100+ days of Lockdown – the end is in sight

NARARA – 9 October 2021
All during the past 100+ days of  lockdown a group of enthusiastic MSS canyoners had gotten together via Zoom to talk about all things canyoning (knots, anchors, canyoning in NZ etc).  With the end of lockdown imminent David Mason threw out the idea of a bounce trip to Ranon (not yet on the calendar).  So, a practice day was set up to fine tune mechanical ascending skills, specifically crossing re-belays.

It was easy for those in the Sydney LGAs to get together, but for Jai and Ali on the Central Coast it was going to be a little more difficult as we weren’t supposed to go into the Sydney LGAs, so I decided to take them to Narara on the Central Coast, where we wouldn’t be breaking any rules.

Jai set up the rope for me (using the Munter Mule Overhand (MMO) anchor set-up) and then went down to set up the re-belays – , and learned the benefit of a hanging loop (at just the right size). Was good to refresh the memory with setting up the MMO.

Jai on the first go at passing the re-belay. After doing just the one on the rope, Jai set up another one so that it was a bit more complex.

Ali on the hanging re-belay – it’s been a long long time since Ali did caving SRT but must have been like riding a bike as she nailed it.

We spent quite a bit of time making up cow’s tails (safety ropes) to use for Ali and Jai, it takes a lot of practice to get the short one the right length, you basically had to go up (or down), and find out that it was too short or long, deal with it and then adjust it when you got down, made life difficult trying to work with one that was the wrong length, but, that’s part of getting to know your equipment.

After they’d had enough of the ascending and descending, we brushed up on MMO anchors and Figure 8 blocks, taking a knot over the edge and setting up a top belay.  Amazing the amount of stuff we covered over the 5 hours we were there.

Was so good  to get out and do some practice after 100+ days of lockdown!

Thanks for coming along Jai and Ali and I’m sure you’ll be fine on the Ranon trip!

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8 Responses to 100+ days of Lockdown – the end is in sight

  1. Lindsay Barrett says:

    Ranon canyon will be “frigid” at this time of year – but, have freezing fun anyway!

    My friend Nigel (with his wife & their 2 boys) & myself also recently practised a bit of abseiling at the same Narara location as you have just been to. It’s been good to get out – but, as of today we can escape outside of our LGA. Bike ride (hopefully) down in Sydney next w/e with Albert & the crew.

    • marilyn says:

      Yes, one of the reasons I wont be doing that trip (lol). Yes, great location, and so good to be able to go somewhere other than Central Coast!

  2. Trishm says:

    I’d love to do this when my ankle is allowed at acute angle.

  3. Roy Cotton says:

    M great to see you have survived house arrest. Hope you have not lost all your bridge skills. Looks like your canyoning days are about to get busy.

  4. Jenny HUghes says:

    sorry for the late response, just catching up on emails.
    Looks like an amazing day. Have been thinking about you heaps over lock down and was wondering how you were managing – without going away every weekend! Oh, and you had re done most of the garden last year??? so it should not have needed much work. xx

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