BLUE MOUNTAINS NP – 30 January 2021
Alan C told me it rained all night on Friday night, I’d had 2 glasses of wine and some panadol, so I slept through the whole lot (in my car – no wet tent for me when I go home). So, the three of us, Alan, Jim C and I weren’t in the most positive frame of mind to go with Rod and a cast of thousands to Geronimo canyon – crossing a possibly swollen river, or worse, getting there and not being able to cross it!
Nevertheless we fronted up to the Rural Fire Station (almost) on time. Rod and Crew debated the options, after all, over the last four or five days, the area had had around 25mm of rain over a very big catchment (well over 150k²). So, after Rod gave us our options we decided to play it safe and take a leisurely trip through Dalpura Canyon, some of the group hadn’t done it for years, others were novices, so was probably a good choice all round. I was pretty stoked, I didn’t have to lead it, just tag along! We had Diana and Omar lead us in, they’d done it recently and were (relatively) new to canyoning, so was good practice for them.
Ordinarily, this wouldn’t be blog-worthy, but this is usually “dry” or “fairly dry” to be more accurate, you can do it in the winter, only getting your feet wet if you traverse around on a dodgy exposed ledge!
The bush seems to be regenerating well.
The start of the canyon, time to wetsuit-up.
All ready to get wet (there’s a pool right at the start)
The start of the canyon.
Marcia gets cold and wears a 5ml wetsuit, she was pretty hot after a short while, so cooled off at this small waterfall.
Negotiating a log jam – this section of the canyon is quite open so got burned in the fires.
Omar at the first abseil, as we had a large-ish group we set up 2 ropes, one for a “dry trip” which Omar’s on, and another one down the waterfall into a deep pool.
Jim on the waterfall abseil.
Everyone down safe ‘n’ sound, Chris coiling the rope.
Half way along there’s a small waterfall on the right, usually not flowing but I thought it was a good opportunity for some of the group to climb up for a photo-op in the pool. Some made the climb without issue, I made a mess of it (much to everyone’s delight).
Very slippery, Diana helping Omar get up.
They didn’t stay long in the pool, must have been cold.
Not easy to get down either.
Don’t often see this as it’s a “dry” canyon, but there’s a hole in the rock formed which makes this cool wave.
One of the few wades, no swims in this but plenty of wading.
Huge log jam, you have to be careful on the logs, some of them are so rotted you break through them, could cause a nasty cut (or worse).
The end of the log jam and a wade.
More overhang, this is a wide section of the creek and there’s a dry route that you can take up on the LH side, a proper track has formed.
Chris concentrating on the next abseil, roughly 20m with water. I sent him down first so he could belay the novices. He’s trying to figure out how not to get in the deluge.
I then went down to the first ledge and belayed some for the first part, and Chris belayed for the second part. This is Brendan’s first canyon with us, and his first waterfall.
He nailed it past the hole that you could easily slip in an have difficulty getting out!
Omar’s done this canyon before, so he had a handle on how to avoid the deep pool.
Diana having a ball in the first part of the upper waterfall, this was really cool!
Still in the waterfall!
Diana making sure she didn’t slide into the hole and nailing it!
The last part of the waterfall. I over-estimated this pitch, I talked it up as 35m but it’s probably closer to 15! Regardless of the length, some people hadn’t done it before so was good to give it a go with a good flow.
It was a great day out, very social and for those new to canyoning (that’s you Brendan), was a great introduction and it was a really chatty, friendly group. Thanks Rod for suggesting this alternative. We all decided that this weekend wasn’t right for a follow up canyon on Sunday so headed home, I know I was happy to spend the night in my warm bed.
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!