Revisiting Jungaburra Canyon

BLUE MOUNTAINS – 29 January 2022
I first did Jungaburra in January 1999 – and I think as we exited out of the canyon through a forest of Lawyer Vine and then an endless walk up a fire trail, we all agreed that it was a “never to be repeated” canyon – definitely not worth the effort.  When Kavita and Rod suggested that they do Jungaburra as one of Kavita’s skills development trips (with the goal being to become a leader), I was less than impressed, but “taking one for the team” I agreed to go along.

Things started looking up though when Rod suggested an easier exit, no fire trail and hopefully no lawyer vine, so, I joined Kavita and Rod on the day along with Ali and Emma.

Heading off into the scrub on our way to the published “start”.

We were in danger of entering a hanging swamp and “black snake country”. It was a little soggy under foot.

Now we’re really in snake country, surely there’s an entry point without any swamp to negotiate.

OK, now we’re in the canyon, BTW this is published as a “dry” canyon but with all the rain we’ve been having with el Nina, we were anticipating some wading.

And before long we were in the water. Kavita had carried in a wetsuit, the rest of us were going to see how our luck was getting wet, it was a hot day so we thought we’d be ok.

I have no recollection of the canyon, but it’s starting to look pretty good.

Emma trying to stay out of the water, actually this was a photo op – she was wading in it until I said “chimney it Emma!”

Well, it’s certainly not a dry canyon ATM, a bit of a swim and then a seal-roll to get out.

Ali in the pool (photo: Kavita)

We came across this fallen tree, was fairly recent, it was just hanging in the creek, you had to be careful otherwise you would pull the tree down on yourself.

Creek opening out a bit now and pretty scrubby.

And closing in again.

Nice shady spot for morning tea. (photo: Kavita)

Obviously there had been a significant rain event through the canyon as evidenced by this log jam (which we had to get through.

Slippery rock scramble, Rod was down below ensuring that we didn’t lose traction on the slippery slope.

Another climb down.

And then we came to a drop that would probably have been climbed down if it was dry, but was very slippery. Rod used rope for a hand over hand descent, that looked pretty dodgy so the rest of us abseiled down into the pool.

Rod at the base of the abseil, in actual fact it was a fun abseil as you could go down through a hole in the rock and come out through another hole.

Me swimming through the hole.

More rock scrambling.

At the bottom of this scramble, we took a look at the map and determined that we were about where we should be exiting up to our pass. So, we scrambled up to the cliffline and then hunted around for the “pass”.

This was the first of 2 overhangs that we passed (going upstream), this one was fine but the second one was littered with the remains of someone’s camp, whether it was a hobo camp, or a place someone just visited during Covid is uncertain, it was a dump though, needs to be cleaned up.

Kavita found the pass for us – Rod climbing up through the first cliff-line.

We then had to walk up a slope to the next cliff line.

I knew there were some metal rungs that you had to climb, everyone managed to get up except me, whoever put these rungs in, didn’t factor in a short person! So, Kavita set up a top belay for me, and I managed to make one or two committing moves to get up! Ali zoomed up it with her bloody long legs! Emma had the same problem as me – legs just not long enough!

Emma almost at the top!

Looking down into Jungaburra canyon, on the ledge you can see some rock climbers. A couple of times we’d pass under them in the creek and hear them talking.

Ali and I watching the climbers, we’re almost at the top. (photo:   Kavita)

Kavita and Rod watching the climbers.

Emma, almost at the top of the climb-out.

At the top of the climb, we found the foot-pad that the climbers use to get to the pass down to where some were climbing. Any easy walk out back to the cars.

So, the question is, would I do it again?  Maybe, but I certainly wont be waiting another 23 years.  The climb out’s a bit of a worry for me, will have to make sure someone belays me, but it’s definitely better than the exit I used 23 years ago (lol).

Big thanks to Kavita (and Rod) for putting the trip on and as always it was a pleasure catching up with Emma and Ali!

This entry was posted in Abseiling, Canyoning, MSS. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Revisiting Jungaburra Canyon

  1. Lindsay Barrett says:

    When I ran this trip, to which you were a participant, my memory tells me it was ‘bone dry’ – and we exited up the track from the recently abandoned/closed Canyon Colliery (all mining had ceased by 1997). There were even miner’s overalls hanging on hooks; a map of the mine workings/extent; & remains of the buildings. But, one thing that I do remember was you (M) managing to put your foot through a rotten log that we used to avoid some of the scrub as we scrambled across to the old mine.
    Nevertheless, it is interesting that it is now a ‘wet’ canyon – & looking somewhat more attractive for the rain having ‘greened’ it up!
    What’s next on your ‘repeats’ agenda?

    • marilyn says:

      Haha, trying to avoid the “repeats”, but have to say, it’s been 22 years since I did Hole in the Wall, I’m thinking it’s time to go back! Yes, I remember falling through that log, and every time I do something similar, always wondering what/who is living in hollow logs!

  2. Doug says:

    I remember Lindsay’s trip, it was a dry canyon that I would not have put it on my to return to canyon.
    Thanks for the memory.

    • marilyn says:

      Yes, Doug, that was my recollection too – much easier this way and you wouldn’t put it on the “never to be repeated” list!

  3. Kavita Joshi says:

    Again great article and I am glad we did it and wonder how this same place will be in 10 years lets say

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