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Dead Log Canyon

Map:-

Wollongambe, 1:25000

Party:-

Glen, Brian, Dug, other BWRS Members, Dave, Geoff, Keith, Graham, Peter,  Peter, Nic, Monika.

Friday Night

dead log is right, pleanty of those I arrived with Graham about 2230hr and we camped where the two pine forest access roads join to go on as the Waratah Ridge Rd. A couple of other tents were already there, a few cars passed on down Waratah Ridge Road obviously to camp at the trail head. A pleasant coolish night, clear, starry, moonlit sky, only the odd mosquito.

Saturday

Next morning up and about ready for a 0700hr start, a few of the Sydney siders came through while we ate breakfast. Then we all met at the car park for the briefing. Sunny promising a warm pleasant day, the forecast has the organiser worried; high temperatures and increasing wind over the two days with an extreme fire danger. Would have had me worried too but my reading of the weather patterns was temperatures in the low thirties and light winds. As an added precaution I have checked with local fireies, nothing burning near us, and I believe it unlikely that too many people will be north-west of here starting fires. Hell it's too hard to get into that bush for anyone but bushwalkers wanting to go there. (This was the day Victoria burnt and killed over 200 people, so we were lucky our conditions were nothing related to that).

We were divided into 4 teams:- a "lost party" of two (going to Lunar Park Canyon), team alpha, 3 members going direct to Lunar Park, team bravo, 3 members going through Scatters Canyon and on to go down Lunar Park, team charlie, 3 members to go down Dead Log Canyon and on up the Bungleboorie to the exit of Lunar Park.

I was with team Charlie, with Glen and Brian, we have the longest walk in and then a fair walk up the Bungleboorie to the LP exit. I had done this canyon some years ago and the note in my canyon book says "joke canyon". That means I believe it was included in the book as a "joke" and not constricted canyon, get the rope down worth doing. I found it a pleasant walk in but Glen and Brian found it hot, especially carrying overnight packs. No problems with navigation since we followed a foot pad most of the way (this goes on to Arch Canyon exit). We tried to find a way to walk into the canyon down side creeks but eventually just abseiled in. A pleasant cool ferny place to cool off.

The first section of canyon is just a scrubby creek walk, without any difficulties. Then we reached the constricted section and Dead Log lives up to its name. Lots of logs to scramble over, under, round, through and abseil down. We chose to abseil all the drops because we were on a search mission and we had our harnesses on anyway (most could have been shimmied down, or hand over handed with a hand line, or slid down). As we progressed I had to reassess my original opinion, it has some nice canyon sections although all the logs make it a bit scrappy. Every abseil has its attendant log. Some so congested that we had to lower packs by hand line, to get our bodies through (my body anyway as I am fairly solid and the overnight packs are a bit bulky). There are pools of water but we manage to get round them without getting wet, so wetsuits only needed for the Bunglboorie section.

The exit into the Borrie would make a pleasant camp site, so we stopped for lunch and then got into wet suites. Brian had been feeling a "bit off" for a while and it came to a head here when he spewed his lunch. He thought he had a bit of heat stroke from the weight of his pack in these temperatures, he soon began to feel better though.

The walk up the Boorie was a combination of wading, swimming, walking through the bush on the bank, rock hopping and bouldering. I was carrying the now wet rope so my pack weigh was over 20kg especially as it picked up water, this slowed me down a lot, as I'm not 100% yet after my broken leg last year.

constricted canyon, tight squees between the log and the hard place

The Bunglboorie south branch is a magnificent waterway, high sandstone cliffs with canyon rain forest at there base. Clear, cool, drinkable water, skipping and dancing over the rock rapids, gurgling and grumbling under and round the boulders, or slowly passing through the pools. A magnificent place we always enjoy.

At the Lunar Park exit we can hear shouts from that canyon and on investigation find the "lost party" has just been found by Alpha team with Bravo just behind. An amazing thing that despite us travelling all that extra way we all arrive at the same time!

The next few hours was spent setting up camp, cooking dinner and then on some exercises using hauling systems to reposition an injured party.

A pleasant night around "cooking stoves", doesn't have the same ring as around a cooking fire - but it is a fire ban day and we don't like the idea of "spoiling" the canyon with a pile of ash and charcoal.

Some of us camped in the open by the creek, others chose an overhang just above us on bank right, while the rest chose an elevated cave on bank left.

Sunday

The morning was spent with testing anchors, with improvised hauling systems and transporting an injured person on improvised stretchers, all good stuff, I hope we never need.

Thank you, BWRS Members for your great company and interesting interactions. Till next time. Copyright 2009 Dug Floyd.


The open creek became constricted to a canyon Abseil down a log
Improvised Stretcher Nic and some others slep up high in this cave
A Jumble of logs

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