Claustral Canyon:
    In the early 60s, I was with a party of Kamerukas who made the first descent of Claustral Canyon (as we called it then, and as it seems to called still), a spectacular, partly-closed slot that runs into Thunder Canyon not far from Mt. Tomah. I did not contribute much to setting up the descent as I was bitten, at the top of the main fall, by a broad-headed snake (Hoplocephalus bungaroides), a fierce little number that makes up for its small size with a potent venom that turned my left hand into a black water-melon for a few days.
    These days, there may be many hundreds in Claustral on a summer's day. Lucas Trihey,, who took these pictures of my niece, Emma, had to halt the progression of bods for a few minutes to get the feeling of solitude.