There was little traffic up to
After we logged into the Claustral visitors book, one car was left behind while we drove the others down the highway to Ranon’s entrance.
The path in was pretty much expected of the Blue Mountain bush, with no clear or well travelled path to be seen. We raced into the thick at top speed though, eagerly looking forward to the days activities.
After about 30mins, Julie the trail leader noted we had not vied far enough and we found our selves peering over a fairly high drop. Instead of backtracking and looking for the ‘traditional’ canyon entrance, we thought that our current location was as good as any from which to abseil in. In hindsight this was a great decision, as it turned out to be a fantastic abseil. So over we went. The abseil required a 60m rope, then the 35m and 50m tired together to see us down to the bottom. What an abseil – straight through the thick line of ferns buried into a mossy cliff face. We landed in ankle deep water; in some of the most amazing scenery I have ever experience. And that’s how the day started.
After another 45mins of level hiking though sometimes very narrow paths to fairly open paths, the water levels started increasing, so we decided to get into our wetsuits. We found a small waterfall to wet our appetite with, and took a few pics posing under it.
The first proper abseil of the canyon was straight forward 15m into a pretty deep pool, which led onto another narrow corridor. Though this was the first time doing this canyon for us (Jon and Trev), we were told by the more experienced canyoners in the group, that water levels were much higher than normal, due to recent rainfalls. This meant there was a significant amount or water pumping over all the abseils we did, possibly increasing the difficulty, but definitely increasing the fun!
I have heard many theories why this canyon is named the way it is. I reckon it’s because of the flow of the land - everything just ran-on beautifully from the previous landscape.
The second abseil was brilliant, Julie scaled down and waited in the pool at what we thought was the bottom – but the canyon lived up to its name and the descents just kept on running. This was just a temporary deep pool, which required us to swim across before attempting the second half of the abseil. Immediately after this there was yet another 25 abseil to navigate, all whilst the water whirled around us and roared in our ears as it tumbled down into each successive pool.
At the bottom of this series of abseils, Ranon runs into Claustral canyon, just down from the black hole of
At this stage we went a little further before finding a small sand beach, where we stopped for lunch and ate while admiring the contrasting landscape and scenery all around us. After lunch, we again took a quick detour to see something special. Shane led us into some small darkened caves, which required us to slither through some narrow gaps, before looking up in the darkness to see a mass of beautiful blue glow worms all around us!
We headed towards the exit after this, navigating and scrambling over and around rocks for another hour or so. There were a few swims, as well as some challenging hand-over-hand descents and jumps, which kept the adrenalin pumping until the very end.
The hike out took us approximately and hour and a half. We discovered that leeches are attracted to Shane like bees to honey, as several of them decided to hitch a ride up the mountain on his legs.
We returned to our cars at approximately
By Trevor and John