Sunday, October 10, 2010

Fortress Creek canyon

We decided to start the canyon season off a little early this year with a trip down Fortress creek canyon. Craig, Dana and I chose a nice easy grade two to get the ball rolling as Craig hasn't done any canyon's yet. 
We spent some time practicing self rescue and basic rope work in the weeks prior and then set off early to make the most of the day. The forecast was for a top of 16 degrees and cloudy but as we started of down the fire trail a light drizzle began.
Canyons and rain don't mix but after checking the radar there was no chance of storms or heavy rain so other than getting drenched from wet scrub bashing we had no problems.

By the time we reached the canyon we were covered in leeches. As we progressed down the creek things were fairly scrubby compared to the last time I'd been down as some recent heavy rain had flooded the canyon leaving a lot of debris.

There were a few nice constricted sections with swims and a jump in before the single abseil pitch of around 8 meters. The anchor consisted of three bolts, although one looked fairly rusted and on its way out so I added another sling which helped equalise the existing setup. It was quite a fun little abseil into a pool with a waterfall. After retrieving the rope it was not far to the end of the canyon where had lunch overlooking the Grose valley.

The views were great despite the cloud swirling around in the valley. The exit gully was short but steep, then it was back along Fortress ridge to the fire trail and eventually the car.

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