Wilson Creek

15th January 2022

v4a4IV***

Haast Pass / Tioripātea,

Mount Aspiring National Park

 

Descent with Paul du Temple and Rachel Jones.

After a massive day descending Falls Creek in Fiordland the day before, we headed to Haast Pass for the weekend, and started with a descent of Wilson Creek.

Hands down, this is the most spectacular canyon I’ve had the pleasure of descending. Deep sculpted bedrock, narrow slotty sections, interesting abseils, jumps, and slides.

The highlight was “Star Wars Alley”: a deep but non-technical section where falling droplets from water trickling over the canyon rim were caught by the odd beam of sunlight that was able to penetrate the depths of the slot. Absolutely mesmerising!

Flow was quite low, so features such as “The Julie Pool” and “The Boil” were easy to negotiate, while still demanding respect.

Wilson Creek 15th January 2022

Wilson Creek has sections of beautiful, deep, sculpted bedrock, while also letting through the odd patch of sunshine

Wilson Creek 15th January 2022

Paul leaps into a crystal blue pool, joining Rachel waiting below

Wilson Creek 15th January 2022

You could abseil this pitch from either of two anchors. Or you could just jump…

Wilson Creek 15th January 2022

“The Julie Pool” contains a retentive hydraulic feature, requiring a straddle…

Wilson Creek 15th January 2022

…followed by a jump out beyond the boil line

Wilson Creek 15th January 2022

The canyon continues to be narrow and deep further down

Wilson Creek 15th January 2022

In “Star Wars Alley”, water falling from the canyon rim is lit up by the odd beam of sunlight

Wilson Creek 15th January 2022

For much of the canyon, you can reach both walls at the same time

Wilson Creek 15th January 2022

Rachel straddles over a bit of whitewater in the narrows

Wilson Creek 15th January 2022

The final obstacle is a down-slide of a large log, gracefully dismounted by just tipping off the side

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