On a sunny Saturday morning in March, 4 intrepid canyoners set off towards the Blue Mountains in search of adventure. Today’s trip will take us down Yileen Canyon in the Mount Wilson area of the Blue Mountains west of Sydney. After car shuffling to leave us a getaway vehicle, we start the short walk in with some beautiful views across the valley.
It’s not long until we are entering the water, and donning our wetsuits. The water is cool, but the weather is warm, unseasonably so for mid-March. Perfect conditions for canyoning!
The first section of rock scrambling takes us through some beautiful calm areas with interesting rock formations, ending in a short rock slide.
The second section is remarkably “canyon-y”, by which I mean it has been dense with rock scrambles, slides, climb downs, overhangs and other features. In my experience many canyons are more like a section of canyon, then a walk, then more canyon, but not Yileen. Section 2 ends with a short swim in between your typical instrgram-worthy rock faces.
The third section takes us out of the water for a few minutes, a welcome chance to dry off as we walk through a cave-like section, then scramble high up the rock wall to the start of our first abseil.
The first abseil is only short, approximately 10m, with easy rigging to an existing anchor on a tree approximately another 15m back from the edge. This abseil is down a gap between rock walls, not at all tight, but a likely helmet bumper for someone of my height. A great piece of 360 GoPro footage shot by Nick while abseiling here, accompanied by the photo of the day.
Finally we come to the last abseil, approximately 40m down a waterfall. We had read that the main centre anchor here can risk your rope getting caught and having to prusik back up to retrieve it, so after a closer inspection we opt for the side tree anchor instead.
The view out over this waterfall and down the valley is incredible, as is the GoPro footage from Naomi’s backpack as she descends.
Sitting on a rock looking out over the valley, eating a late lunch to re-fuel before the walk out, and looking back up at the waterfall we just abseiled through- it doesn’t get much better than that!