I didn’t plan on going on this canyon, but there was a chance that we would also be doing Alcatraz Canyon so I decided to go along. It was a large group so I hung back at the start.
As we passed Penrose Gully, Kent took myself and a couple of others to the start of Penrose Canyon. Apparently it is quite short and narrow with a long abseil at the end (~30m?). You can then come up the slot opposite the one you climb up when doing Window Canyon and come back to the Tigersnake Track or go do Windows Canyon.
We caught the others at the start of the canyon, I decided to climb down the first abseil as it is so narrow it is much easier to chimney down. The next abseil with the anchor of braches was also quite easy to climb over. I also climbed back up the waterfall and showed mum how I climber across.
The 60m rope was so long that it was used for the next root climb, in case people wanted to abseil.
I couldn’t see a safe way to circumnavigate the next waterfall, so reluctantly put on my harness. At this point the canyon opens up and is not really a canyon at all. At the point where the canyon re-emerges and people abseil in from the top I continued down the actual canyon and after a quick look decided to have a go at climbing it. It was narrow and much longer than I expected – I can see why most would prefer to abseil in from the top. On the way down to the arch I came across a water dragon who seemed somewhat surprised to see me.
I was at the bottom of the pitch in time to belay the first person. After a couple more belays I went back to show someone the water dragon and a frog was spotted: it was pretty cool and like the water dragon the other day was red underneath. After the others had left I managed to climb up onto the arch and found another frog in a crevice. It was much larger than the other and would sit snugly in the bowl formed by the palm of my hand. It was an interesting brown with green stripes down its sides.
I again jumped ahead of the others and pocked around in the rockpiles trying to find some more caves like the one found on the last trip. I did find some some small ones but they were nothing overly impressive. There were a couple of fuzzy caterpillars which I first mistook for spider eggs, some glow-worms and also a very cool lizard with a spear-head shaped tail (probably a species of leaf-tailed Gecko).
NOT MY PHOTO
When we got to the rockpile before the walkout we stopped for some lunch. I pocked around in the cave – with a torch this time – and after moving some drift wood squeezed into another slot which I couldn’t see last time. It went some way before becoming too small. I then had a quick snack and showed everyone the cave, it would have been nice if less light was used; the first time I did it without a light, letting my eyes adjust and I could see many more glow-worms.
The walkout was quite uneventful except for having to carry an extra pack for a bit. When we got back to the cars I found that Alcatraz was not going ahead so I was a little disappointed, but Kent said he would show me on the map tomorrow.