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TR: Colo Gorge

12:59:34 PM
The weekend's planned climbing activities weren't looking so good:

So En and I decided it was a good opportunity to go check out the gorge on the Colo River. Access isn't easy and involves a 4WD bash along a muddy track from the Putty Rd (in some holes water was up to Subie's bonnet!?) followed by a solid bushwalk down into the Wollemi Creek.

Rafts all packed and ready to go...

To our delight Wollemi Creek had some decent water, enabling some cruisy paddling.
There were quite a few boulder chokes that needed portaging though, hard work.

yootoob video if the embedded link isn't working..

Note: All images in this trip report have been blurred to protect the identities of those involved.

After an hour or so, Wollemi Creek joins the Colo River, and we had hoped for some good paddling. Unfortunately the river is quite sandy here and so is very shallow. We were mostly walking, with our packs in the boats being pushed along (I guess that's still better than walking with them...?)

It was approaching dark so we found a nice sandbank to set up camp for the night.

It rained on and off during the night and everything stayed stupidly damp. But in the morning we were in for a delight; the river had risen a foot or two thanks to the last day of rain.

No more portages, it would be paddling all day today!

You've probably figured out from the video that En actually knows how to paddle, where-as I just imitate a human pinball machine and boof my way down. Normally I don't actually like whitewater, and a near-drowning experience on a post-mountaineering-relaxo-kayak expedition in Nepal convinced me mountains are where I belong. But packrafts seem to tame rivers a bit and are very forgiving (unlike river boats that seem intent on having me drink river water at the slightest indiscretion)

There was only one really big boulder choke in the middle of the gorge that was too tight for the rafts. In higher water I would guess it would be a really technical paddle, 4+.

For climbers the Colo is an enigma, so much beautiful rock, totally inaccessible, and invariably soooo chossy. Still, opportunities for riverside bouldering abound..

I explored up one side creek in search of drinking water, and managed to step into one of the Colo's notorious quicksand holes that wasn't at all easy to extricate oneself from.

The walk out involved several hours of uphill scrub bashing in the pouring rain, blech. Very pretty mountains though...

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1:29:54 PM
Yes ! This is what packrafts are made for ! great stuff, you should crosslink / repost at alpacka forums.

1:31:11 PM
Awesome! I am green with envy, I have to try one of those packrafts - looks like sooo much fun! Good on you, thanks for posting

4:05:30 PM
That looks AWESOME!!

How close did the water get to the tent over night? One rainy long weekend I recall the Wolgan River rising about 2 feet and scaring the crap out of us - didn't get close to the tent, but getting back across the river in my Corolla was pretty exciting!

4:33:18 PM
Thanks for a cool TR. It looked like a great old time and the quicksand makes for a bit of excitement...
5:32:04 PM
On 29/01/2013 Miguel75 wrote:
>Thanks for a cool TR. It looked like a great old time and the quicksand
>makes for a bit of excitement...

That quicksand hole looks a lot like the tunnel erosion holes we get in the paddocks at our place in S Gippsland - very interesting.

... and VERY nice TR.


9:02:03 PM
Good one Stu. Thanks for posting it.
9:48:53 AM
You made much better use of the time than me. I had a childbirth class and built a veranda, in the rain.

9:56:48 AM
Congrats. When are you due?

10:09:28 AM
This looks super fun! I must investigate this pack rafting thing further...
11:24:28 AM
Nice TR. Looks like great fun without being too extreme.
11:25:40 AM
Great report.

Where exactly did you walk out.

We did a return from bob turners to just before wollongambe on saturday.

Have you seen what happened to the river later? (M9 you love the link)

2:15:02 PM
On 30/01/2013 widewetandslippery wrote:
>Where exactly did you walk out.

Boorai Ridge. Apparently there is a track somewhere but we couldn't find it from the river and just did a direct up the ridge from the point. We eventually meet the track above the second or third set of cliffs. So I'm guessing it starts about 100m or so short of Dooli Creek.

How was the water levels above bob turners?

That river height chart is unbelievable!!
2:53:05 PM
Water level was really low

8:05:09 PM
On 30/01/2013 widewetandslippery wrote:
>(M9 you love the link)

On 30/01/2013 Superstu wrote:
>That river height chart is unbelievable!!

A 4 m rise in 3 hrs?
... I am sure it has had faster/bigger!

I noted the Stu/En campsite on sand in TR earlier pic, and refrained from comment at the time due not wanting to be alarmist, but the thought did occur to me that that sand got there by deposition, and it was raining at the time of their trip!!

There are 15 messages in this topic.


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