Sunday, March 6, 2011

Claustral Canyon

3/6/11 - I had a chance to visit the Blue Mountains one last time before antipodean winter hit - this time with just Adam and Galen.  We chose to try the classic, Claustral Canyon, through the new approach route (the Dismal Dingles). It was cold (mid 50s) and drizzling and this bushwack added 2-3 hours of wet, leech-infested interlocked barbed vines and ferns, but it was worth it! The three rappels down the Black Hole of Calcutta were fantastic as was the intersection of Ranon Brook, the 700m section to Thunder Gorge and the amazing Tunnel Swim. When we finally reached the car, 11 hours later and chilled to the bone, we were zonked, but the canyon was truly fabulous.

The first rappel (down into the Black Hole of Calcutta) starts underneath this boulder!

Adam, on the first rap.
Galen, entering the upper (open) part of the "Black Hole" - the next rap takes you deeper and darker.

At the junction with Ranon Brook

Looking back up Claustral, from the Thunder Gorge junction.

Downclimbing the hand-line, right before the tunnel swim.

50m of cold, dark swimming!  Rocks have clogged the narrow canyon, creating an intermittent roof

Galen lives for this stuff!

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