Dave's Blue Mountains Canyoning Page
Ranon Brook / Ranon


Ranon Brook is a fairly spectacular canyon that runs into Claustral canyon, just below the three Claustral abseils and the "Black hole of Calcutta". Ranon Brook is a side canyon that joins the middle of Ranon canyon. If you do Ranon brook canyon you can either exit back up the upper half of Ranon canyon back to the road (a short day), or you can continue down the bottom half of Ranon canyon and then into Claustral (a very long day out - 10hours)

With Ranon canyon there are two options at the end for dropping into Claustral.

1) Along the right hand ledge (more than a ledge actually) to a big tree further down for a dry 40m+ abseil into Claustral

2) The more excitng route following the water down three Claustral-like abseils. The biggest drop is about 20m. THis involves several abseils in a gorgeous short slot section through pools.


A short report for Ozcanyons:

Arrived at the Claustral carpark around 7am, no other cars in sight.
Perfect weather, but a bit chilly. The old logbook was gone and there was no replacement!, so added a new hardcover logbook in a large ziplock bag.

Left a car at Claustral and headed to the "888" hill around 7:30am.
There was no obvious track to be found, so bush bashed along and down the northern side ridge. There was evidence of "rabbit tracks" in many places down the ridge, but once in the creek there were many heavily bashed "tracks" to either side. It was not easy going though, either down the ridge or in or beside the creek, we followed the "path of least resistance" down the ridge and it got us there ok.
Took about an hour to actually find and make it the 500m to the creek proper, much longer than we anticipated. We suited up at the cars too thinking it would be an easy and short bash in. The suits saved us from the scratches, but we sure got warm :->
The creek got easier and more canyon like and then the fun began. A slide and a few very nice jumps plus several fun abseils followed through a great slot section. A few of the abseils can be done as jumps.
There were plenty of red and black yabbies to be found, some 20cm or more in size.
Overall we thought this was a great little canyon, as good as any of the smaller canyons around, and it more than made up for the bush bash in.

We headed down Ranon and saw even more red and black yabbies, the most I have ever seen in a canyon. We chose to do the next few abseils over the log slides, seemed a much safer option.
The exit came much quicker than anticipated, and I followed the track on the ledge to the right to look for the described 35m abseil into Claustral which I saw another group do last month. Found the tree with the slings but it seemed rather unexciting, so we elected to do the waterfall abseils. One 60m rope was more than enough. The
waterfall section was very similar to the abseils in Claustral, although much tricker and not as spectacular IMHO. The first abseil was from a sling around a chockstone down into a pool, with a short swim around the corner and down another short drop, still on the same rope. This was equivalent to combining the first two abseils in Claustral. Rope pulldown was tricky but ok, once the initial friction had been overcome. The final abseil was from a sling around a log and had a slightly tricky start because of an overhang above, again kind of similar to the final keyhole abseil in Claustral. Finished Ranon about 12:30.

Overall I was a bit dissapointed with Ranon after all the glowing reviews I had heard of it being better than Claustral. The final waterfall section was indeed very nice though and made up for the otherwise ordinary canyon section. The only reasons I can see why you'd want to bypass the waterfall section are if you want a big abseil, or are in a hurry. Will probably do the big abseil next time though to see what it's like.

The rest of Clautral was as per usual, although the water level was a fair bit higher than last month. We only saw two other groups, 9 and 3, both private, the 9 coming from Claustral and the 3 coming from Thunder (who parked at the same "888" spot as us, but with no second car).

The scramble up Raindow Ravine was "aided" by a new fixed 11mm handline with knots at the small rock climb section. I felt very vunerable using the rope as a breakage would result in a very serious fall. It was tied around a solid looking chockstone, but not visible from below, so I'd get the first person to climb up unaided first to check it.

The rest of the climb up rainbow ravine was much wetter and muddier than usual, The last little ledge rock climb at the top was completely wet and muddy which made it difficult.
Only when up at Camel's Hump did I realise I had a leech under my sock, must have picked him up in Rainbow ravine, as I changed socks for the walk out.

The trip overall took about 9 1/2 hours car to car with a party of 4, with a lot of the time being soaked up by the Claustral section and walk out. An injury slowed us a down a bit too, so it's probably an 8 hour trip for a small efficient party who can easily find the route into the Brook.

The water in all the canyons was very comfortable and "warm".

Back at the carpark there were only cars for the 2 groups we saw, plus another group of 2 from Edge Adventure who came running out of the canyon. At first we thought something was wrong, but they didn't say anything other than HI. A canyon time trial perhaps?
We were very surprised at the small number of people given the perfect weekend weather. Contrast that to the 14 odd cars we saw last month on that shocking 48deg day.
Two parties signed the book, no sign of an entry by the Edge Adventure people.

Overall it was one of the most enjoyable trips I have ever done. 3 canyons for the price of one longish day out. Highly recommended.

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