FreezeFest 2018 (Mt Wilson)

Find like-minded people to share your adventures.
Post Reply
User avatar
T2
Site Admin
Posts: 245
Joined: 15 May 2018, 10:33
Full name: Tim Vollmer
City: Blaxland
State: New South Wales
Contact:

FreezeFest 2018 (Mt Wilson)

Post by T2 » 29 May 2018, 16:47

Do you like pushing the boundaries of human endurance? Or putting into practice the old adage that what doesn't kill you makes you stronger? How about sticking it to the man by refusing to accept that canyoning is a summer sport? If so, FreezeFest may be the trip for you.

FreezeFest 2018
When:
Friday night, 6 July, through to Sunday 8 July
Where: Mt Wilson (Cathedral Reserve)

What is FreezeFest?

FreezeFest is an informal gathering of canyoners in the depths of winter, inspired by a concept from the United States. Over there, "Freeze Fest" has been going for 16 straight years and now often has up to 100 people take part. They call it the “bad idea that caught on” and it features some iconic madness (think swimming through snow and ice in a wet canyon). You can check out some of the discussions and photos from their latest one here: http://canyoncollective.com/threads/fre ... own.25043/

Back in Australia, FreezeFest ran between 2012 and 2014, but I dropped the ball for a few years and it went into hiatus. In 2012 we were at Mt Wilson, where with wind chill it stayed below zero all day. In 2013 we headed to the Newnes Plateau, where a total of 23 people took part. Then in 2014 we really upped the ante, heading to Kanangra. There really is nothing like getting ready to descend Kanangra Main while there's snow on the ground!

Importantly, despite warnings that we'd freeze to death and claims we were idiots (which in my case was probably valid), everyone had a really great time.

How do I get involved?

FreezeFest is completely informal, disorganised, and open to all canyoners. It doesn't matter who you are, or where you are from, you are welcome to join (as long as you're suitably mad!). That said, you will need to be reasonably fit and experienced, given the usual challenges of canyoning are amplified by the cold.

In the past we found the best approach is for people to lock in a few friends, or organise it as a trip through a club, so you can bed down the logistics of gear and canyon choice in advance.

I'm hoping that the existence of this forum will allow more people to join in this time, as you can simply post here to connect with other people in advance (find canyon buddies / arrange transport / etc).

*** Note, send any personal contact details such as phone numbers and email addresses in private messages ***

You're also welcome to spend the night at camp, hanging out with fellow canyoners, then sneakily head off to warmer activities during the day!

What should I bring?

- Canyoning gear (including extra warm clothing, such as thermals and beanies)
- Camping gear (it's car camping, so you can bring some luxury items. Make sure you have a chair!)
- Some firewood (to keep the fire burning into the night)
- Food and drink (to warm you up and keep you merry)
- A good attitude (be nice and have fun)

Any question?

Post them below.

Links to trip reports from past years:
2012: https://fatcanyoners.org/2012/07/14/aussie-freezefest/
2013: https://fatcanyoners.org/2013/07/19/freezefest-2013/



User avatar
T2
Site Admin
Posts: 245
Joined: 15 May 2018, 10:33
Full name: Tim Vollmer
City: Blaxland
State: New South Wales
Contact:

Re: FreezeFest 2018 (Mt Wilson)

Post by T2 » 31 May 2018, 23:11

It's only been two days since I announced this and we've already got about 10 people confirmed. If you're interested in coming but don't have anyone else to canyon with, don't worry, as those that have signed up are going to be running a mix of wet, dry, easy and harder trips, so there's plenty of options for everyone who wants to get involved.

johnf
Posts: 4
Joined: 04 Jun 2018, 00:26
Full name: John Friedman
City: ROSEVILLE CHASE
State: New South Wales

Re: FreezeFest 2018 (Mt Wilson)

