Upper Williams river.

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Upper Williams river.

Postby plaz » Fri 17 Dec, 2010 9:28 pm

Has anyone done the trip down the Williams river from Selby Annie hut to Rocky Crossing? My regular walking companions are not keen -" too many water jumps,we may get benighted, no exit points " are the sort of grumblings i am hearing. i need to convince them it can't be that bad...
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Re: Upper Williams river.

Postby iandsmith » Fri 17 Dec, 2010 10:09 pm

I've only been down the old fire trail but, gee, it would have to be worth one go.
I recently visited Rocky Crossing and just going there was worthwhile.
Best of luck in your venture. Pics from Rocky Crossing, maybe that will entice them!
Cheers, Ian
P.S. I thought it was Selby Alley Hut
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Re: Upper Williams river.

Postby kanangra » Sat 18 Dec, 2010 9:37 am

Yes it is Selby Alley Hut. Named after the Newcastle bushwalker who was still going strong into his '90's.

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Re: Upper Williams river.

Postby davidmorr » Sun 19 Dec, 2010 12:07 am

plaz wrote:Has anyone done the trip down the Williams river from Selby Annie hut to Rocky Crossing? My regular walking companions are not keen -" too many water jumps,we may get benighted, no exit points " are the sort of grumblings i am hearing. i need to convince them it can't be that bad...

Well, I believe it has been done over 30 years ago, by young, fit people from Newcastle clubs. It is indeed " too many water jumps,we may get benighted, no exit points ", just like Paterson Gorge. Add to that no camp sites if you want to take more than a day, very cold, and risks of injury (high) with limited scope to get help. And leeches....

It's going to take you several hours just to get to the hut from Lagoon Pinch if you want to make it in a day.

It's not something to be undertaken on a whim.
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Re: Upper Williams river.

Postby plaz » Sun 19 Dec, 2010 8:09 am

Thanks, very nice pictures Ian, those cascades look very inviting. I have a couple of times followed the river down from there to the site of the guest house; a pleasant river walk/swim with a couple of jumps that can be avoided if needed. Its great on a stinking hot summers day to play in that cold water. But the leeches are persistent.
I had planned to go up to the Selby Alley (apologies for the wrong name) hut the night before with minimal overnight gear and so get an early start into the river. Was hoping someone who had been there would post and say, its not too bad as long as you take your whim with you to float on. (or rope/harness/lilo etc). But i think I won't try and talk my companions into it; they might hold it against me when it all goes ugly. One for consenting adults only perhaps. If anyone is ever planning a trip up there perhaps you could let me know...
regards, adrian.
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Re: Upper Williams river.

Postby Rod » Sun 19 Dec, 2010 10:53 am

Plaz,
I have walked to the hut and on the tops in the past
I have not done the trip you mention, but have read about it in log books from the hut - I do recall there being talk of a very large waterfall to descend
Something in the order of 80-100 ft from memory
I gather it is quite a serious trip and probably not something to take lightly as you are very isolated if things go pear shaped....
The Newcastle bushwalking club would have more info
Cheers
Rod
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Re: Upper Williams river.

Postby Munkima » Sun 31 Mar, 2013 10:52 pm

I did it 20 years ago as a very fit and slightly mad teenager. It took 2 full days and nights and is a very serious adventure with massive obstacles, including Williams Falls. There's now a sign at he bottom indicating that national parks have now removed any ropes and bolts that may have made things easier in the past. There's no room for making any mistakes in there either. If you're up to the challenge though, it's incredible terrain and scenery.
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Re: Upper Williams river.

Postby kjbeath » Mon 01 Apr, 2013 9:48 am

Munkima wrote:I did it 20 years ago as a very fit and slightly mad teenager. It took 2 full days and nights and is a very serious adventure with massive obstacles, including Williams Falls. There's now a sign at he bottom indicating that national parks have now removed any ropes and bolts that may have made things easier in the past. There's no room for making any mistakes in there either. If you're up to the challenge though, it's incredible terrain and scenery.


They removed the rope above Williams Falls after someone in the early nineties lost their footing, went over the falls and died. Apparently there is a safer way around the waterfall, if you can find it.
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Re: Upper Williams river.

Postby PaulNotholt » Fri 03 Jan, 2014 11:31 am

Have only explored the Williams River from 1km above Rocky Crossing. Horseshoe Falls (4m) is 500m above RC and is stunningly beautiful. A friend says she wants her ashes to be scattered there! :D I'm posting more river photos on Google Earth btw.
I would love to explore farther upstream, however I'm no canyoner. Does anyone know whether there are big waterfalls below Williams Falls (27m) - if the river below these falls is manageable on foot I guess one could take the Carey's trail to the Corker then head East to the Williams River, then downstream to Horsesoe Falls, Rocky Crossing, Night & Day Gorge and on.
I'm on pnotholt@hotmail.com if anyone wants to discuss outside of this forum. Cheers.
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Re: Upper Williams river.

