About Me

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Sydney, Australia
A natural curiosity for what's over the next hill has taken me on a vast array of trips over the years, most of which involve human powered travel. There's so much more to do. All images © Darren Mckenzie.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Dargans Creek Canyon

Inactivity is not something I'm used to. It's fair to say that the simple act of sitting still has always bothered me, and if I sit long enough, the daggers of boredom are thrust deep into my soul. I can't remember ever thinking I have nothing to do.....Quite the contrary.

If I'm not away, I'm planning to go away and I love an epic trip, so occasionally I'll not factor in any extra time, leave my tent at home, choose a difficult route in average weather etc....generally trying to compress more goodness into the allocated time slot....Searching for the smile that comes within seconds of getting away with something you know you shouldn't have.

The last six months saw change sweep through, clenched in an angry fist called fate. A glancing blow at best, but one that has held Dana and I captive for longer periods than we are used to. I'm sure the bite size trips will grow back into  large chunks eventually. My fitness has suffered so I decided to find something that required very little but allowed for some photo opportunities. Dargans Creek had come up recently as a good short outing, so with pleny of batteries and an empty card, I headed up the Bells Line to Clarence.





The wander down into the creek was a little scrubby but interesting none the less. The wildflowers were out in abundance, and as usual at this time of the year, every bent stick looked like a snake. Funnily enough, I didn't see one all day which was surprising.




The constricted section of the Canyon was quite impressive but very short so I spent an hour or so fiddling around with the camera. After slipping over and smashing the camera again, I couldn't believe it still worked! It took a wave at Batemans Bay and the lens cover mechanism jammed with rust, so I removed it to keep shooting but now the wear is showing on the lens.















The exit was only a short scramble beside the small waterfall then up the spikes in a tree. Very manageable but not a place to fall.







The walk back along the ridge had some sting in the tail and it was a reminder that summer had arrived. The heat rising from the earth was matched in intensity from that above. The beauty of this canyon lies in the fact that the exit is short and I had arrived back at the car in no time. A good few hours out for those looking for something simple but rewarding.


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

MAIN RANGE SKIING & SNOWKITING




Spring on the Main Range of Kosciusko National Park is a great time for social gatherings. I prefer mid winter for business and the fringe season for getting out and having fun. The conditions can occasionally be a challenge, but patience is usually rewarded for those who take the time to slow down and breath the landscape in.

Pat, Dana and myself decided to head off from Thredbo and setup in Cock's Harbour to do some skiing and snowkiting. No trip would be complete without some sort of gear failure for me, and as clipped into my bindings the tail broke off in my hand. Two days of light use....I had to laugh.

Pat had me moving in minutes after some high tech repair work.








The plan was to make a base camp somewhere and ski the surrounding area so we made our way to the lee side of Etheridge and downloaded the gear.  The afternoon was spent kiting in Cock's Harbour which was not quite as productive for me as it could have been.
The wind was fading and by the time I had changed kites, it was all over.



Some other local kiters were also out and enjoying the Spring conditions.


The second day dawned clear and we woke to the consistent flapping of the tents, which meant the wind was good so while Dana and I took our time to enjoy breakfast, Pat was into it early. From the door of the tent, we watched as he skied off down the Valley to launch the kite.




Within 15 minutes of launching the kite Pat was on top of Kosciusko tearing up and down before disappearing on one of his usual adventures. His search for interesting terrain is always a source of inspiration for me so with this in mind, Dana and I went in search of our own fun.
 

Pat on the summit of Mt Kosciusko.

Dana has been itching to get back into some skiing and proved once again just how determined and resilient she is. I can only aspire to be as strong willed.

We climbed a nice lee slope and skied back down with somewhat different results. My teleskiing ability needs some work and after a spill or two I met her at the bottom, all smiles.


Dana decided to skin back up for more of the same so I launched my 8m kite which was about 4m too big, and proceeded to rocket across the valley then up the ridge. Things became a little marginal at this point so I hit the panic button and pulled the kite down. Dana had completed another run so we rendezvoused lower down the valley before heading back to camp.

We relaxed in the sun as Pat came weaving his way back to camp with tales of new terrain and many more kilometers traveled.


Marty cranking on his Frenzy.



The weekend was a success whichever way you look at it and with a freshly basted spirit, we headed  home. Thanks for the good company again Pat.... much to look forward to.....