First descents of the 3 major sections in 2007, by Alain Rohr et al:
- Bruno Fromento, Bruno’s companion (name unknown), Alain
- Annette Philipps, Tristrain, Alain
- Tristrain, Alain
Access on the TR, about 3hrs.
This is such a long canyon, that information from those who have visited it is general to say the least. One thing is true, it is an extremely long canyon, requiring good fitness, efficiency, teamwork and skill.
There is didymo in the Makarora: take alternative footware and/or cleaning solution to ensure you don’t bring it into the canyon!
Very few bolts present: lots of human anchors, natural anchors, sketchy downclimbs and jumps required to move quickly through this very long canyon.
This is canyon which could really do with some work bolting it up nicely to be a Haast mega-classic…
After climbing for a few hours, we found ourselves within 150m of the tree line and looking Into the top of the canyon. The section we could see upstream looked to be rather wide and open with no visible drops so we decided to follow a small ridge down Into the canyon directly below the first visable waterfall which was approx 100-150m from the tree line.
After getting suited up and having a late morning snack we started off down the
canyon. The first section went by rather fast but we seemed to be moving quickly
having done approx 12 jumps (most around 6 – 12m) into beautiful deep pools and 7 or 8 abseils. The upper section of the canyon was very continuous with no more than 50m between each pool. Most of the drops had lots of water and the amount of jumps was hard to believe.
As we continued down the canyon it was like a canyoning marathon with pool after pool and drop after drop. As we travelled through the middle section of the canyon we were surprised at each drop with even more jumps and amazing sections of deep carved canyon. The middle section Involved more rope work and multiple sections where we found ourselves down climbing slightly smaller waterfalls to keep moving but a hand line was useful.
Near the start of the bottom section we spent more and more time on rope but
still had plenty of jumps. The most spectacular thing we found was a short series of hanging pools that we nicknamed the teacups. This was 3 hanging pools one after the other that was a series of jumps. 8m,5m and 4m one after the other (Can be abseiled also) that was simply amazing! The lower section of the canyon mostly envolved abseils upto 30m and was not quite so deep but just as
Impressive. As we neared the the final drops both of us were getting very tired
and each time the rope was coiled we were hoping It may be the last.
Sure enough after approx 50 drops (approx 25 jumps and 25 abseils) and many climb down sections we reached the Makarora river.Scott Hall, from a descent on 10 March 2010
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