Stewarts Creek v4a5IV***

There is more information on this canyon available, but I’ve not had time to process it.

This page is a ‘place holder’ designed to indicate the canyon has been descended. More info will be posted once I get round to it!

Happy Canyoning!

Chucky

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  1. Max says:

    Information on Descend of Stewarts Creek on the 12.2.2016 done by Conner, Kelton and Max.

    Approach (took us around 2h45min):
    We parked shortly before the highway bridge which is situated before Davis Flat, then walked to the bridge and took the track to the end of the canyon, crossed it (water level seemed low) and moved up on the track on the TR. At around 550m altitude we left the track and followed up to 1050m trough “quite” open bush. Then we continued at 1050m for a few hundred meters before a descend into the canyon seemed possible. When we hit the canyon we still could see smaller drops above us, maybe we should have gone a little further on 1050m, but we definitely found the first good spot to enter the canyon because when we looked further down on the TR of our entry point were big walls. We reached the water in the canyon at 1010m. The reason we approached on the track from before the bridge was to avoid crossing the Makarora and needing to clean our gear of didymo before entering Stewarts. However, it appeared that there was didymo (or at least dirt and seaweed) in Stewarts already, especially in the walkout in the end (this should be confirmed by someone from NZ). If there was already didymo it would be best to approach directly from Davis Flat which is just across the river from Stewarts Creek.

    Descend (took us around 8h incl. lunch break):
    In the beginning we could not find any bolts or slings in the canyon. We did some down climbs and meat anchors plus spotting for the last person. After a while we could find a first single bolt with an quite tricky approach. Further in the canyon some bolts were found but mostly we had to use improvised natural anchors and loads of sometimes quite tricky jumps. From the vegetation on the side it was possible to see that the canyon gets a lot of water. We were lucky being in the canyon after a two week dry period, otherwise some of the down climbs, approach climbs and guessed jumps would have not been possible. The canyon itself was long but definitely entertaining, no really long walking or boldering between the rappels and loads of different jumps. We brought more ropes then the description was indication (2x40m, 1x60m) but we were really happy using these, I would definitely would recommend bringing 2x40m to deal with current anchors.

    Anchor situation:
    Except for the last section of the canyon with a few 25-30m waterfalls in a row the anchor situation was quite bad. We could find double bolt anchors only two times before the waterfalls in the end but there were around 18 rapells before. Sometimes you could see holes of old bolts but they have been placed to close to the flow and so easily got washed away. Also some bolts clearly seemed to be emergency bolts, the 8mm self-drilling expansion bolts for example. Most of the anchors we used were relying on access to the sides of the canyon or using some bolders or logs but a canyon keeps changing, who knows if the natural anchor we used last time will be there when you go so gear to make anchors is a must have. To give you an idea, if I go in the canyon again I would bring a drilling machine and at least 20 bolts and some rope slings with me.

    Personal Comments:
    The approach was easy, if you think of a combined approach of ZigZag and Wilson this is what you get (time- and bush-wise). In the canyon the major issues were down climbing, followed by finding or building anchors followed by technical jumps and fitness. The length of the canyon is huge, to give an idea think of descending 1xZigZag and 2xWilson at least. The ration between approach and descend is really good here, if the anchor situation gets better this is a really awesome day in the canyon and I would love to see it in the next edition of the book.

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