Powder Flask Canyon v5a3IV***

Highest drop 45m

Public Access

3hr30 bushbash approach (10 mins in a Heli)

4hr descent

3.5hrs exit via Fish River Gorge v4a5III** or 2.5h bush bash out)

Low levels of water, with beautiful white rock and deep pools. Lots of jumps, some narrow fault line features. The v5 comes from a sparsely bolted technical pitch: it’d be v4 when set up as a normal canyon.

Jethro and Alain looked at this canyon’s approach a number of times, and after a few aborted attempts, a helicopter was used for access. This would be a very long day out without helicopter access.

The first descent team continued down the Fish River Gorge, which is a MUCH higher flow canyon, with some seriously dangerous features (including big siphons). Any exit down the Fish needs super low (late summer) water levels.

Altogether, one of the premier days out in the region.

Thanks to Alain for the original sketch topo, and Jethro for the Photographs from 2015.

Thanks to Erwan Coq and Justin Wimmer for updated info and photos 2022

First descent: Alain Rohr, Jethro Robinson, Annette Philipps, Richard Tribe, Mike Illingworth 22 Feb 2015

First descent photos 2015, Jethro Robinson

Photos by Justin Wimmer and Erwan Coq, March 2022

3 Trip reports Log your trip

  1. Alex Arnold says:

    Starts well and ends well! The walk is pretty bad and the walking section in between downrates the canyon a bit. Next time with Heli 😀

    • Date -19.03.24
    • Water level -normal
    • Anchor conditions -All in good condition
    • Group size -5
    • Time: approach/descent/return (eg: 1hr/4hrs/3mins) -4h/2.5h/fish
  2. Madeline Garnache says:

    Probably only worth 1 star, some fun slides, and jumps, didymo in powder flask,
    It was not as fun as cross and deep as Wilson, probably more open but still a bit of fun

    • Date -22/01/2023
    • Water level -lower than normal
    • Anchor conditions -we did some repairs
    • Group size -5
    • Time: approach/descent/return (eg: 1hr/4hrs/3mins) -4hrs/2hrs/ into fish
  3. Erwan Coq says:

    We (Team of 2) did first Powder Flask (2,5h) and than Fish River (3h). The Hike in took us 3 hours and was not to bad of a bush bash. The Powder Flask was low flow and Fish River was in Normal flow. We didn’t found any new big hazards in Fish. We replaced a few webbings in Powder Flask and Fish River.

    R3 in Powder Flask is now 15m, an extra bolt that we placed makes R4 (28m). R3 still could be done in one go. But it is harder to retrieve the rope.

    We did the canyons after a long periode of no rain and in the end of feb ( so no more melting water from the snow)

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