Attendees: Me, David, Rick and Sam
We met at the beginning of the Mt Hay Rd and where soon on our way to the a clearing just off the road. After sorting out gear, we headed to the end of the fire-trail and then continued down into the valley.
To get into Katoomba Creek we had a couple of abseils. The second one was pretty cool as we abseiled down a corridor between the greenery and the cliff-face.
The creek wasn’t very canyoney to begin with, but it was very pleasant walking/wading. Rick tried to keep dry for as long as possible as he was the only one without a wetsuit.
I came across a tyre and decided to carry it out (This went quite well for the canyon section but later on I was to regret the decision). I even tried using it to slide down a rock slope, but this didn’t work overly well…
The valley soon narrowed and before long we where in the canyon proper. After a awkward climbdown that was particularly covered by a large tree branch, we did a neat abseil through a hole.
After a jump-in we continued through what was probably the deepest part of the canyon.
When we reached Arathusa falls I think we where all glad for the small amount of sunlight. We relaxed above the falls had a bite to eat and then headed past the fourth tyre to the rock climb exit through Alpheus.
The names of the two canyons seem to originate from Greek mythology. Arethusa (“the waterer”) was a nymph who fled from her home in Arcadia beneath the sea and came up as a fresh water fountain.
The story goes something like this: Arethusa was traveling through Arcadia when she came across a clear stream and began bathing, not knowing it was the river god Alpheus. Alpheus fell in love with Arethusa, but after discovering his presence and intentions Arethusa fled.
After a long chase, she prayed to her goddess (Artemis) to ask for protection. Artemis hid her in a cloud, but Alpheus was persistent and Arethusa began to perspire profusely from fear, soon transforming into a stream.
Sam led the two climbs and Rick cursed my tyre. After the climb out Sam and Rick did another climb on the right hand wall whilst David and I continued through Alpheus. The canyon had some beautifully clear pools and the water seemed more blue/green.
The canyon was over very quickly and after a zig-zag scramble up the cliff we rejoined with Rick and Sam at a lookout.
We soon continued back along the ridge to the cars. David headed home whilst Sam and Rick went for some food in Katoomba. I waited for them to return and we then set camp up opposite the Fortress Creek car park.