Grand Canyon beginners trip

Party: Karen, Terry, Eva, Silvia, Albert, Peggy — Albert Chetcuti’s photos

What better way to spend Good Friday than up to the mountains. After an action packed morning of other activities — including flipping on a giant trampoline — we drove up to the Blue Mountains.

After putting on our wetsuits and gearing up we headed down the walk at Neates Glen to Grand Canyon.

For some, it was only their second canyon and they were beaming with excitement.

(photo Albert Chetcuti)
Near the start of the canyon (photo Albert Chetcuti)

There’s only one abseil in this canyon and everyone did it without any issues. We only had 2 harnesses (which belonged to Albert and myself) and 6 people abseiling. We got through this by shuffling the 2 harnesses back up to the top of the abseil.

I abseiled first, Silvia was second. Once we were both down safely we took off our harnesses and I tied them to Albert’s rope. Albert then pulled them up and fitted them on the next 2 people. We repeated this twice to get all 6 people down.

(photo Albert Chetcuti)
Moving through Grand Canyon (photo Albert Chetcuti)

As this took a while, the people who were already down inside the canyon had plenty of time to start exploring the start of the canyon and to play around the small waterfall in this section.

We were approaching mid-Autumn, but the water temperature was still okay. Terry managed the whole trip in a t-shirt and pants (although other people have done it with less clothing).

(photo Albert Chetcuti)
Stunning canyon formation (photo Albert Chetcuti)

All the beginners found the canyon quite straight forward and easy to walk through. There were a few people in the group very keen of parkour who wanted to jump some of the rocks but decided not to. Because of the morning activities we were already running late and didn’t want to risk anything.

This was my fourth or fifth time visiting Grand Canyon and the spectacular sights, sounds and overall experience never fails to please.

(photo Albert Chetcuti)
(photo Albert Chetcuti)

As we walked through the canyon, I kept encouraging the beginner canyoners to keep looking up and back as some parts of the canyon look more spectacular looking back, rather than forwards. Soon, we had reached the end and the longest swim of the day was straight ahead of us.

We spotted a large log on our left and the group got easily distracted. We all headed up the rocks and climbed onto the log. We hung around there for a while to take some funny photos.

(photo Albert Chetcuti)
Dark and narrow canyon constriction (photo Albert Chetcuti)

By the time we got out of the canyon it was getting dark. On our walk back to the car park the sky progressed to a pitch black. With only one head torch between 6 people, it was sometimes hard for the people at the back (Terry and myself) to find our footing.

Despite some occasional challenges, walking in the dark was an amazing experience. The tunnels were lit up with glow worms and their beautiful patterns.

(photo Albert Chetcuti)
The canyon has cut deep into the rock (photo Albert Chetcuti)

One of the girls was so attracted to the light that she picked up a glow worm. After seeing the worm under the torch she was quite shocked by how the worm actually looked . A bit of a scare for her, but it provided the rest of the group with some entertainment.

We got back to the cars around 8pm. The plan from here was to have dinner and drive to Flat Rock for star gazing. We had dinner at a Thai restaurant in Katoomba.

(photo Albert Chetcuti)
Impressive ferns clinging to the canyon walls (photo Albert Chetcuti)

We then drove to flat rock. However, with an overcast sky we couldn’t see any stars. It was pretty plain so we didn’t stay long before going back in the cars.

Terry, Eva, Silvia and Karen headed back for Sydney, while Albert and I headed for Mount Hay road. Because Albert and I were planning a trip the next day to Castle Head we’d decided to camp out in the mountains.

(photo Albert Chetcuti)
Mucking around on the big log (photo Albert Chetcuti)

By the end of the day it was pretty cold and we were too lazy to set up our tents, so we slept in the car. We enjoyed saving the time setting up and packing up the tent. It allowed for more sleep before another day of abseiling.

An action packed day and a good trip, but definitely worth brining more equipment next time.

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