Nick, Cate, Chris, Levi and I met at Richmond and shot up to the Mount Wilson turn off so we could get our weekend of canyon started with Yileen canyon. We followed the 4wd track in off Bells line of road, followed the narrow track which turned off it all the way down the ridgeline, then down into the canyon - only losing it a few times, but backtracking and finding it again. A short walk and we picked a place to get into our wetsuits, and then a little further and we started to get into the canyon sections.
Yileen Canyon was pretty short I guess, but it made up for with quality. The canyon had plenty of spectacular moments and enough interesting section to make the trip more than worth while. I really recommend it. Actually, thinking about it, to be fair, I may have enjoyed it as much as I did simply because the water level was definitely higher than usual. This was my first time in it, so I have no previous experience to compare it against, but looking at the photos on Dave Nobles site, the contrast between water levels is huge. Previous trip reports talk about avoiding pool and staying dry for the vast majority of the trip. That was certainly not an option on our trip, and I wouldn’t want it any other way.
For instance, one of the highlights of our trip was the ‘power slide’ - which can be seen in the photos and in action in the video - in normal water levels, this would be a basically dry slide and nowhere near as much fun. I would also be unsure of the water depth in lower water. So in normal water levels, Yileen might actually be a lot less interesting than it was for us.
However, for the purpose of *this* trip report - Yileen Canyon was great! The beautiful pools, the slides, the narrow water flow ways, and of course, the abseils… There are really only two main abseils and they are the very last two things you do in the canyon. The second last one, as we did it, was awesome. Coming down a narrow section down under a waterfall which trickles down from a ledge on the side of the canyon, landing down in a waist deep pool which then turns around a corner looking out into the Grose Valley…. The last abseil is what people remember this canyon for - a 50m abseil into the Grose valley. 50m is still the biggest abseil I have ever done, and it is a pretty rare event, so any 50m abseil is always a bit breathtaking. It really does add an element of excitement, danger, and fear to the whole exercise - all things that I personally enjoy
From the bottom of the last abseil it was down to the usual walking back up to the cars. The walk out was really easy because we had a second car parked closer to the exit point, and we were out of there pretty early in the afternoon so we had heaps of time to head back to Cathedral Reserve at Mount Wilson and set up camp for the night….