Party: Tom, Iza, Shaun, Karina, Paul, Mischa and Jane, Andrew and Joao
Leader: Paul
Date: 11-12/1/2014

We went to Devil’s Pinch (sat) and Pipeline canyons (sun) in Wolgan Valley over the weekend (Jan 11-12).

NB. Pipeline track is noted as closed on the NPWS website (needs to be re-routed on the Glen Davis side) but I called them before going and it is open for access on the southern side. However, you still need to check for fire risk closure on any given day.

We drove out on Friday night. Not many people around due to the hotter weather so there was plenty of open space camping. The river is shallow and warm.

Saturday, Devil’s Pinch Canyon: 9 of us started this canyon but by the end of it, with a couple of people joking that felt broken (it’s a long day, that feels all the longer with the walk out) I’m not sure how many were left! However, this comment came from Joao who has been a wedding and funeral musician and so knows how to enjoy drama.

The canyon is really dry, with some remnant pools in the bottom section having strong decomposition smells. I didn’t get any water for drinking until after the last abseil, and that was just in a couple of pools. Some heavy rain to flush the canyon out would be a great thing. Did this canyon at Easter last year and it felt so different.

We did did the final abseil, which can be walked around. There aren’t many abseils in this canyon so it was fun to do the extra one. It’s a slippery start with an overhang close to the top so was a good challenge for all, except Tom who walked down to the left and would probably would have been back in camp before the rest of us finished except he assisted from below.

We scrambled straight down the bouldery creek to the river and this was much more fun than I remember the scrub on the left side being the last time I went. Tom and Iza then strode off to get Iza and Paul’s birthday dinner underway (we turned 80 this trip) and the rest of us meandered back to camp. It was a long day.

Sunday, Pipeline Canyon: After two went home sat night due to other commitments and two still seemed very at home in camping chairs in front of the breakfast fire, 5 of us went Pipeline Canyon – Tom, Iza, Shaun, Karina, Paul. We made a last minute change from Starlight Canyon as it had more abseils and I also had vague plans to do Nightmare canyon as well but……..

Pipeline is a fun canyon with several abseils, and had more water in it than Devil’s Pinch. Still only took some drinking water just before the last two abseils. The walk round the base of the cliffs adds an interesting dimension to the day.

Have fun!