Postby kjbeath » Thu 09 Jan, 2014 2:33 pm

According to reports it is just waterfall jumping after Williams Falls. The main problem with wanting to join the river after the falls is the same as for those who want to leave; it is very rugged between. I haven't done the trip down the upper Williams but it is fairly obvious from trips up the Corker that access to the Williams would be poor. The lower Williams is a lot of fun.
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Re: Upper Williams river.

Postby troy8880 » Wed 29 Jan, 2014 4:29 pm

Myself and a mate completed this walk only a week and a half ago. Water very low at the moment so made very good time. Left carpark at 6:15 and got to Ricky crossing at 12:45. Excellent time of day to be walking as all the mandatory jumps landing area was very visible with the sun shining on them.
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Re: Upper Williams river.

Postby MrFaulty » Wed 05 Feb, 2014 3:01 pm

troy8880 wrote:Myself and a mate completed this walk only a week and a half ago. Water very low at the moment so made very good time. Left carpark at 6:15 and got to Ricky crossing at 12:45. Excellent time of day to be walking as all the mandatory jumps landing area was very visible with the sun shining on them.


You walked from Lagoon Pinch, to Selby Alley and down the river to Rocky Crossing in 6.5hrs!? That is awesome time! I did it years ago in 10.5hrs and that was really moving.

For anyone interested in doing this walk, yes it is a long day and very difficult, the last time I did it from the top was a disaster and involved a helipcopter, but have done it many times before without incident. Things to note:

- If going in at Selby Alley, best to start walking at 4am, you should be back to the car by about 5 or 6.
- If going in at Selby Alley, take note that the tree which you used to climb down at the first waterfall on Kungi Creek has gone and the descent is now very difficult and a good long rope is a must.
- There is another way in which was cut a few years back. This new track brings you in just below Williams falls, thereby making it a (relatively) easy walk. I don't have the co-ordinates, but if you start walking at 6 or 7am, a little over half way (ie you walk up the corker for a little over an hour), there is a fairly open area on the right where if you are looking you should see the makings of a track and pink surveyors tape on some trees. It will take a couple of hours to hit the river from where you leave the corker.
- This is a 'walk' which you need to take a rope as whilst most of the slides and jumps are doable, things change and if in ANY doubt, lower yourself through - the first person will be able to assess the situation.

It is a LOT of fun!!
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Re: Upper Williams river.

Postby troy8880 » Wed 05 Feb, 2014 4:00 pm

Took the halfway up the corker track, Very familiar with it and a much safer option than the selby alley route. Took us two hours from cars to falls. Roughly 3km from cars to turnoff.
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Re: Upper Williams river.

Postby BenEw » Fri 16 Jan, 2015 10:19 am

Im heading up that way with a group of teenagers next weekend. I have done the whole river from Selby Alley Hut years ago, but would like to take the half way track this time. Do you have any guidance on where it leaves the Corker track? Co ordinates? Is it a track or just a passable route?
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Re: Upper Williams river.

Postby cl4re » Fri 23 Jan, 2015 1:15 pm

I also have plans to walk the upper Williams River from the falls down to Rocky Crossing over the Australia Day LWE (weather permitting). I would also like to use the new route which brings you in just below Williams Falls. Ben, have you been able to find out any further information you can share on how to find the track? Cheers.
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Re: Upper Williams river.

Postby MrFaulty » Tue 10 Feb, 2015 8:59 am

Sorry, I don't check this forum all that often, but if anyone wants the co-ordinates for the track which gets you to the river just below Williams Falls, I do have them at home on my GPS (I am at work ATM) - PM me otherwise I'll probably forget.

But basically start walkign up the corker from Lagoon pinch and it ia bout an hour walk to the point where you leave the corker (on the left side of the track going up). It is a flatter section and relatively open. Last time I did it there was some pink surveyors tape on one of the trees not far off the corker - keep your eyes out and you can't miss it (if it's still there which I susect it is).

I am hoping to do this walk again mid March so if anyone is keen....
I would prefer to do it from Selby Alley hut but no one wants to do that anymore since we had a helicopter ride!! But seriously, anyone who is keen and has plenty of experience, I would be more than happy to form up a day walk - leaving Lagoon Pinch at 4am, back to the cars at 5pm ish
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Re: Upper Williams river.

