Party: Grant, Joshua, Drew, Peggy, Albert, Shaun, Helen, Mike, Andres, Fritz, Sky, Mon, Ulla, Nicola, Ian, Wannes and T2
Trip rebort by: Grant Innis
Date: 21/07/2013
Original report:

  • FreezeFest was much bigger this year, with quite a few trips taking place over the weekend, so each canyon has been written up by a different participant. This trip report was produced by Grant Innis:

The weather on Sunday was perfect, with blue skies and sunshine.

After a quick breakfast we headed off mid-morning for Acoustic (Sunnyside) Canyon, in the Gardens of Stone National Park.

A short scrub bash to the canyon (photo Ian Lu)

We left our vehicles at the end of a dirt track and headed off on foot for some light bush bashing down a hill until we reached some rocky outcrops leading to a long narrow slot providing access to the canyon.

At the base of the slot we dumped our gear, drank from a crystal clear pool of water and headed out along a ledge for some easy walking that revealed  glorious views of the Wolgan Valley.

A narrow slot led us down into the canyon (photo Ian Lu)

At the end of the ledge the group dispersed, some of us stopping to enjoy the views while others explored this end of the canyon, scrambling down to the floor and making our way over boulders and logs, back toward our gear.

The boulders eventually disappeared, revealing a level floor of fine pebbles, some water and beautiful green ferns as we headed back toward the slot.

Following a half-way ledge to the end of the canyon (photo Albert Chetcuti)

Here we collected our gear and headed further into the canyon, reconvening at the acoustic chamber where we ate food, drank beer and were entertained by a magnificent rendition of the Bohemian Rhapsody, performed by Joshua, Drew, David and Andres, while others provided backup vocals.

Further up the canyon the boulders reappeared, providing some fun scrambles and constrictions.

Enjoying the view (photo Albert Chetcuti)

We exited the canyon on the opposite side, some by climbing a tree, others scrambling up some rocks and using exposed tree roots to climb out.

Somehow Andres ended up on the opposite side of the canyon to everyone else. After some searching he found a suitable pass to re-enter the canyon and cross over to the other side, eventually making his way to the group who were enjoying exploration of the rock formations typical of the Gardens of Stone National Park.

Walking through a small acoustic chamber (photo Albert Chetcuti)

Again we headed toward the Wolgan Valley, climbing a large pagoda buttressed by a knife-edge of rock, which revealed magnificent 360 degree views of cliff faces and the valley below.

We loitered here for some time, relaxing in the sun and trying to avoid the wind which had been building during the afternoon.

Sitting inside the main acoustic chamber (photo Albert Chetcuti)

Eventually we headed back to the cars, crossing through the canyon via an easy pass that required very little scrambling and exiting via the original slot.

It was a magnificent end to a weekend filled with fun, a lot of laughter and the enjoyment of canyoning in the middle of winter.

The group, dwarfed by the size of the chamber (photo Albert Chetcuti)

Peggy scrambling up into the chamber (photo Ian Lu)

The acoustic chamber from above the canyon (photo Albert Chetcuti)

Scrambling across the rocky ridge top (photo Albert Chetcuti)

We scrambled up this big pagoda near the end of the ridge (photo Shaun Nielsen)

Overlooking the Wolgan Valley (photo Shaun Nielsen)

Grant, Ulla and Mike on the knife edge (photo Ian Lu)

Mike casually standing on the exposed point (photo Shaun Nielsen)

Relaxing in the winter sunshine (photo Ian Lu)

The canyon slot cutting through the rock below us (photo Albert Chetcuti)

The rock knife edge from another angle (photo Albert Chetcuti)

Given FreezeFest 2013 was much bigger that the year before, with quite a few trips taking place over the weekend, each canyon has been written up by a different participant. You can check out almost all of the adventures from over the weekend below: