Thurat Spires (not a canyon)

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Joined: 23 May 2018, 21:49
Full name: David Mason
City: Sydney
State: New South Wales

Thurat Spires (not a canyon)

Post by DavidM » 20 Nov 2018, 22:25

Thurat Spires are imposing outcrops on the long ridge that divides Kanangra Creek from Danae Brook. Ascending the ridge is one of the most spectacular trips in Kanangra. It is an Alpine-like ridge traverse with long sections scrambling along the ridge, some spectacular knife edges, and three bold abseils.

Allow 8 hours for a small experienced party from the confluence of Kanangra Creek and Danae Brook, to the Walls parking lot.
Add 2 hours for the walk in from the Walls parking lot via Kanangra Walls and Kilpatrick Causeway

Thurat Spires is a long trip. Many talk about combining it with Danae Brook. This makes for a very long day, and means you may be doing the final bush-bash in the dark.
There is a constant risk of loose scree. Consider carefully the size of your party. A suggestion is to move singly or in twos, with a big enough gap between sub-parties to allow time to dodge falling rocks. Wear your helmet as soon as you are on the scrambles. For the abseils, those above should keep absolutely still while anyone is on rope, and those below should shelter under the cliffs.
The ridge can be very hot. A number of parties have really struggled with dehydration. Carry enough water.
The map-reading in the creeks to find the start of the ridge, and in the dense bush on the top is very difficult. I absolutely recommend Avenza Maps on your phone with the LPI Kanangra map loaded. With any other map tool you will struggle to find your way through the bush.
The bush bash at the top is one of the worst I have encountered. Take full coverage clothing, gloves, and glasses to protect your eyes

Abseils and Climbs
There are no climbs. If you find yourself climbing and thinking “do I need a rope here?”, you are off route. Retreat and look for an alternate way.
There are three abseils on the spire closest to the plateau: 29m, 27m, 22m.
(The abseil lengths in the picture are updated accordingly - remeasured on a later trip)
You’ll need full abseil gear for every party member, and I recommend 60m of rope.

If walking in from the Walls parking lot: Follow the path along Kanangra Walls to the Kilpatrick Causeway. At about 35432 36453 find a gap in the small cliffs and descend directly down to the confluence. When you strike Kanangra Creek, use Avenza to guide you to the confluence.
If using as an exit from Danae Brook: Find the confluence of Kanangra Creek and Danae Brook. Be careful that you are in the right place. Parties have missed the confluence entirely, or started up the wrong ridge. Find the ridge, which will be in a westerly direction, and starts out as a straightforward walk.
Follow the ridge to the top of the spire nearest the plateau. Along the way is lots of scrambling and a dramatic knife edge.
From the top of the final spire, there are two ridges. Take the right, more northerly, ridge. Work around the fallen tree to the right, move leftwards back onto the ridge and slightly to the left of the ridge descending about 20m. Look for a cairn, and an old piece of faded tube tape tied in the limb of a tree about 2m up. The first abseil is just around the corner to the right, with the sling around a tree lying on the ground out of sight.

Abseil 1 is about 29m. Don’t get off rope at the first clear spot about 8m down. Stay on rope and clip to the anchor for abseil 2.
Abseil 2 is about 27m. It’s a nice clean vertical line. The top is very loose. First person should clear loose rocks before abseiling. Further members of the party must be still while the abseiler is on rope. At the bottom, hide under the cliff in the overhang.
From the small overhang at the bottom of abseil 2, head south/left (when facing out) then down the poorly pronounced ridge. A small down-scramble takes you to abseil 3.
Abseil 3 is about 22m and takes you through the bush to safe, shady ground just north of the saddle.
Proceed to the saddle, walk towards the cliff, then sidle right to find a line to scramble up. Head to the top of the ridge, Spire Head.
From Spire Head, proceed to Big Misty, then pick up the ridge to the east of Misty Gully. Hint: the higher the trees, the less the bush underneath, so look for trees. Once the ridge to the east of Misty Gully is reached, the bush is finished and it’s easy walking. Head directly south on the top of the ridge keeping the views of the Walls through the trees to your left. Stay with the ridge-top all the way to Kanangra Creek as there are cliffs at Kanangra Creek left and right of the ridge. Cross Kanangra creek about 100m back from the edge at 32094 36224, walk up southwards into the copse, and pick up the Kanangra Main access path at 32005 36152 or towards 32064 35950. Proceed on the path which follows near to the cliff edge until 32518 35810, then swings “inland”. Reach the road at 32388 35079 and return to the parking lot.

Thurat Spire Abseils.jpg
Thurat Spire Abseils.jpg (1.43 MiB) Viewed 5995 times

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