Calgardup Cave is a part of the massive network of limestone caves occurring naturally in the Margaret River region. This is an easily accessible cave with several adventure opportunities. These include publicly accessible walkways, abseiling in through a solution pipe or scrambling through the deeper recesses if accompanied by a registered cave guide. Following a […]
A record attendance and great bunch of people made this camp the best adventure yet. Of course the warm temperatures and sunny weather every day helped too. Starting with the Island Game on arrival people got cosy very quickly. Then straight on to WI-16 for Abseil training and Golgotha Cave. With so many keen adventurers the group had to be split in two and swapped between the two activities. This meant the last abseiling group finished as the sun went down and Louisa descended in almost total blackness.
The next day witnessed a huge tutti-fruity flotilla of kayaks attacking the Blackwood River. The 14 km stretch from Great North Rd to Chapman Pool took nearly 5 hours but seemed to disappear much faster. Paddlers emerged a little weary but everyone completed the journey in good spirits. And why not? With cute little rapids to descend and pristine scenery along the way it was a day to remember.
A few even had energy left for some extra curricular night-caving in the evening. This took us deep into the bowels of Calgardup Cave. The twists and turns made human pretzels of us all. Nik even managed to film a short doco about the Poo Shoot and FOA-TV was born (stay tuned).
The last day’s abseiling at Willyabrup capped it all. Moderate conditions combined with a spectacular coastal landscape provided the perfect setting. Chloe almost psyched herself out but discovered inner strength after a tandem descent with Markus. Likewise with 10 year old Casey who was talked through his first time by Naomi. After that there was no stopping either of them. The long walk back to the top was hardly noticed and the only reason we packed up when we did was to be in time for our dinner booking at the pub.
Sadly all things must come to an end. Even adventuring in the best place on Earth. Until next time.
Day 1 at WI-16. Emerging bleary eyed from last night’s dancing, 13 eager adventurers attacked the first day of activities with aplomb. Doug was abseiling for the first time and discovered his heart rate monitor soared to 130 after each descent. Marcus found deep gouges in his boot soles after dropping in Crucifix position. They don’t make ’em like they used to! Despite some tentative steps amongst the first timers, enthusiasm never waned and everyone came back up for more.
Day 2. Canoe Trip. The river gods smiled on us today with beautiful sunny weather, a gentle breeze and plenty of wildlife along the way. This included a cow and bull grazing along the banks and a 6 foot swimming male kangaroo heading for the opposite bank with dogs in pursuit. We meanered around leafy bends, sandy beaches and traversed some gentle rapids. The end reward was a vigorous game of Canoe Volleyball with most of the points scored by Sarah. At one point nearly everyone’s kayak had been tipped.
Day 3. Wilyabrup Abseil. The morning was rainy and almost cancelled the event. But persistance paid and by the time we got to the cliffs and set up the spitting weather had stopped. Steve arrived late for the camp and had missed the training from day one but didn’t seem phased by the sheer drops. Tomoe had a ‘moment’ at the edge and pushed through it with stoic Japanese determination. The sky remained overcast making the return walk from Stainless Steel not nearly as grueling as it usually is. After all we experienced it was hard to say goodbye to new found friends.
The gods smiled on us this calm and sunny Autumn day. Abseiling amongst the towering Karri’s we were lucky to avoid the Easter crowds packed into Margaret River. The nursuery slope didn’t get many attempts. Everyone was keen to move on to the bigger face further on. Maybe the chance to try the Crucifix had something to do with it. And did it deliver on the promise of added excitement? Check out the photos. What do you think?
Practice makes perfect and Markus drilled us relentlessly long before we got anywhere near a cliff. Confident in our newly gained safety skills we none the less approached the drop off at Wi16 with adrenaline pumping. Little did we know that Wilyabrup was twice as high and over crashing surf. But that was yet to come. A few jumps later and most people’s fears were conquered. And by day’s end a thrilling time had been had by all. It’s really not that hard …
An “easy” 2 hour canoe paddle on the lower reaches of the Blackwood River. The current and breeze was with us at the start so we had little to do but enjoy the scenery as we floated on by. Later on the wind changed direction and a light shower made the trip a little more adventuresome. At least for some of us … Jacek somehow managed to snag a tow from a passing motorboat. And when it was over, the rest us city slickers still discovered muscles we never knew we had.
Night caving at it’s best. Nannup Cave proved nothing short of spectacular once we finally found it. Looking for a hole in the ground buried in a forest at night is not easy. But so worth it! Night time added to the atmosphere making the limestone formations seem twice as spooky. There was plenty of climbing and crawling to challenge the fitter ones. And two hours later we emerged exhausted but with grins all round. Night caving anyone? Bring it on!