Postby oxyiscool » Thu 05 Mar, 2015 4:15 pm

I did this trip in early Feb with a mate. We are natural hikers and Canyoners and it took us 11.5hrs from car to car. The water level was up a bit so we chose to clb round a lot more obstacles than usual which was just as scary as the obstacles we were trying to avoid in places. I got stuck in a a vortex in one of the 'smaller' pools and couldn't get out for the life of me. Had to climb out a sly rock wall. Terrifying moment. I would say carry an EPIRB (we did) and try to find out where the halfway track is. Kunjie gully is spectacular but it is hours to hike to the hut and then descend the gully just to start Williams river. Third time I've done it, my mates first and he is still scarred mentLly. I asked him to take on Kanangra main next weekend and he hung up on me ha ha. A serious day but one you'll look back on with pleasure.
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Re: Upper Williams river.

Postby cl4re » Sun 15 Mar, 2015 8:02 pm

I finally did the trip yesterday with a group of experienced walkers. The flow was up, making the river a bit wild and it was a marginal decision to go ahead with the trip. The river peaked at 190ML/day at the Underbank stream gauge 11pm the evening before the walk, and dropped throughout our walk from 120 to 80 ML/day.

We left the gate at the start of the Corker trail at 7am, and found the short-cut trail on the bend at Scouts Alley approx. 45-50min later. We actually missed the start of the short-cut trail, though luckily spotted a vague trail heading very steep down the slope from the road bend, and peering over we could see some pink tape on a tree about 50m below. We followed the steep trail down to the tape, and found a trail (the short-cut trail) contouring around the slope. We followed it north and it took us on-trail all the way to the Williams Falls, arriving around 9.30am. The trail was marked with pink surveyors tape most of the way and was relatively easy walking, only steep for the final descent to the falls.

On the river, the risks were heightened because of the high-flow. Similar to Oxyiscool's report, we had one member of the party stuck in a vortex at the bottom of one of the chutes for a worryingly long time before escaping. The higher river level also meant there was less opportunity to walk on dry rocks, slowing progress. As mentioned in other posts, it was important to suss-out river depth before making jumps and apply caution. We arrived at Rocky Crossing shortly after 4pm, and back at the car around 5pm, making for a 10hr trip at a comfortable pace using the short-cut track.

All in all this trip is a great adventure and takes you into a remote and spectacular part of the Williams River, and it's a real privilege to see. An exciting day, the river jumps and chutes are not for the faint hearted, and as mentioned in other posts it's wise to go well prepared with rope and an emergency beacon (just in case).
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Re: Upper Williams river.

Postby Craig M » Mon 26 Nov, 2018 4:19 pm

Hi guys, would love a bit of updated insight into the Williams river canyon. I did do the canyon half a dozen times from Selby Alley hut in the late 80’s and then again in the late 90’s so I haven’t seen it for 20 years . I am keen to find out more about this track that leads in to the base of Williams river falls. What it’s like ? How good is it ? I am not real good at co-ordinates so markings,trees or bends in track are good to go by.would I need abseiling gear. I never needed it coming from Selby alley but took a rope just in case but no harnesses. And how is the river now days. Keen to do it in January sometime. Any feedback would be great . Craig
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Re: Upper Williams river.

Postby Ms_Mudd » Tue 04 Dec, 2018 5:08 pm

- There is another way in which was cut a few years back. This new track brings you in just below Williams falls, thereby making it a (relatively) easy walk. I don't have the co-ordinates, but if you start walking at 6 or 7am, a little over half way (ie you walk up the corker for a little over an hour), there is a fairly open area on the right where if you are looking you should see the makings of a track and pink surveyors tape on some trees. It will take a couple of hours to hit the river from where you leave the corker.
- This is a 'walk' which you need to take a rope as whilst most of the slides and jumps are doable, things change and if in ANY doubt, lower yourself through - the first person will be able to assess the situation.

It is a LOT of fun!![/quote]

Ahah. Yes. The track that cuts down is at the end of Scouts Alley, right as you turn the 'corner'. There is an X subtley scatched on a smooth barked tree. There is an old thin man felled tree about a metre down the embankment. The first pink tape marker is nicely hidden behind a large tree, so you don't actually see it from the Corker. I noticed it for the first time on Friday (daywalked Corker) as we paused to watch a bush turkey scuttle off right there. Walked up again Sun/Mon and now that I know it's there it is as obvious as dogs bollocks- can't believe I hadnt noticed before.
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