TNF-Australian Geographic Adventure grant winners: plans underway

By Jonathan Smith, Scott Hall and Lincoln Taylor 8 November 2013
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Plans are underway for The North Face/Australian Geographic Adventure grant recipients

Jonathan, Scott and Lincoln won The North Face/Australian Geographic Adventure adventure grant, and here’s their update on that progress.

Wow! We’re looking forward to a wonderful whitewater challenge thanks to our friends at The North Face and Australian Geographic. We’ll be heading off to the small island of La Réunion in the Indian Ocean to descend some of the grandest waterfalls and canyons on the planet. We hope to include a first descent as part of our two-week trip in September.

Since we received the great news that we had been offered the sponsorship for our expedition the team has been busy refining our plans for the trip. There’s equipment to acquire, transport and accommodation to arrange, skills to hone, and media to talk to. We also need to learn enough French to be able to translate all the local route information – the last thing we want is something lost in translation half way down a waterfall.

Making all of this organising just a little more challenging has been the fact that our three team members have been scattered across the globe – Lincoln in Japan, Scott in NZ and Jonno in Adelaide.

Scott and Jonno took the opportunity to visit the Blue Mountains for a spot of canyoning over Easter. Whilst Scott gets to practice his skills as a canyoning guide year-round, Jonno only manages a couple of trips each summer.

We divided our time between descending the beautiful Whungee Wheengee canyon near Mt Wilson and honing our abseiling skills on the cliffs near Katoomba. Our proficiency at abseiling will be tested on La Réunion where descents involve multiple pitches of up to 120 m each.

We also managed to squeeze in some time to talk to some local gear suppliers regarding custom gear for our trip. As the trip will be demanding on both the team and gear we need the best gear available on the market to ensure everything runs smooth. Customised packs and specialised canyoning ropes are just a few of the things the team will be using.

We’ll keep you posted on developments as we ramp up our preparation for the trip and hope to provide more in the next update on the hazards of canyoning in La Réunion.


What is canyoning?

Where is La Reunion?

Where is Whungee Wheengee canyon?