If you’ve seen a series of waterfalls whilst out in the hills, stumbled accross a gorge, think a river on the Topomap is worth investigating or heard an old mate or hunter talking about such things, then please let us know all about it! Many excellent canyons on this website were discovered from very small clues, many that were recieved from other people.
If you have descended a canyon in the past, or know that others have, but have little or no information, we’d still like to hear what you do have. Even the name of the stream or general area can help.
Recording information for CanyonTopos
Obviously, recording the information about a Canyon is most accurate if it is done at the time of descent.
NZOIA waterproof notebooks are by far the best notebook for recording information in the canyon that I’ve come accross. They are nearly indestructable, write reliably with HB pencil and do not smudge or run. I carry a notebook and pencil in the top of my pack, making notes of the relevant information and sketching the CanyonTopo as I go.
The Blank Canyon Information Sheet is intended to be a good guide for the extra information that you should record when accessing and descending a canyon.
The CanyonTopo Legend is a good place to start to learn how to sketch CanyonTopo in the canyon. Take a look at the various other CanyonTopo found on KiwiCanyons.org to get a feel for what to include. The pencil sketch doesn’t have to be to scale, but recording the hieghts of drops and the lenghts of ‘unremarkable’ ground can help to lend a sense of scale when it comes to drawing up the CanyonTopo on the computer.
Finally, photographs are an excellent way to record the descent, especially to jog your memory if your review of your sketch shows that a few bits of important info are missing. Before any trip, I like to encourage everyone to accurately set the time on thier cameras. Later, when sharing photos, it makes life much easier to remember what was where if the photos are chronological. The time stamp also helps determine the time taken through the canyon, allowing you to discount time spent eating lunch or sorting out a stuck rope.
Send us whatever you have, photos, descriptions, photo’s of pencil sketch CanyonTopo and we can turn them (eventually) into a full CanyonTopo.
Drawing your own CanyonTopo on the Computer
For those of you with the interest and inclination to do so, drawing your own CanyonTopo is achievable with a little practise. You could use any vector graphics editor, but I’ve had good results with Inkscape, which is an easy to use (and free) application that is easily downloaded.
Have a read of an excellent CanyonTopo tutorial by Michael Dallin, from ColoradoCanyons.org. You’ll notice that the CanyonTopo on this site are a little more fluid and colourful, but in the end you’ll find your own style. I hope to keep the style on KiwiCanyons.org as consistent as possible.
Micheal has a made a set of symbols for use, but I have adapted and extended the symbols that I’ve used for KiwiCanyons.org. The SVG file that contains all the symbols and descriptions can be downloaded. KiwiCanyons SVG symbols.zip
Once you’re done, send it to us so that we can share it with the Canyoning Community!
If you have any questions about any of this, please contact us.