Date: 3/1/2022
Trip leader: Sabs Cascio
Party: Aidan, Angus, Dean, John, Megan, Samantha W

With the holiday period quickly coming to an abrupt end, it was time to squeeze in one last canyon. La nina was even on holidays, so we could all pretend that it had been sunny the whole summer break.

I often thought of just Mt Hay Canyon (Butterbox), when it came to ‘H’ canyons, so have obliviously plodded along in life with the GEM that is Hat Hill Canyon right under my nose!

So I posted the trip, and had some last minute takers join us, making us a group of 7. Props to one person who had originally joined, however, had to pull out in the last minute due to being a close contact to a person testing positive for Covid. You will be first cab off the rank next time 

Recently, I had been made aware that there is a coffee shop/patisserie attached to the BP station in Blackheath, so I made this our meeting point early Monday morning.

Mmmmm….coffee and Danish.

Shortly after, we met Dean at the car park before heading down the hill. I am always amazed by Dean’s enthusiasm of outdoor adventures despite the 6hr return journey from his home. Always a pleasure to have on any trip.

Soon after reaching the creek and crossing the junction, we donned on our wetsuits. This is when I realised I had forgotten my volleys in the car (volleys=trusty grippy and non-slippy shoes), so resigned myself to wearing my hiking shoes through the canyon….how bad could it be?…..

Luckily our newcomer Megan, had taken my advice on purchasing volleys, so didn’t have to ice-skate through some mossy rocks like I did.

John had gone down Hat Hill Canyon many times, and has a knack for spotting the wildlife. He had gone ahead of the group several times, hushing us on arrival, to reveal a lovely water dragon, and later, a resident yabby.

The 2nd and 3rd constrictions are truly gorgeous, with some swims, and ferny creek walking in between.

Finally, the cliffs parted to reveal a truly amazing view of the Grose valley. The waterhole that is on the precipice of the falls was beckoning, and so was lunch.

We sat and enjoyed a swim and some lunch with the amazing view of the valley to marvel over. After refuelling, we headed back 200m to our exit point.

We changed out of our wetsuits on a nice flat area, almost made for the purpose. Dean removed some sand from his volleys, which apparently contained sand samples from other canyons. Before long, we were chalking up the vertical metres required to even up the ledger from our starting point. On top of Hat Hill, we could see all of the mountain features around us. A lot had been burnt, but was making it’s way back slowly.

The dirt road to Perry’s Lookdown was beneath us, and I wondered how badly damaged the campsite would be now.

Before long, we were back at our vehicles, and I was reunited with my volleys.

We all agreed a SUBW trip is not complete until we have sealed the day with a chin-wag and a meal and/or drink.

John’s suggestion was a Bar & Bistro in Blackheath, but they were rudely closed on this public holiday. Instead, we went to the trusty Ivanhoe.

The Ivanhoe has an alarm which shrieks every time an out-of-towner stands remotely near the front door entrance. It’s almost to scare away the Covid which you may be carrying in from the big smoke, and allow everyone who can produce proof of vaccination and sign-in, to enter.

Once we all made it in, we enjoyed a chat and some foods/drink, before parting ways back into the big bad world of non-canyoning.