Dave's Blue Mountains Canyoning Page
Yileen Canyon


Yileen canyon is a fairly short but very nice canyon with a fantastic easy 50m final abseil overlooking the Grosse valley.

It's a fairly short trip, and could be done in around 4 hours by a small efficient party.

A fire trail leads from the Bells Rd at the Mt Wilson turn off across the cliff line. This becomes a track which branches off left down into a scrubby creek and then into the canyon. Don't continue down the main track over the cliff and down into the valley, make sure you take the left fork which is fairly obvious.

The first abseil (or hand over hand) is about 7m into a pool, jumping may be possible in high water. The anchor is a sling around a tree high up on the left hand side. There is a little cave underneath the drop to the left that allows you to unclip and then swim the pool. Another short tricky drop into another pool follows, may be best to use the same rope if it's long enough.

The next drop is a lovely overhang with an easy start into a narrow slot. The anchor is a sling around a small tree up on a rock to the left side. At first glance it looks possible to scramble down through the rocks, but don't bother, it becomes a long drop.

Just around the corner from here is the final spectacular 50m abseil. There is plenty of room to stop and have lunch before dropping off. The views are awesome. The abseil is done from an obvious tree down on the right side, two 60m ropes just reach all the way too the bottom for belaying. The start is fairly easy and you continue down a sloping slot until a 30m overhang is reached. You land on a large rock platform 10m above the actual bottom. If you have shorter ropes it's possible to get off here and walk to the right side (facing out) where there is another sling around a tree for the final 10m. Otherwise just continue the abseil on the right hand side doan a slippery slope into a pool which may anywhere from knee deep to over your head.

The obvious track continues to follow the cliff line around to the left first up and then down again until you hit another main creek. The trail almost disappears here, but just cross the creek and head 20-30m straight up the slope until you hit the main Pierces Pass track which is a wide a highway. Follow this going left back up the hill to the Pierces Pass picnic ground where hopefully you left a car.


TRIP REPORT - Yileen Canyon - 19th Feb 05
(Dave, Nicole, Ian, Joy, Jim, Lyn, Dave.H, Anna) - CBC Club Trip

This was originally supposed to be a trip to SureFire, and we all assembled at the ZigZag at 8:30am. A big discussion started about not IF, but WHEN the forecast storm was going to hit. SureFire was a long trip so we erred on the side of caution (and lazyness?) and opted for Yileen instead. Last time we did Yileen we got HAILED on on the walk out and had to put out helmets on to protect ourselves, and Nicoles RAV got hail damaged. No way that could happen again we thought...

A quick drive back down the Bells to the side of the road just past the Mt Wilson turn off we found another party of 6 already getting ready for Yileen. They mentioned that they wanted to go first which we had no problems with.
After leaving some cars at Peirces Pass we met another group of 5 who were also about to embark on Yileen. It looked like we'd be in for a bottleneck at the final abseil.
Back at the entry it turned out the other group weren't ready yet so we headed off thinking that's we'd sort out who went first when we got into the canyon. As it turned it, we never saw or heard either group again, even after a good half hour lunch at the bottom of the final abseil.
After a quick 30 min walk we were descending into the canyon. I didn't remember all the creek bashing to get into the canyon, it was actually fairly long and not that pleasant. But I soon realised why I liked Yileen last time when we got to the first slot.

There was a lot more water than I remember last time, with many pools to wade or swim through. The other thing was that the water was crystal clear, even at the back of the group. Some of the cleanest canyon water I have seen.

The canyon inmediately start to impress with some tricky climb down and nice green slots with chockstones having over your head.

The first abseil was from a long sling around a tree high up on the left. This is about 4-5 meters and can be jumped, hand-over-handed, or abseiled. I added a quicklink to the sling to prevent further sling burn through. The is a nice pool at the bottom of the drop which must be swum, although it lookes like several people have tried to avoid the pool via very trickly and almost non-exsistent ledges on the left rim.

The canyon soon open out against into some lovely coachwood forest until the second section is reached. There are some nice slot section here as well.

The 2nd abseil is from a tree high up on the left hand bank. You have to be very careful getting up to the tree, as a slip would mean a 20m slide down into the canyon. This sling could have done with a Quicklink as well, but I only had one left and decided to save it for the last drop. This 2nd asbeil is 20m into a really nice slot.

Standing the top of the second drop waiting out turn a shout came back from the bottom - something no canyoner wants to hear - "I think this is the 40m rope, not the 60m!". Everyone looked at Jim (the master rope packer) with evil eyes.
Would our 40m and 60m rope be enough we all thought? Would anyone miss Jim if we killed him now? Would we have to abseil a knot?
After a quick thought we knew we wouldn't be stranded, as we had a handline backup and the 40m would at least reach the ledge at the bottom where we could rebelay. As it turned out, the 2nd rope was at least 50m and just reached the very bottom pool. Two of the slings where almost worn though due to rope burn, so these were tied off and a Quicklink added to prevent this in the future (and make the rope retrieval easier).

The final abseil is a fantastic 50m drop that can be done in either one of two stages. The first stage is 40m (at most) drop to a large platform were you can rebelay off a second tree on the right for the final 10m. Otherwise you can continue down on the same rope into a pool at the bottom on the left. The tiny bottom pool had over a dozen yabbies off all shapes and sizes.

After a nice 30min lunch we follwed the cliff line left around onto the Pierces Pass track and back to the waiting cars. just over 4 1/2 hours all up. A great trip.

It didn't rain or hail on the walk out this trip, but 30min after we got home the storm hit with a vengence at Baulkham Hills and both of our cars were slightly damaged by the massive large marble sized hail coming in almost horizontal. The neighours watched to great amusement as I attempted to cover Nicoles car with blankets while being bashed on the head with hail. It was getting bad so I ran back inside and emerged with my canyoning helmet and sucessfully got the blankets on in time. A quick cleanup of the renovation rubbish in the garage meant I was wable to get my car in under safety as well.

Two trips to Yileen, both times the car has been damaged by hail and I had to wear my canyoning helmet to protect myself.
Yileen is JINXED!

Dave :)


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