A whole day
This canyon got its name from the many scrapes and scratches left on the teams legs during the approach. Somewhere close to 3 hours of steep, scrubby bush bashing and another 2 hours of scrub sidling are required to get to the top. Once in, the canyon has a low flow, vertical character with some nice waterfalls in an open section that provided some low stress abseils for the team to start. The final section almost made up for the slog to the top. All of a sudden the creek descends into a slot with around 4 abseils to 30m before finishing with a 60m open waterfall. From there it is an easy walk out to the Dart River.
Escapes are numerous on either side until you get to the slot where there are no longer any escapes.
The fun to effort ratio doesn’t quite add up, especially when the likes of the general, eagles nest and the major mayhem are just across the valley.
Ropes: X2 60m
Access: Start at the Paradise Road end and cross the Dart River (Be aware, the Dart River is subject to flooding. This crossing should not be attempted at anything above 60 cumecs on the Dart River Hillocks Gauge. https://www.orc.govt.nz/managing-our-environment/water/water-monitoring-and-alerts/kawarau/dart-river-at-the-hillocks-flow-glenorchy-area)
Once across the River, stick to the true right of the creek and about 100m away from the creek to avoid being bluffed out. There is no trail, just 800 vertical metres of bush bashing. There are many cliffs and steep features to negotiate and the gradient doesn’t let up one bit. Once at tree line (roughly 1200m), start the sidle across to the main fork of the creek. This sidle will test the will of everyone in the group. Top tip, wear pants and a long sleeve top for this approach!!