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Easter 2006

Scatters Canyon Ė Luna Park Canyon

Map:-

Rock Hill 1:25000; Wollangambe 1:25000

Party:-

Tania, Dug.

I called into Cessnock VRA to help with assessments of V3 ascend rope timing, then drove up via the Putty road.† Intermittent rain and thunder not a good portent for a canyon trip you would think (but the forecast is ok). The result of this was that I didnít arrive at Waratah Ridge car park till 2 am.† No sign of Tania, perhaps the thick fog and rain on the ridge has put her off and she is coming up first thing to arrive at 7 am.†

In the morning I messed around having breakfast and packing and waiting. †By 8 am, I drove along the fire trail to find mobile coverage.† Tania is in Blackheath having a coffee, she camped at Long Paddock, worried all night that I didnít turn up (ďI know you said Waratah Ridge but we never camp thereĒ).† So she drove back to phone coverage to check if there were any messages.† No, I must be lost so she phoned NBC but only received the recorded message, then phoned Newcastle Police and asked if they would check my home.† Hell Iím lost and havenít even got out of the car yet.

All sorted out again, we make a new plan and start out for Scatters Canyon about 10 am.† This necessitated waterproofing our overnight packs (for only one short swim it turned out).† I had Scatter marked as So So in my book, but it is better than that.† It would make a good walk through canyon for anyone, particularly if you go down stream in the Bunglboorie and exit through Hailstorm Retreat dry canyon.† Just past HR exit we found an excellent camping overhang, 15 to 20 m high, clear flat sand floor, plenty of dry wood for a cooking fire.† As we had time on our hands we wandered further down stream for a while, this part of the Southern Branch of Bunglboorie Creek is particularly nice.

A pleasant evening and night, listening to the gurgle tinkle of the passing stream and enjoying the effect of the full moon above shining down into the narrow canyon.† The leaves of the tall trees hanging glistening and silhouetted in the moonlight, the high cliffs sombre and dark.† The forecast change with strong winds did arrive during the night but no effect down here, windy up top but.

We leave our overnight packs in the overhang.† Then walk back up stream, 30 min past Scatters to a gully on the other side.† Some careful navigation by Tania, takes us up the ridge to a high point on the map, then down another ridge and finally into Luna Park Creek.† A very pleasant day so far and it gets even better.†

Easy walking in the creek brings us to a 2-3 m water slide into a pool, then a 2 m jump, then a couple of short abseils, one into a chamber where we walk through the Open Mouth into the next chamber.† Lovely canyon here. †Jamieson talks of a pit that you cannot get out of, so we take the precaution of one staying behind with the set rope while the other checks out what is ahead.† I jump into a pool with no obvious anchors and swim to the lip to see over the edge.† A couple of slings anchored to one side, out of sight, show the way ahead into the pit.† †There is a convenient logs to abseil down to a lip on the other side then on down again.† No drama, just beautiful water sculptured rocks.† We are now into the Bunglboorie again at a convenient sunny spot for lunch.† An excellent short canyon, good fun, a sense of drama, very picturesque and beautiful and whatís more even I donít find it cold despite the lateness of the season.

A picturesque walk back up stream to retrieve our pack, about an hour or so.† We change and combine both the canyon pack and overnight pack into a rather heavy one (due to the wet gear).† Our way is up the steep pass to Hailstorm Retreat canyon. We pass a deep overhang (probably the retreat).† A nice narrow dry canyon with a few scrambles and one tight squeeze between the roots of a coachwood tree growing in the middle of the stream bed.† Up on top of the ridge system for the long walk out.† We arrive back at the cars about 6:50 to be greeted by Rowan who is camping the night after doing Hole in the Wall today with a couple of my friends.† Tania has to be home tonight and leaves, while I stay the night.

A great couple of days, thank you Tania for your company.† We can recommend Luna Park Canyon to anyone who can navigate, it would be a long day trip though.† Till next time. †© Copyright 2006 Dug Floyd

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