A good canyon for a cold and drizzly day. We’d originally intended to do Butterbox Canyon but when we arrived there were two commercial groups and a private party ahead of us and we really didn’t feel like waiting at the small abseils, so we decided to bail and head off for Juggler.
I remember doing this canyon a couple of years ago (again in drizzly rain) and had vague recollections of finding a faint trail somewhere off to the right of the power lines. Anyway, this time, to make sure we were on the right track, we decided to follow the directions in Rick’s guide to the letter and headed 200m underneath the power lines and then well, the trail sort of, like well …..
So, 5 mins later and we’re back to to our starting point and directly East of the power lines is a not so faint track that joins onto the Pilcher track (more like a highway). So the moral is, don’t take the directions literally - they’re wrong. After that, navigation went a bit more smoothly.
Luckily for us, other canyoners had also faced navigational dilemmas similar to ours and had decided to erect navigational markers along the next few hundred metres to make sure you don’t get lost. This marker for example points the way down the track to make sure that you don’t accidentally start heading upstream or even head further east into the scrub. We would have been seriously lost without the aid of the markers and most likely would have needed to light a flare or set off our EPIRB to get rescued.
Bec on the first abseil.
The fourth abseil…
ends at this lovely little pool. The second abseil is just awkward and the third dirty optional abseil is straight after the second on the right side of the canyon.
Bec on the handline at just after the fourth abseil which can be done either straight down the canyon or from the left hand side of the canyon.
The final 20m abseil is rather gripping. At least there are now some decent rings rings as the tree is looking a bit shabby. There’s also an alternate abseil from the right side of the canyon but the stance looks a bit dodgy.
We had lunch in a nice little cave at the end Just before Grand Canyon and then headed back up the Pilcher Track. The track was in extremely good condition and had only recently been cleared. Last time I did it, the track it was so overgrownI had difficulty in following it.
To make a full day of it, you could easily do Grand Canyon as a follow up - but you’d have to wait a while as the Grand Canyon walking track is closed as of Tuesday the 28th for maintenance works!