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Perseverance Creek, Valley of the Diamonds and Cresswick Dam walk

A rocky walk photo IMG_20140428_093338_zps9cae77d6.jpg

Rocks, rocks and more rocks. That’s the best way to describe the walk from the Perseverance Creek dam down Perseverance Creek, up the Valley of the Diamonds and back down to Cresswick Dam. I am here to collect the controls from the Rogue 24hr Adventuregain but really am just having a great time exploring this beautiful part of the world. The scramble down Perseverance Creek is challenging and I’m sure many have twisted ankles here. There’s rocks of all sizes: fist-sized rounded river rocks, beach ball sized boulders and massive rocks the size of elephants that require a head for heights. It’s so much fun to scramble down the creek without the pressure that the racers have.

 photo IMG_20140426_200135_zps38fde8d0.jpg

After a couple of hours scrambling, we reach the junction between Perseverance Creek and the Valley of the Diamonds. The Valley is so called due to the way the sun is said to bounce off the rocks. I don’t see any evidence of diamonds but do enjoy a swim at the swimming hole near the junction of the creeks. The air is hot as the sun beats down on us (another volunteer and I) but the water is icy cold and I feel my lungs shrivel in my chest. Despite the cold its refreshing to take a swim.

On the ledge photo IMG_20140426_200601_zps3d93d4f3.jpg

After the swim we clamber up the Valley of the Diamonds to collect a control. The Valley, which is more like a deep gorge, is amazing. It’s like a massive crevice in the earth that has been decorated by a giant. The giant has left huge jagged rocks all over the gorge. I am forced to put my anxiety about heights aside as we travel ever higher up the gorge. It feels so good to grip my fingers around crimp holds and edge the toes of my shoes along narrow ledges high up off the ground. I even manage some long jumps over pools of water between rocks. It was amazing to feel confident in such a beautiful place.

Valley of the Diamonds photo IMG_20140426_200409_zps6f146745.jpg

After collecting the checkpoint, we retraced our clambering steps down the Valley of the Diamonds back to Perseverance Creek.

Reflections on Perseverance Creek photo IMG_20140426_200730_zpsfad5d25e.jpg

It’s only 2:30pm when we reach the first deep pool in Perseverance Creek but already it’s darker and cooler in the gorge. The light is bringing out reflections on the water and it’s amazing. I feel so lucky to be out here and excited about a future in the outdoors. For the next couple of hours we rock hop our way down Perseverance and Cresswick Creeks. It’s slow going as the creek is overgrown with calistemon trees, and the banks with long grass and lantana. At times it’s easier to rock hop down the centre of the creek, rather than along the banks. And, for once, I keep my feet dry, rather than taking the easy way out by wading.

"Lava" lake photo IMG_20140426_200855_zps3566e1da.jpg

It’s getting onto dusk by the time we reach the weir that marks the start of Cresswick Dam. From here we had a path to follow (the rest of the walk having been trackless along the creek beds). It was an old vehicle track near the edge of the dam. It rose and fell up and down steep hills, crossing creeks and rounding steep knolls. Across the water we could see racers paddling kayaks looking for checkpoints (obviously not the ones we had collected) and, later, we saw racers trekking in the bush. It was dark by the time we arrived at the end of our walk down at Cresswick Dam boat ramp. We’d been out for just over seven hours of solid scrambling, clambering and rock hopping, covering somewhere around 15km.

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