Beginners’ Canyoning weekend, 20-21 Feb 2010


  • Alexandra and Christine
  • Annie
  • Ashley
  • Carolin and Stuart
  • Dimitri
  • Juliette
  • Kristin and Udo
  • Mariacristina
  • Mike
  • Ruth







By miraculous good fortune and coincidental timing no one got permanently lost in the labyrinth of forest trails that sprout northwards from the Zig Zag railway. It was Friday evening, dark, some had arrived early, others late, but somehow it was a single cohesive convoy of vehicles that eventually rolled into our pleasant open camp site after rendezvousing at various points along the way.

On Saturday morning there was a great sorting out of gear and assignment of harnesses and karabiners to the several new members on the trip. Then we made our way to Tigersnake Canyon.

There was abundant water flowing from the smallest streams, the bush was alive and lush. But the flooding rains of the previous weeks had subsided enough that the canyons were navigable and enjoyable. Before plunging into the narrow fissure in the rock that begins Tigersnake canyon we did some practise abseiling on the nearby rocks. Then, one by one, each beginner went down the awkward first drop on the rope, smiling for the camera. This descent took us into a narrow ravine and then after another short drop to a cliff top from where we did the longest abseil of the day. At the bottom of here was a sandy creek bed with water trickling by, a perfect place for lunch. Time to jaffle up, an important SUBW tradition. Then the second section of canyon was done after lunch, another narrow abseil followed by a deep and spectacular canyon with beautiful rock formations.

After a pleasant walk out we returned to our quiet camp site where our tents were already set from the night before. Fun was had around the camp fire, and Carolin made a bread dough which we wrapped on sticks and baked to perfection over the coals.

Sunday was a warm day, perfect for Twister and Rocky Creek. Everyone had great fun launching themselves down a series of natural water slides and making leaps of faith into pools of dark water. This was an introductory canyon to the day’s main feature, Rocky Creek. Surely one of the most beautiful of canyons this deep and intricate canyon was full of rushing water, and it all started with a water jump into a foaming pool. Further on shafts of light shone through gaps in the canyon’s vaulted ceilings, and trickles of water ran over ferny walls into the rushing stream and onwards through dark pools.

Most people were shivering by the time we reached the end of this canyon, except for people like Ruth in her super-duper wetsuit. We walked a long way downstream to an exit and after a steep climb out enjoyed a well overdue lunch. From here it was a straightforward walk back to the cars.

Finally it was back to our camp site where we packed up our tents and then bade our farewells after what was a very enjoyable and highly successful SUBW beginners’ canyoning weekend.

Ashley Burke

Mobile: 0414 633 315

Email: aburke at

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