Fergusson Canyon v5a4VI**


Heli access

The canyon is on public land, land access up the Hunter Valley requires permission though.

This canyon is the unnamed creek comign off the east flank of Mt Fergusson. Not to be confused with the nearby ‘Fergusson Creek’ which is a major tributary and definitely not a canyon…

The canyon can be split up into 2 sections; upper and lower.

The upper section can be climbed around on either side. If you decide to enter the creek, though, it is fairly committing. And why wouldn’t you. There are a number of fun easy rappels, some into deep, cold, blue pools with a couple of nice small jumps to enjoy as well.

It is about 200m walk through an open stream until you get to the start of the lower section. From here, escapes are limited and would require some sketchy and exposed climbing to get out. The top of the lower section is broken up into 4 main abseils, the largest of which being about 30m. The rock type is greywhacke and seems to be exposed to a continual freeze/thawing each year as it holds an alpine quality.

There is a small break in the canyon before it plunges into a deep and dark crack, the bottom of the lower section. There is an escape true right up into the bush, where you may find a route to the valley floor 200m below. The bottom of the lower section has 3 waterfalls to about 25m in a very nice high walled slot. Spewing out of this slot is a fanned out 75m waterfall with a hanging re-belay true right about 50m down. This re-belay should not be used as the rock quality is not very good. Instead, a new one should be put in on true left where the quality of rock looks much nicer.

It is about 300m scramble out to reach the Hunter river. It is a looong walk out from there to the road end, or an easy wait in a pleasant flat for your helicopter to arrive.

Ropes: 60m x2

Access: Helicopter access from Makarora with Back Country Helictopters. Otherwise it is a 3.5 hour drive up the Hunter Valley 4X4 farm track and a 15km walk in to the bottom and maybe an access on true left, although it didn’t look like it from the chopper.

Catchment size: 2.5km some year round snow

FD team: Peter Choate, Kaden Anderson, Luis Gonclaves, Taylor Redd, Koro Toro

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