” I’m here to tell you that for us that was definitely a good decision, no stuffing around walking between waterfalls.
This was an awesome day, we abseiled right in the flow of the water and by the end of the day I was used to it, not scared any more! We were in teams of 2 and each person got to do the rigging numerous times (and do it different ways), and each of us got to go down last and do the pull downs numerous times. I was so focused on nailing this that I didn’t even take any photos – not good for the blog!
Big thanks to Shiva for organising the workshop day and the follow up practice day. I’m hoping for rain now so that there’s a good flow of water the next time waterfalls are on the program.