|Gerkin Press > Canyoning > Ranon Canyon March 2003|
30th March 2003
Ranon is a really beautiful canyon with several short abseils. Ranon finishes and drops into Claustral Canyon just below the Black Hole of Calcutta abseil section of Claustral. From there you continue down Claustral and exit via Rainbow Ravine.
The photos here only show the first half of this trip, and the main adventure began after the photos finished. Reason is we were benighted, and did most of the Claustral section at night.
We found the walk (scrub bash) down into the canyon pretty tuff going and slow. Not sure if a trail exist anywhere but we didn't find one.
Once your in the canyon it's really pretty. Getting through the short abseils is fairly slow if you have a few people, as we found out.
At the end of Ranon we abseiled the 35m drop into Claustral, but apparently you can also abseil down through the waterfall. The anchor tree for the 35m abseil is right on the edge so care needs to be taken there.
It was getting pretty late in the day by the time we entered Claustral, and some of our group were getting tired. Consequently we ended up in darkness before we got to the swim sections. The glow worm display at night is absolutely spectacular though!!
Once it was dark, the going slowed drastically, not helped by the fact that only two of our group of seven had torches... However, soon after darkness fell we were caught up by another group of three (I think? I should have written this earlier...) who all had torches so that made it a little easier. They had come from Thunder Canyon which also finishes in the lower section of Claustral.
Knowing the exact exit point from Claustral is critical at night!
By the time we began the climb out, some of our group were getting exhausted, and with limited torch light it took us several more hours to get back up to the road.
As a consolation though, the glow worm display continued all the way up Rainbow Ravine and the gully out. On a pitch black night, as it was, looking up through the gully, the torch lights, glow worms and stars all seem to mingle and make it difficult to distinguish one from the other!
In hindsight it was a great adventure, but it was hard work too towards the end. I've since heard of several other people who've been caught in the dark doing Ranon, it's a much longer day than you might think.
Knowing the exit from Claustral is critical! And ALWAYS carry a head torch on a canyon trip. You may never need it, but if you do and you don't have one, you're in trouble.
And also make sure all of your group can swim...
That was a great adventure!
photos 1-10 | 11-20
1-10 | 11-20
Text and photos by Chris Collier.
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