Trio to brave uncharted canyons

By Australian Geographic Adventure 2 December 2013
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A daring team of adventure grant awardees prepares to venture into mysterious canyons.

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE winners of the 2010 The North Face and Australian Geographic Adventure Adventure Grant: Scott Hall, Lincoln Taylor and Jonathan Smith.

The party of three will travel to the island of La Reunion in September with the aim of becoming Australia’s first expedition party to descend and document some of the world’s most advanced and beautiful canyons. The canyons of La Reunion are predominantly extreme vertical canyons with waterfalls reaching a height of up to 270 m, ranking them among the world’s highest.

Very little information is available on the canyons, which makes it difficult for canyoners around the globe to access the area. Jonathan, Scott and Lincoln hope to change this by recording detailed information on all descents during their trip.

La Reunion (literally ‘the place of the meeting’) is an island located in the Indian Ocean east of Madagascar, about 200 km south-west of Mauritius. It is famed for its diverse scenery, with palm-fringed beaches encircling a mountainous interior. Highlights are towering volcanic remnants, where sunken peaks and scarps are surrounded by steep lush walls of vines, figs and palms. The mountains rise to 3000 m, where they intersect the monsoonal air currents, leading to heavy precipitation, particularly on the east slopes of the island. These slopes face the persistent south-east trade winds that blow from May to October, leading to mist, cloud and light rain even in the dry season.

The team will consist of three international experienced canyoners – all have participated in multi-day hiking, canyoning, rafting and mountaineering trips. Each team member also possesses specialist skills that will be invaluable for the long journey. The expedition team will be lead by Scott, a professional canyoning guide. Visit for regular updates on the expedition, and keep your eyes peeled for their full story in Australian Geographic Adventure later this year.

Read about their preparation here.

The Australian Geographic Adventure guide to canyoning