Gerkin Press > Canyoning > Claustral Canyon Easter 2003

Claustral Canyon

20th April 2003

Trip Notes

Camping at Mt Wilson the night before, we made an early start, leaving camp at about 7:00am to get a head start on any other groups and to avoid too late a finish. It was cold with misty rain, and didn't get any better as the morning progressed...

Not many photos from this trip because of the constant light rain making it too difficult to keep the camera even partially dry and also it was just too damn cold to stop and mess with photos!

The walk down into Claustral was fairly cool and wet, and as we entered the canyon we even began to wonder if we should turn back due to the cold! But we kept moving and it wasn't too bad.

Entering the Black Hole of Calcutta is so spectacular!! Three abseils in close proximity, each down waterfalls into pools, the third starting through a 'key hole' in the rock face.

At the bottom of last abseil there is a swim to exit the Black Hole of Calcutta before you come to the junction with Ranon Canyon on your right.

From here the canyon is long and deep with several tricky climb downs, some with fixed ropes. Then a couple of swim sections before the exit point is reached on the left at the end of the second swim section.

The exit is almost as much fun as the canyon I think, with a scramble up through another small canyon, Rainbow Ravine, then one last tricky climb up out of the gully to the walking track back to the cars.

We made good time and the weather improved significantly by the time we finished. My previous trip down the lower section of Claustral was from Ranon Canyon a few weeks before, and we finished that trip late in the night, so it was good to see it in daylight!

Additional Information

Detailed information on Claustral Canyon can be found in abundance in guide books and on the internet. In light of this, I won't include detailed descriptions or directions for this or any other canyon trip on this site, but I will add a note of warning about the exit from Claustral. Make sure you know exactly were it is! If you miss it there are no other exits for a long long way...


img_0001 The intrepid party. Left to right, Chris, Stuart, Keith, Pat.
img_0002 Was a bit cold...
img_0005 One of the wades, in the top section, before "The Black Hole of Calcutta".
img_0006 Making Pat wait in the cold water for a photo...
img_0007 One of the fixed rope climb downs, in the lower section, after the "Black Hole of Calcutta".
img_0010 The same fixed rope climb down.
img_0009 Some of the local wildlife.
img_0011 Everyone dry warm and happy!

Text and photos by Chris Collier.

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