I have been told you know it's October in the Blue Mountains when the Waratah flowers are in bloom. These beautiful red flowers are the floral emblem of New South Wales, Australia. We saw lots of red yesterday on a canyoning adventure to Juggler and the Grand Canyon canyons near Blackheath. The La Nina rain cycle has hit OZ with a vengeance with about 150% of normal rainfall in October.
On Friday the forecast was good so Melanie, Rich and I went into the mountains. In spring the canyons are wet from winter rains and intense with color. As usual the most critical route finding was the initial hike to located the head of the canyon. Once we found the right canyon we knew it was five rappels to the end of the canyon.
On the hike into the canyon Melanie discovered why it's called razor grass. We soon had her hand patched and started down the first rappel.
The first rappel was a short nasty slime pitch of green goo. If we hadn't brought a rope we could have used a sled to descend this section. At the bottom of the ramp we were surprised to discover a sparkling pool of cold mountain water. Once the rope was pulled we were committed to the rest of the canyon.
We carried our wet suits because we intended to do the Grand Canyon after descending Jugglers Canyon, but on the fourth rappel Melanie took a bad fall and bleeding and bruised she had to limp out of Jugglers
Canyon. We sent her out the Grand Canyon trail, 8 kms to the trail head, while Rich and I took the fast exit up the Pilcher trail to get the van.
The reason is simple the canyoning, with it's rope work and stunning descents, just keeps my attention and keeps me going back for photos-That's not to mention photography challenges in the canyons. The photo above is a Falls near the exit to Jugglers Canyon and is hiker accessible via a hiking trail.
In the Hobbit Forest before parting ways with Melanie.