Our local canyon was pumping after 45mm of rain over the past few days. A small party of us headed down on a slightly overcast Sunday morning. It’s a fairly long canyon - two canyon sections separated by a very pleasant, but longish creek section. We changed into wetsuits as soon as we had descended the ridge - the water was up around 150mm above the normal level.
The first climbdown was through white water to a swim - cool would be a good adjective, rather than cold.
Next tricky bit was also flowing fast - the handline came in useful again.
The beautiful creek section has particularly good light - great for photos of the ferns & water cascading off the cliffs above.
We passed an exit gully up to Ridgewell Rd, and shortly afterwards the usual exit we planned to use up to Hat Hill Ridge; it was fairly open through this part as the backburn of two yrs ago had cleared some of the understory vegetation. An little done bushwalk is from Hat Hill Ridge, down into the canyon, head upstream a little and exit up onto Ridgewell Road.
The next canyon section has a couple of moderate swims - the recent rains caused a reasonable flow in one narrow section - some of the stronger swimmers would be OK getting back upstream, but anyone with a heavy pack may have needed a rope.
We got to the final drop in the canyon to be disappointed by the mist - no spectacular view for us today. We briefly looked down Lews Pass, but left it for another day - one trip down there is sufficient for me.
And we turned around to head back up the the exit gully. On the way down I had noticed a possible early exit before the narrow swim upstream. About 100m upstream of the big sandy cave on the West side there was what could have been a faint wombat track. My view is that if a wombat can negotiate it, then I will have a go at it.
It was steep (& slippery after the recent rains), we used to rope for safety, but wasn’t strictly necessary.
And after 20 minutes we all had ascended 150m above the creek to a welcome lunch cave - I’m a big fan of the short steep exit. One final easy scramble through the last cliff line saw us back atop the ridge, and 40 minutes later back to a strategically placed car at Hat Hill.