Post by johnf » 28 Jun 2018, 20:20

Hi T2, which canyons do you suggest the group traverse over the weekend? The Wollangambe is going to be pretty cold if we decide on exiting from Whungee Wheengee Canyon. Maybe I can search for a lost hat under the icy waters. Time to start fattening up so that I can stay warmer.

poodlebean
Posts: 21
Joined: 22 May 2018, 20:51
Full name: Merridy Cairn-Duff
City: sydney
State: Australian Capital Territory

Re: FreezeFest 2018 (Mt Wilson)

Post by poodlebean » 30 Jun 2018, 20:51

can we get an idea at this stage of what canyons might be visited? got my own freezefest happening here in my bedroom at Lithgow (-3 tonight yikes!), not sure I want to camp out but I live so close I may well venture down for a canyon trip and to top up your camp-firewood supplies :) and have camp food.

User avatar
T2
Site Admin
Posts: 245
Joined: 15 May 2018, 10:33
Full name: Tim Vollmer
City: Blaxland
State: New South Wales
Contact:

Re: FreezeFest 2018 (Mt Wilson)

Post by T2 » 02 Jul 2018, 09:21

John, I sent around a logistics email last night. Hopefully you got it. It's quite a large group with a mix of interests, so I'm hoping the spreadsheet will help bring together everyone's interests. I'll then connect people into groups over the coming days. I am planning to do WW on Saturday, exiting upstream. It will be cold!

Merridy, I included you in the email as well. Let us know which days you might be keen on and what sort of canyons. And firewood will be greatly appreciated I'm sure!

User avatar
T2
Site Admin
Posts: 245
Joined: 15 May 2018, 10:33
Full name: Tim Vollmer
City: Blaxland
State: New South Wales
Contact:

Re: FreezeFest 2018 (Mt Wilson)

Post by T2 » 02 Jul 2018, 09:47

Actually, here's the key details from the logistics email. If anyone else wants to come, just respond here and I'll send you a link to the Google spreadsheet where we are organising groups / canyon preferences.

***

It looks like we've got a good group of people, with plenty of experience. There's also a mix of people wanting to do one or both days, along with wet or dry canyons. The weather also looks reasonably mild, particularly on Saturday, so it might not be the coldest FreezeFest...

I've included everyone who I know is planning to come, but feel free to pass this on to other interested people so they can squeeze in on trips or run their own.

My plan is to drive up as early as possible on Friday night. I'm hoping to be at the Cathedral Reserve campground by 5pm if possible. The plan is to camp near the southern end of the campground, hopefully snaffling the big picnic shelter (turn off Mt Irvine Rd into the first part of the campground). I figure this is an easy place to find each other, but I'm also keen to camp at the sunnier end of the campground as it may be hard convincing ourselves to get up in the morning!

I'm wasn't sure the best way to organise things, so I've created a Google spreadsheet. On the right you'll see a list of canyon options with some quick notes from me about what they are like. If you'd like to do something different, add it to the list. Next to your name, put down the canyon or type of canyon you'd like to do on Saturday, Sunday, or Saturday night (I've had a few people express interest in a night canyon). Other people can add their names to the list too. If you're happy to lead or co-lead a canyon, just make the canyon name bold. Please try to fill out your preferences in the next day or two so we can get everyone connected ahead of time.

As for what to bring, this depends on what you want to do. If you're camping, a tent is a good idea, plus the usual sleeping stuff, cooking gear, food, etc. Make sure you bring plenty of water, and throw in some firewood if you can. A camp chair will also be worth the effort. Warm, dry clothes for around camp are also a must.

For the canyons, you'll need your usual gear, but if you feel the cold consider a warm wetsuit and also some thermals. A beanie can also be a good addition, and cheap raincoats can keep cold canyon breeze at bay. Throw in spare ropes and gear if you can to make sure there's plenty to go around (having extra ropes to allow faster movement is highly recommended). Printing out track notes and bringing a map are also a good idea.

