TRIP REPORT: CARRABEANGA BROOK & THURAT SPIRES
LOCATION: Kanangra-Boyd National Park
DATE: 29-31 December 2008
1. Chris Berwick
2. Peter Raines
3. Greg Salway
4. Tom Gleeson
Chris and Peter drove from Mt Wilson with Greg and Tom driving up from Canberra, to meet at the Boyd River camping area on the Monday morning. We did a car shuffle, leaving one car at the Kanangra Walls carpark, and the other at our starting point at the King Pin Fire Trail. A quick walk brought us to Mount Thurat, and from there we moved quickly across the Thurat Tops to pick up the Burra Gunama Ridge. We walked east to Burra Gunama Hill, then descended the northern spur into Carrabeanga Brook. The creek was small here but was flowing nicely. A short walk brough us to the first waterfall which we descended on the left hand side. Spectacular views were afforded of Mount Stormbreaker and the Gangerang Plateau. We continued down a number of lengthy abseils before reaching Carrabeanga Falls itself, which we descened in three pitches on the left hand side. This involved setting belay points on trees which were growing on only narrow platforms which limited the amount of comfort and demanded an increased level of vigilance in terms of safety. Many other parties apparently choose to head aorund to the right and make two or three pitches from the cliff faces which may be easier with a bigger group. At the base of Carrabeanga Falls we made camp on the rock platforms below the falls next to a nice pool. We collected wood for a fire and enjoyed a nice platter before some dinner and some sleep.
Misty rain persisted throughout the night but Tuesday morning presented fine weather. After a cuppa and some breakfast, we set up the rope and continued with the abseils, taking us deeper into the proper gorge section of the canyon. Further along the creek we discovered many tall Red Cedars and marvelled at their beauty. We enjoyed lunch on some rock platforms further downstream, and after lunch walked, abseiled and scrambled our way down to the junction with Kanangra Creek. We spent an enjoyable afternoon trying to catch trout as we walked up the creek to the junction with Danae Brook, where we made our second night’s camp.
On Wednesday morning we ascended Thurat Spires which was at once both very impressive and quite challenging. The loose rock was a constant hazard, and we were all guilty of sending down boulders of death at the walkers behind us at various points on the ascent. Wer had a breather on the top of the Lesser Spire, then descended to the metre-wide rock saddle connecting the two spires. After carefully negotiating this natural bridge, we scrambled our way up onto the Greater Spire. From here a bit of searching brought us to some slings on a tree, showing the way down. Three abseils brought us to a nice shady saddle where we decided to have lunch. After a short rest, we began the scramble up onto Spire Head, admiring the views along the way of Kanangra Walls and the Kowmung country beyond, crowned by Mount Colong.