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198609 [2016/03/14 05:06]
kennettj [Central Australia]
198609 [2016/03/14 20:12] (current)
kennettj [Central Australia]
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 First we all walked up to see the actual Gorge, a kilometre or two upstream. There was some hope of having a swim and a wash, but in the event the water was so cold that few of us availed ourselves of the opportunity - it was more comfortable to be dirty! The Gorge, one of the largest in the Macdonnells,​ was impressive. The large pools, only passable by a long swim, were contained by mighty rock walls, not very colourful in the shade, but so big, and with such a profusion of plants, macrazamia palms, river and ghost gums, a veritable garden in the wilderness. We retreated to camp, the washers to the sunshine to warm up, and we made preparations for an afternoon walk. First we all walked up to see the actual Gorge, a kilometre or two upstream. There was some hope of having a swim and a wash, but in the event the water was so cold that few of us availed ourselves of the opportunity - it was more comfortable to be dirty! The Gorge, one of the largest in the Macdonnells,​ was impressive. The large pools, only passable by a long swim, were contained by mighty rock walls, not very colourful in the shade, but so big, and with such a profusion of plants, macrazamia palms, river and ghost gums, a veritable garden in the wilderness. We retreated to camp, the washers to the sunshine to warm up, and we made preparations for an afternoon walk.
  
-The party divided. A few remained in camp while some went downstream and up a side canyon to the west. With the leader'​s permission I went up the ridge next to their side canyon, with the thought of climbing to the head of the amphitheatre. The foot of the ridge was not far from camp,.a hundred metres at the most, and soon I was on my own, ascending over delightful rock toward the distant skyline. The rock is incredible; everywhere it looks fractured and shattered, yet when you take hand and footholds nothing, absolutely nothing, was loose! It must be the age.+The party divided. A few remained in camp while some went downstream and up a side canyon to the west. With the leader'​s permission I went up the ridge next to their side canyon, with the thought of climbing to the head of the amphitheatre. The foot of the ridge was not far from camp,a hundred metres at the most, and soon I was on my own, ascending over delightful rock toward the distant skyline. The rock is incredible; everywhere it looks fractured and shattered, yet when you take hand and footholds nothing, absolutely nothing, was loose! It must be the age.
  
 The rock is so old that it has jiggled, settled, vibrated and shaken into stable positions. Cracks, splits and gaps everywhere but at the same time firm footing. It never ceased to amaze me. My rock ran out into spinifex, and I cursed as I crossed this patch to yet another rock ridge. At this point, in plain view of camp, I could just make out people at this distance. I realized that just to the south was a hanging valley. It was in fact the upper end of the canyon that the rest of the party had decided to explore. They would be stopped by a fifty metre cliff, which was now above, and would head back to camp, but I descended from my ridge into this beautiful little level watercourse. I decided to follow it to its head. Beautiful little cypress pines, up this tiny sky high valley I proceeded. Soon it became a canyon, narrowed, solid sculpted red rock, and sure enough water! Moss, wetness, only enough for a cupful, but how good it tasted. This was probably the highest water found on the entire trip. The rock is so old that it has jiggled, settled, vibrated and shaken into stable positions. Cracks, splits and gaps everywhere but at the same time firm footing. It never ceased to amaze me. My rock ran out into spinifex, and I cursed as I crossed this patch to yet another rock ridge. At this point, in plain view of camp, I could just make out people at this distance. I realized that just to the south was a hanging valley. It was in fact the upper end of the canyon that the rest of the party had decided to explore. They would be stopped by a fifty metre cliff, which was now above, and would head back to camp, but I descended from my ridge into this beautiful little level watercourse. I decided to follow it to its head. Beautiful little cypress pines, up this tiny sky high valley I proceeded. Soon it became a canyon, narrowed, solid sculpted red rock, and sure enough water! Moss, wetness, only enough for a cupful, but how good it tasted. This was probably the highest water found on the entire trip.
198609.txt ยท Last modified: 2016/03/14 20:12 by kennettj