User avatar
T2
Site Admin
Posts: 245
Joined: 15 May 2018, 10:33
Full name: Tim Vollmer
City: Blaxland
State: New South Wales
Contact:

Re: FreezeFest 2018 (Mt Wilson)

Post by T2 » 03 Jul 2018, 11:24

So far we have groups going through Whungee Wheengee, Yileen, WDWDIITR (Serendipity), Better Offer, Jungaburra, and Lower Bowens North. There's even a night canyon happening. It's not too late to join in or plan another canyon.

AdventureBase
Posts: 2
Joined: 03 Jul 2018, 12:31
Full name: Adventure Base
City: Katoomba
State: New South Wales

Re: FreezeFest 2018 (Mt Wilson)

Post by AdventureBase » 03 Jul 2018, 13:07

Adventure Base from Katoomba will offer wetsuit hire for $30 for the two days instead of $60 for the FreezeFest weekend only. You can pick them up on Friday evening or Saturday morning before you drive to Mt Wilson. We will also add wetsocks to keep you warm.

The wetsuits are 2 pieces (jacket and long john) of 5mm so you have 10mm on you chest and a hood.

Give us a call on 0247002104 the day before you want to pick them up to make sure we have your size. Let us know you are going to FreezeFest to get the discount.


No excuses to miss FreezeFest 2018!

Ncarewhite93
Posts: 1
Joined: 04 Jul 2018, 22:03
Full name: Narissa Carey-White
City: Katoomba
State: New South Wales

Re: FreezeFest 2018 (Mt Wilson)

Post by Ncarewhite93 » 04 Jul 2018, 22:11

I'm keen, is it too late to join such mad shenanigans ¿!

User avatar
T2
Site Admin
Posts: 245
Joined: 15 May 2018, 10:33
Full name: Tim Vollmer
City: Blaxland
State: New South Wales
Contact:

Re: FreezeFest 2018 (Mt Wilson)

Post by T2 » 04 Jul 2018, 22:13

Not at all Narissa. I'll email you the spreadsheet with a list of what canyons are being run. Just put down which trips you'd like to be part of. And all the details of where we're camping are posted above. Look forward to meeting you there.

johnmurray49
Posts: 10
Joined: 22 May 2018, 14:32
Full name: John Murray
City: Penrith
State: New South Wales

Re: FreezeFest 2018 (Mt Wilson)

Post by johnmurray49 » 07 Jul 2018, 14:44

Late decision to go to Freezfest. I arrived at the campground around 0830 and met a few of the brave souls. The wind factor temp was about -4 degrees. I headed off to do WDWDIITR (aka Serendipity) as I thought it would be warmer, out of the wind, down around the creek. It was windless down near the creek and it remained that way until I came to the Wollangambe. The water was a bid cool, especially without a wetsuit, but the only coldness I felt was in my fingers. It took about 10 mins to warm my hands so I could do up the buttons on my dry shirt. I now put on my beanie and started the walk out, in the wind. Back at the campground at 1200, just in time to boil the billy and have a warm cuppa and some lunch. A good trip despite the windy conditions.

User avatar
T2
Site Admin
Posts: 245
Joined: 15 May 2018, 10:33
Full name: Tim Vollmer
City: Blaxland
State: New South Wales
Contact:

Re: FreezeFest 2018 (Mt Wilson)

Post by T2 » 09 Jul 2018, 09:32

What John failed to mention is that the rest of us were still loitering around at camp, trying to build up the courage to canyon. There were people who piked entirely, and some who switched to dryer options, but John set off without a second thought. So not only was his the only solo FreezeFest effort, he was also the first person to enter canyon water on the weekend. I think his madness helped steel the rest of us.

User avatar
T2
Site Admin
Posts: 245
Joined: 15 May 2018, 10:33
Full name: Tim Vollmer
City: Blaxland
State: New South Wales
Contact:

Re: FreezeFest 2018 (Mt Wilson)

Post by T2 » 13 Jul 2018, 09:52

I've posted my trip report from this event here: viewtopic.php?f=29&p=357#p357

Post Reply