Visto 24 volte, scaricato 3 volte
vicino Littles Yard, Northern Territory (Australia)
My aim was to find a way into the upper reach of the Canyon of Defiance, which I did by using the eastern tributary of Defiance Creek.
The eastern tributary is very steep, scrubby, and comprises loose deteriorating rock. I found a viable route by keeping high on the right/north at first (at the base of the cliffs), then dropping carefully down through some scrub and some spinifex into the creekbed. The going is easier in the creekbed, but is still scrubby. There's a minor climbaround at one point.
After a while the scrub lessened, and suddenly I reached the top of a 20 metre waterfall. The dry "pool" at the top of the waterfall is edged by a thick rock rim, so I call it the Balcony Waterfall. Peering over the balcony reveals a "hanging bath" half way down. There's no chance of climbing down this waterfall.
Climbing to the right (north) is steep but manageable and leads to the top of a knife-edge ridge with dramatic views to the north, looking down.
I was about to return to camp, but first I climbed the uninteresting-looking left (south) bank, which to my great surprise led to a scrubby but manageable route down, bypassing the Balcony Waterfall.
On the way down, on the left, is a short slot which forms the south-east tributary of Defiance Creek, but after a few metres the upward route is blocked by a dry waterfall. Nearby is the south tributary which climbs steeply up a substantial rocky cleft. I didn't have time for a full exploration, but the first 50m is negotiable though very steep.
Continuing downward, one reaches the base of the Balcony Waterfall where I found a small puddle of water. A little further downstream, the west tributary of Defiance Creek joins from the left. It's probably too steep and rough to be climbable.
Continuing downstream, the walls close in and there's a short section of narrow slot. The slot then widens a little, the walls grow higher, and one can scramble along the next section of canyon which has level stony sections interspersed with short rocky climbdowns.
Soon I reached a blockup which I was not able to climb down. Initially I was disappointed, but then I recognised it as the Turnaround Blockup from my previous upward exploration of Alexa's Reach.
I have now explored the entire length of this canyon, which comprises four reaches with separate access points: the Lower Reach accessed directly from the northern plain, Meg's Reach accessed from the northern plain by using the ridge to the east of the canyon, Alexa's Reach accessed from Ribuck Ramp which descends from higher up the same ridge, and Balcony Reach which is accessed from the skyline ridge via the east tributary.
I have posted a GPS track of the lower three reaches here:
and a hand-drawn track with descriptions and many more photos here:
Canyon of Defiance is a very spectacular, with the most dramatic parts being around the "Big Red Bulge" - at the top of Meg's Reach and at the bottom of Alexa's Reach. However, it's not to be undertaken lightly as there's lots of loose rock, and evidence of recent rockfalls.