Great way to spend the day, with new friends, cruising through one of the Blue Mountains' best canyons. Empress Canyon is located in the Blue Mountains, the track head starting at the Conservation Hut in Wentworth Falls. This is a fun canyon full of jumps 2 to 5 meters, surrounded by stunning rainforest scenery. This beginner canyon is rated 6 out of 10 and finishes with a 30m abseil down a waterfall into the pool below. It was a great introduction to canyoning for some, wetting the appetite before meeting up with the second half of the weekend's adventure group to smash out a couple more canyons the following morning.
20 January 2018
On a blistering hot summers day, 7 other adventurers and I beat the crowds and cooled down in Blue Mountains' canyons. Whilst the crew were cool and moist surrounded by high mossy walls, most of their friends were toughing out 40 plus temperatures in the Hunter.
The morning started out at 5.30am with my mates, Rowen and Georgia, swinging by and picking me up for the drive down through the Central Coast and onto the Great Western Highway towards one of the globe's best adult playground, Blue Mountains National Park. The day was turning out to look perfect, not a cloud in the sky, still air, and a balmy 30 plus degrees; and the sun still had all morning to rise. A perfect day for canyoning. After 3 hours of working the car's air conditioning unit to the max, the trio arrived at the Wentworth Falls Conversation Hut. As they've beat the 'surely to be coming' tour groups, they were able to snag one of the limited parking spaces where they met 5 others. Two were old mates of Rowen's, and the other three were guys I had met on a facebook group. What a great world we live in where we can easily connect with complete strangers with a swipe of a finger. I like to think I allow technology and screens to enhance my life, and I have struck a balance between screen time and scenery time. I'm sceptical, however, as writing this on a self developed website wasn't done when I was hiking up Mt. Kilimanjaro...
So to get on with the adventure, we got our gear sorted, took our last pees before we donned our wetsuits and descended down into the depths of Empress Canyon.
The start was quite easy, although I admit, I had nerves, being only the second canyon I've ever done. I was also, however, super excited to try my new 70m Tendon Canyoning rope :D
Check out the short video below to experience Empress Canyon.
Exhilarating! On the final 30m abseil, I have two options, the easy or the hard way. I took the more difficult of the two, and dropped off an awkward lip into the waterfall. The sudden splash in the face and cold water that caused my lungs to shrink sent a wave of fear into me before the tsunami of excitement washed it all away. 30 meters above the pool below!
It didn't take long for all of us to reach the bottom of the falls, but we surely didn't rush leaving what seemed to be an oasis in the mountains. The trek back to the start did not have a shortage of conversations flickering with anticipation, but not for the upcoming canyons the following day, but for a Vietnamese feast at Pok Moi, located in the mountain city of Katoomba. Eating, arguably the Wooman's favourite past time...