Well, I guess I’ll start this trip report with a description of the dedication of the 9 participants who attended this walk. In order to arrive at our starting point we had to first make our way into the city to catch the 6.45am L90 to Palm Beach. We had the bus time aligned so that we could catch the 9am ferry across to Patonga. As I was having a particularly lucky week, I decided to inquire with the water taxi as to whether they would match the ferry price. My luck continued and we were able to speed across the water to Patonga ever so slightly earlier and surely faster. With such a huge effort required in such an early start and time spent travelling, I was somewhat amazed that there were very few people who piked last minute on this trip.
A last minute call out for weekend ideas saw us settle on Boars Head, an abseil I’d wanted to do for ages. We quickly gathered an enthusiastic group and converged at Scenic World on Sunday at 9:30am. A short drive up to the Devils Hole exit and then a hop, skip and a jump up the road to the start and we were off.
With some dropouts due to illness and misadventure, the walk was reduced to just the two of us, and it was easy to make a decision to walk to Pearl Beach instead of doubling back to Wondabyne as originally planned.
We had lunch looking out across a beautiful view, before walking the final distance to Cowan Station. We said our ‘goodbyes’ and the half day participants were fortunate in having a very short wait for the train back to Sydney.
The gauntlet had been thrown down, and the challenge had been accepted by a handful of hardy souls — to go wet canyoning in the absolute depths of winter — and so Aussie FreezeFest was born. Julie had been trying for a while to get some interest in a local version of what has become an institution in the US, but for some reason people kept coming back with silly comments like “canyoning is a summer sport” and “you’ll all freeze to death”. Valid points,…
Well I believe this is officially the smallest SUBW group I have ever taken on a trip. Possibly the suggestion that those with fears of heights may not enjoy the day put some off, however with our speedy group of three we managed to have a fantastic day!
PARTICIPANTS: – Hon. President Chantal Bronkhurst (first outing) – Pete Harvey (avoided last year’s event by hiding in AFRICA, Jo take note) – Mitchell Isaacs (Navshield #4) – Tom Murtagh (Navshield #4) – Many people in other teams, coordinating the event, farming nearby etc
Our ridge didn’t do much in the way of climbing upward, rather it was happy providing an unending chain of rocky outcrops — never more than a few metres wide — broken by gaps that could be so small we could jump over, or so large as to require a serious back-track to find a way around.
Winter is a wonderful time to be in the mountains. The crisp, chill air is so refreshing, making for perfect walking, and the dynamic, ever-changing weather makes sure you get to see your surroundings in so many different lights that they seem constantly new.