NEWNES PLATEAU – 5 March 2021
These two minor canyons (unpublished) acquired a number of names during the course of the day, but for this post they’ll be Evel Knievel and Evel Knievel Double (aka Two Sticks canyons and Tough Mudda canyons). I’d done Evel Knievel about four years ago but had recently heard of the other canyon, a side creek of the main one, easy to get to and apparently better than Evel Knievel.
Trish, Lindsay, Jim and Nicole joined me. After an uneventful drive in, we headed on a bearing to the creek (not surprisingly coming in at the same point everyone else does, given the footpad towards the end). I couldn’t remember how I’d accessed the canyon before, thankfully I went in at the right spot, any further down the fire trail and we would have encountered a cliff-line.
The canyon is renowned for lots of jumps and slides, we pretty much hand-lined everything, none of us are keen to jump. Jim on the first downclimb.
We used a log as the anchor, but first one over pulled it down so it wasn’t so useful, nice pool at the bottom. (Photo Nicole B)
Trish at the end of the best slide, most of us had a go, you were out of control for the last few metres.
Jump number 2 or an easy downclimb.
Lindsay down-cllmbed and then jumped.
Jim took the easy way in.
We were through the canyon in 2 hours, then we were on the lookout for the pass up through the cliff-line to get to the side creek.
Nicole pointed us in the right direction for this pass which involved setting up a hand-line for a small climb up (thanks Jim for doing the climb for us). The pass I’d been told about wasn’t this one (which was quite easy).
Looking down at where we’d climbed up.
Walking along the top, passing a side creek and then dropping into the creek. Note to self, just use the side creek to gain access, that way you miss about 100m of scrubby creek.
In the creek, the vegetation certainly has bounced back after the fire.
Our first drop, we used my 15m rope for most of the drops through the canyon. You could probably jump or downclimb most of the drops, but we were being super cautious.
Jim was a “meat anchor” for me to get down this small drop (a controlled slide), once I’d determined that the pool was deep enough and there were no sticks to impale us, the others had the option to jump (Lindsay was first).
We found a walking pole in the canyon, Lindsay carried it out (lol).
And at one point we even considered abseiling off the walking stick (nah! just joking).
The first “real abseil”, ie we broke out the big rope (lol) – anchor was well back from the abseil. Jim on the pitch.
Again, you could probably have slid down this, but without knowing what rocks were there, we were super cautious.
Another small downclimb.
Nicole on the final abseil. Look how green that moss is!
This is a big waterfall that we were able to traverse around and when we got down to the bottom, we could see that the waterfall and surrounding rocks were covered in an emerald green coating (sort of like slime), unmarked, so we were pleased that we didn’t abseil it and disturb the slime. (Photo Nicole B)
You definitely get “bang for buck” in this canyon and much prefer it to the one we did in the morning. It’s not over-used, ie, there’s no track in, and not much wear through the canyon, and boy, is the moss nice and green.
The walk out was a piece of cake (having done it a few times before), and we were back at the cars by 4pm – but remember, we were slow going through the canyon, super cautious and not in any particular hurry.
Thank you “Evel Team”, you were great to have on the trip, team work was awesome, would canyon any day with you guys. And yes Flynny, definitely preferred Evel Knievel Double.
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