Party: Jimmy & Julie, Nish and I
Julie and I (more photos here
I was pretty tired after a late night caving the day before and was awoken when Jimmy came outside to start packing the car. Once Julie arrived I really had to scramble to get my gear together. Eating my banana yoghurt in the car we drove to the Late Night TH (after a habitual stop at the casino). Nish soon arrived and continuing down the dirt road, we left an exit vehicle for later in the day.
We turned at the pub in Mountain Springs and followed a rough road to the end. Lee’s car was parked there, they were doing the same trip but in the end I decided to go with the later start – and I had definitely needed the extra sleep!
Jimmy knew the area like the back of his hand and to be honest I didn’t pay too much attention to where I was going. We set a good pace and dropped into the top of the canyon after about an hour of walking.
At the start of the canyon was this cool piece of sandstone jutting out like a diving board. The others were ahead of me, but I couldn’t help but spend some time photo pfaffing.
I was happy to be back canyoning in sandstone, it may have reminded me of home a little, but it was certainly quite different. The sandstone seemed lighter, perhaps due to the lack of moss, and all the plants were unfamiliar to me
Following the drainage for some time (about half a k), enjoying some scrambling and a few easy downclimbs we got to the top of the first rap. The view down the canyon was pretty impressive! and the day was shaping up to be amazing – not too hot, not too cold.
The next rap shortly followed, it went down some very nicely sculptured sandstone. You could easily avoid a few small pot holes on the way down. The pool at the bottom was a little trickier to avoid, but it could be bridged, and everyone made it across without getting wet feet.
Whilst positioning myself to take some photos, I felt a sharp pain in my arm pit. Rubbing it, I felt a small lump which prompted a visual inspection… it was a tick! I pulled it off! I’m pretty sure that is the first tick I have ever had.
The next few pools could be avoided by walking around on the left. I down-climbed over the first one, but I couldn’t see a way safely down the next drop so climbed out the side to bypass it.
One of the next abseils had a small overhang that almost caught me by surprise.
The canyon then got a little scrubby, but it was actually quite pleasant as one of the trees had started flowering.
Down canyon we reached a large drop with a chockstone at the top. You had a choice which way you descended. At the bottom was another pool, this was perhaps the trickiest water to avoid but numerous pockets canyon right allowed you to traverse across the wall.
We soon arrived at the water slide Jimmy had mentioned a couple of times throughout the day. I had been probed a little to go for it, and with the sun shining, that was all that was needed! I stripped down to keep my clothes dry and building up some courage pushed off crossing my hands across my chest before reaching the narrower section towards the bottom. The water was pretty cold and I didn’t waste time getting out… and then jumped into the next pool. (Thanks to Jimmy for recording).
There were a few more raps before the canyon ended. Above one of them, I sat watching these strange water critters. They had long ungainly limbs, but they seemed to work just fine and proved to be quite agile.
To exit we had some boulder hopping, and normal creek walking. We soon exited the water course taking a trail marked with cairns, our exit car slowly creeping closer. The trail was lined with wild flowers making it a little hard not to trample them at times.
The Red Rock cliffs looked pretty amazing with the storm clouds starting to blow in. Completing the car shuffle I think we even got a bit of rain.
When we got to the car, the others realised that it had been moved; someone from the other group had gotten in. They had adjusted the seat, put the wipers on, and to top it off we soon realised that the heater was on!
It had been a really fun day and it was nice to have a change of scenery after spending a week canyoning around Black Canyon.
It was still relatively early so we decided to watch a film. Gorging was selected since Julie hadn’t watched it. I took a while to download it, and I was a little annoyed that the link they sent when I bought it no longer worked. Jimmy invited a neighbour over and we snacked on popcorn whilst we relaxed. It was nice watching it now that I had more of an idea where the locations where.