Search found 30 matches

by tom_brennan
09 May 2019, 22:27
Forum: Gear questions, suggestions and reviews
Topic: Which camera?
Replies: 4
Views: 129

Re: Which camera?

I'll add two more categories to Tim's three. I'm in the high end point and shoot category. This allows you to get much better shots in low light than the ruggedised cameras like the Olympus Tough series. However, you need to keep it dry. I use a small drybag clipped to the shoulder strap of my pack....
by tom_brennan
06 May 2019, 08:07
Forum: General discussion
Topic: Proposed changes to group sizes in Blue Mountains canyons
Replies: 13
Views: 702

Re: Proposed changes to group sizes in Blue Mountains canyons

I have made a submission on behalf of Sydney Bush Walkers (SBW) (as President). I consulted with our canyon leaders, committee and conservation secretary before putting in a submission. It largely covers the comments I have made above, plus a few other areas. I won't post it here but am happy to sha...
by tom_brennan
27 Apr 2019, 13:41
Forum: General discussion
Topic: Proposed changes to group sizes in Blue Mountains canyons
Replies: 13
Views: 702

Re: Proposed changes to group sizes in Blue Mountains canyons

The other thing that concerns me in this is that it feels like the Blue Mountains NP Plan of Management is being overridden. My understanding is that the Plan of Management is a legal document, that operations in the park must be carried out in line with it, and that the Regional Manager has discret...
by tom_brennan
25 Apr 2019, 00:54
Forum: General discussion
Topic: Proposed changes to group sizes in Blue Mountains canyons
Replies: 13
Views: 702

Re: Proposed changes to group sizes in Blue Mountains canyons

Thanks for posting this Tim. I had heard about this but not seen any details of the proposal. To me there is one main concern, and a couple of areas that make me slightly uneasy. The main concern is the increase of party sizes for commercial groups in wilderness areas. I was unaware that commercial ...
by tom_brennan
24 Apr 2019, 23:34
Forum: General discussion
Topic: Proposed changes to group sizes in Blue Mountains canyons
Replies: 13
Views: 702

Re: Proposed changes to group sizes in Blue Mountains canyons

Should this be handled by this forum or should the NSW Canyoning Association take it on board and get back to its members and this forum with updates and more information. John - while the NSW Canyoning Association (I understand) will make a submission, I don't seen any harm in a discussion going o...
by tom_brennan
05 Apr 2019, 08:48
Forum: Gear questions, suggestions and reviews
Topic: Old slings / tape in canyons
Replies: 3
Views: 456

Re: Old slings / tape in canyons

Why the hell would anyone want to leave something questionable in situ for anyone else to deal with? Pretty common in the less visited US canyons. Because of the lack of anchoring options, there are a lot of deadman and cairn anchors that are all effectively questionable. You pull them apart, inspe...
by tom_brennan
27 Mar 2019, 07:57
Forum: General discussion
Topic: Rock climbing ban in the Grampians / lessons for canyoners
Replies: 12
Views: 512

Re: Rock climbing ban in the Grampians / lessons for canyoners

Tim - not sure if it was intended, but that paragraph seems to come across as an attack on the NSWCA, rather than a criticism of the individual and their actions. Using the word "bragging" is very emotive, especially without the original text for readers to make up their own minds. And obviously the...
by tom_brennan
20 Mar 2019, 21:57
Forum: General discussion
Topic: A little bit of knowledge can be a dangerous thing...
Replies: 4
Views: 380

Re: A little bit of knowledge can be a dangerous thing...

That Canyon Collective thread was either utterly hilarious or completely terrifying. It's yet to be clear which!
by tom_brennan
20 Mar 2019, 08:24
Forum: Accidents, injuries, rescues and near misses
Topic: Failure of a maillon (quick link) in Blue Mountains canyon
Replies: 14
Views: 1982

Re: Failure of a maillon (quick link) in Blue Mountains canyon

Prior to 2005, in canyons around Sydney we almost exclusively abseiled directly off the tape or rope anchor. This had been the case for some 40-50 years. It was only around 2005 that maillons ("quick links") started appearing in the Blue Mountains. There may have been a few odd ones here and there p...
by tom_brennan
29 Dec 2018, 10:42
Forum: General discussion
Topic: Claustral/Ranon - Preferred exit?
Replies: 4
Views: 577

Re: Claustral/Ranon - Preferred exit?

NPWS was trying to discourage the formation of a new track in the Grose Wilderness area. Arguably that hasn't worked, and the alternate track sounds like it is now more worn in than the original in places. That said, thus far I've continued to use the old track. As Tim says, it follows a section of ...
by tom_brennan
23 Nov 2018, 09:04
Forum: Gear questions, suggestions and reviews
Topic: What to look at when buying a canyoning rope
Replies: 10
Views: 1500

Re: What to look at when buying a canyoning rope

Good summary Tim. I agree with your comments about polypropylene core ropes. They might be good in some parts of the world where the canyons are all wet, and the flotation is an advantage, but they don't really make much sense for most Australian canyons If you're not canyoning that often, polyester...
by tom_brennan
23 Nov 2018, 08:46
Forum: Technique, ropework and skill development
Topic: Figure 8 descenders and larks foots
Replies: 4
Views: 754

Re: Figure 8 descenders and larks foots

Flipping the 8 on the carabiner is a handy trick, though I don't always show it to beginners. Depends a bit on how much info I think they can absorb.

I do use the "Into the frying pan, over the handle" mnemonic to make sure they rig the 8 with the rope running on top, in order to avoid girth hitches.
by tom_brennan
21 Sep 2018, 09:00
Forum: Technique, ropework and skill development
Topic: Rescue knife: yes or no?
Replies: 17
Views: 1401

Re: Rescue knife: yes or no?

