Abseiling / Canyoning / SUBW

Claustral Canyon and the glow worm cave

Party: Tim Vollmer, Tim Gastineau-Hills, Kosta Seiler and Dale Cotton – photos

While the weather was a little chilly, and the sky rather cloudy, we were determined to give Dale the chance to see one of Australia’s most iconic slot canyons before heading back to the states.

There was some of the usual saucy conversation (Dale’s medical insights means the topic of prolapsed lady-parts has forever been seared in my mind), but our main focus was on the canyon, which is incredibly long, diverse and attractive, despite its popularity.

Approaching the first swim in Claustral

The abseils down the Black Hole of Calcutta, into a long and very dark constriction, were particularly fun, although the abandoned rope dangling above and shopping bag full of rubbish floating in the pool below the second abseil took away some of the wonder.

What was going through the mind of the idiot who decided to carry their food and water in one of those reusable bags is beyond us (although given it was from a well-known outdoor shop I’m guessing they’d only just bought their gear), but despite the appalling stench we were determined to carry it out.

The iconic first abseil into the Black Hole of Calcutta

We detoured up Thunder Canyon after lunch, swimming under the large waterfall at the end and spending as long as we could in the surreal glow-worm filled cave under it as the cold weather would allow.

We were particularly lucky to squeeze this canyon in when we did, with recent disputes over access through private property making this classic canyon a little more of a challenge.

T1 on the second of three abseils into the narrow, dark canyon section

Canyon constriction above the second abseil in the Black Hole of Calcutta

Part of the stunning section of canyon that can be reversed in Thunder Canyon

One of the short drops in Thunder Gorge

T1 enjoying a break in this amazing canyon

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