Bell Creek Lower

The plan was to do a nice, easish, good quality and fun canyon. Tom Brennan had given it a 10/10 and Rick Jamieson’s guide suggested that with a grade 2 that it should be easy. Well, maybe I should’ve read Tom’s guide beforehand, especially the part that states “… not a good canyon for beginners”. Of course it didn’t help that the 2013 October fires had turned the walk in to a rather scrappy affair - especially Little Bell Creek. Also, Bell Creek itself had a number of log jams which made blowing up lilos seem to be a pain so we didn’t bother but the longish swims did get a bit tiring. The dark constricted canyon sections are superb, so whilst Bell Creek didn’t float my boat, I think a return trip in couple of years when the vegetation is back and hopefully the log jams cleared a bit will be worthwhile. However, we did get 4 canyons for the price of one - Little Bell, Belfry, Bell Creek and Joe’s Canyons.

[Bell Creek Lower]

Anton and Amelia attempt some navigation at the slab into Du Faurs Creek. The walking up to this point was rather pleasant with a reasonably well defined track.

[Bell Creek Lower]

Amelia on the hand-over-hand on the slab into Du Faurs Creek.

[Bell Creek Lower]

Near the junction of Du Faurs Creek.

[Bell Creek Lower]

Jane walking along the exposed ledges above Du Faurs Creek. After this the walking became more difficult as the track then petered out and became rather scrappy due to last year’s fires. We then decided to drop into Little Bell Creek rather than heading directly West. The entry into Little Bell Creek was again pretty scrappy and getting into the canyon section was not nice. The hand-over-hand at this point was not easy so I was glad I brought a harness along for Jane. Lower down Jane and I did a second 4-5m abseil into another short canyon section but Anton and Amelia found a way to walk around. We stopped at the junction of Belfry Canyon for Lunch. Little Bell Canyon is not worthwhile IMHO but I have no idea what the alternate West entry into Belfry Canyon is like so maybe it is OK.

[Bell Creek Lower]

The lovely little pool in Belfry Canyon just after the log slide.

[Bell Creek Lower]

A beautiful section of Belfry Canyon.

[Bell Creek Lower]

Anton and Amelia posing in Belfry Canyon.

[Bell Creek Lower]

A nice open section of Bell Creek Canyon.

[Bell Creek Lower]

Anton and Amelia help Jane across a tricky section of Bell Creek Canyon.

[Bell Creek Lower]

What’s that saying about being able to choose friends but not family?

[Bell Creek Lower]

Little side creek entering Bell Creek.

[Bell Creek Lower]

One of the lovely dark and constricted swims through Bell Creek.

[Bell Creek Lower]

More canyon feature near the junction of Bell and Du Faur Creeks. At this point we decided to take the short exit route out via Joe’s canyon as we’d taken a fair bit longer than expected.

[Bell Creek Lower]

Jane squeezes through the log jam at the start of Joe’s Canyon. When I did Joe’s Canyon in Jan 2013, this was an open section of canyon but was now piled 3m high with debris so it gives you an idea of the impact of October’s fires.

Of course, I managed to lose the exit track about 50m from the main track so rather than backtrack and hunt around, we did the bushbash to the main track.

We got back to the cars at around 7:15pm making for just over a 9 hour day which was way longer than I had expected.