Good to see some live testing. I'm happy that no-one ended up impaled by a knife!

Having sliced a lot of cord under moderate tension, I was more surprised at the resistance of the rope in the video. Though once it started to go, it went explosively!
by tom_brennan
12 Sep 2018, 18:33
Forum: Closures, access changes and condition reports
Topic: Campfires banned in Blue Mountains until April 2019
Replies: 3
Views: 10629

Re: Campfires banned in Blue Mountains until April 2019

I'm not sure what to think about this. Certainly, all reports suggest it has the potential to be a bad fire season. But to make the call now that it's going to be until March 2019 is a big one. It would be easy enough to impose a park fire ban for say a month, and extend it by a month at a time if c...
by tom_brennan
07 Sep 2018, 14:51
Forum: General discussion
Topic: Movie featuring Blue Mountains canyons
Replies: 4
Views: 687

Re: Movie featuring Blue Mountains canyons

I did watch it all the way through, but only for the fun of spotting scenery! It was hard to maintain the fiction of remoteness when all of the sweeping cliff shots were of the Grose Valley! I assume most of the canyon shots are of Dargans Creek. This one towards the end is definitely The Grotto (th...
by tom_brennan
06 Sep 2018, 13:10
Forum: Technique, ropework and skill development
Topic: Rescue knife: yes or no?
Replies: 17
Views: 1401

Re: Rescue knife: yes or no?

I've never carried one. I can see Richard's points. However, I can also still see value in carrying one.

It's just that reaching for the knife when you're around a loaded rope should be the last resort, not the first.
by tom_brennan
18 Aug 2018, 17:22
Forum: General discussion
Topic: Publishing details of wilderness / remote canyons
Replies: 9
Views: 994

Re: Publishing details of wilderness / remote canyons

Warning: long and rambly comment, cobbled together from various posts I've made over the years and other bits of text ... ---- Publishing track notes and making route information public has long been a fairly divisive topic in the local canyoning community. There is a range of views from the publish...
by tom_brennan
13 Aug 2018, 21:57
Forum: Gear questions, suggestions and reviews
Topic: Wetsuits Advice...
Replies: 5
Views: 856

Re: Wetsuits Advice...

Everyone is different. A 3mm steamer will get you through pretty much all the canyons around Sydney in the summer months, and they are usually quite flexible. Some people will get away with a 2/3mm spring suit, but for some of the longer swimming canyons (eg Bell Creek), it can be rather chilly. I'v...
by tom_brennan
22 Jul 2018, 22:05
Forum: General discussion
Topic: Publishing details of wilderness / remote canyons
Replies: 9
Views: 994

Re: Publishing details of wilderness / remote canyons

When you look at the 9 Gardens of Stone and beyond books now published there's not too much Keats and co find that they don't publish (And/or rename). Why is it ok for them to publish "bushwalks" but as soon as we deem it "canyoning" it's all secret squirrel? I enjoy their books immensely and have ...
by tom_brennan
25 Jun 2018, 16:46
Forum: General discussion
Topic: How to get into canyoning?
Replies: 5
Views: 707

Re: How to get into canyoning?

If you live in the Blue Mountains, then joining UBMBC would certainly be worthwhile.
by tom_brennan
08 Jun 2018, 16:15
Forum: Technique, ropework and skill development
Topic: Thoughts on single rope techniques and releasable anchors
Replies: 25
Views: 2711

Re: Thoughts on single rope techniques and releasable anchors

[This is almost a separate thread, since it's only loosely related to DRT vs SRT] As I see it there are two main methods of failure of an abseiling rope over an edge. Catastrophic - the rope is cut or badly damaged immediately. I would say this is only likely to occur where a loaded rope is pulled r...
by tom_brennan
05 Jun 2018, 07:46
Forum: Gear questions, suggestions and reviews
Topic: What belay/rappel device do you use?
Replies: 28
Views: 2912

Re: What belay/rappel device do you use?

I'm not at all familiar with the Stop, but like Tim, I'd question whether it would be much good for general purpose canyoning. It seems to require 2 hands to operate, and this would make the awkward starts that you regularly get in Aussie canyons difficult. Maybe there are some cavers lurking on the...
by tom_brennan
04 Jun 2018, 22:08
Forum: Technique, ropework and skill development
Topic: Thoughts on single rope techniques and releasable anchors
Replies: 25
Views: 2711

Re: Thoughts on single rope techniques and releasable anchors

Good summary Kosta. The previous posts make it sound like there is toss-and-go (the classic double rope technique) and one version of SRT. However, there are many different versions of SRT and they all have different purposes and use cases. Thus, when we talk about using SRT, we should also specify ...
by tom_brennan
04 Jun 2018, 18:03
Forum: Technique, ropework and skill development
Topic: Thoughts on single rope techniques and releasable anchors
Replies: 25
Views: 2711

Re: Thoughts on single rope techniques and releasable anchors

Rope wear is an issue no matter what technique you use. I would point out that the kind of actions that slice ropes -- such as someone abseiling off to the side then being swung back across a sharp ironstone edge -- can cut on double ropes too. That's one of the reasons that, when using double rope...
by tom_brennan
04 Jun 2018, 17:52
Forum: Technique, ropework and skill development
Topic: Thoughts on single rope techniques and releasable anchors
Replies: 25
Views: 2711

Re: Thoughts on single rope techniques and releasable anchors

There are a range of benefits that come with abseiling on single ropes. In particular, drops can be set to the precise length, saving time getting off rope and avoiding having a coil of rope at the bottom that gets trodden on and tangled in branches etc. <snip> Another point is that the main wear p...