Abseiling / Canyoning / SUBW

Bowens Creek North complete

Party: Kosta, Sky, T2 and Todd — Todd’s photos

It was supposed to be a trip with six people but late the night before, one girl had to drop out because she injured herself during the attempt to climb a wall. So once again, it is not the canyoning that is getting us injured. So early on the Sunday morning, we all pulled over at our usual meeting point in North Richmond – all of us except Barnaby who was still missing. After trying to call him unsuccessfully and waiting for about twenty minutes, we decided we had to move on, discussing how much we hate it when people simply don’t turn up, especially in the light that I had to turn down several people due to numbers. Sorry to all those. We took two cars and headed up to Mt Wilson.

First we prepared the car shuttle, leaving one car at the end of the exit track and then drove back to where the creek actually starts. A lot of parties decide to do only the shorter, lower section of Bowens Creek North, but we decided to start high up in the catchment. From the car park it was just a few meters down a slope and we were right at the creek. Definitely one of the shortest walk ins I’ve ever had. We followed the creek and after a short while the upper constriction started to form.

A slightly awkward jump or slide down a small but slippery water fall.

The upper section did not have any abseils but a few nice climbs, some of them while not high actually turned out to be trickier than expected until the canyon started to open up and we had to cover quite some distance bashing through the creek bed. During this part, Sky, who was testing the suitability of sailing shoes for use in a canyon had the most trouble. The Velcro at the heels completely lost grip due to all the sand it caught in the creek bed making walking in these shoes a nightmare. Lesson learned: Velcro and canyons cannot work well together; the shoes went in the bin directly after the trip.

Walking in a wider cavern part of the canyon.

Eventually we reached the beginning of the lower, more spectacular constriction. We stopped for lunch and then headed off to the first abseil/jump. T2 and Sky abseiled while Todd and myself decided to go for a jump near the optional duck under. Not having proper canyoning shoes, I hesitated a while at the slippery start for the jump, knowing exactly what Peggy would have shouted at me if she was standing behind me. We continued down the constriction and finally came to the last 8 meter abseil which can be jumped, too. Again, Sky and T2 decided to go down the rope and Todd and myself chose the jump. Unfortunately however we had a hiccup in our communication, so we weren’t convinced the water depth was actually tested sufficiently for such a jump and Todd abseiled as well to re-test it allowing me a fun jump in the end.

With everyone down, Todd wanted to stow his brand new camera away, but instead it slipped and went right down the deep dark pool. Using a nearby branch we estimated the water depth about 5-6 meters and did not see any chance of recovering it in there which gives Todd the prize for most expensive littering on this trip. He even offered a sexual favour as a reward to anyone who recovered the camera for him.

We quickly continued to the end of the canyon, climbed up a little gully and hit the fire trail back to the car and as usual, finished the day with some nice beer and food at the City View.

Epilogue:

A week later, Todd returned to the canyon. With him he had his mate Drew, some scuba gear and a torch to hunt for the lost camera. And after a short dive it was recovered. Still fully functional and with a charged battery. Looks like the new Lumix FT3 has excellent seals to make it water proof — and Todd is not getting his littering prize. Whether Drew claimed his reward remains unknown.

Drew after his dive. The picture is taken with the recovered camera.

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