Twenty-seven years ago, a group of Poles made the pioneering first descent of Peru’s Colca Canyon, now pegged as the world’s deepest, emerging tattered and bruised after 33 days of pure survival. Now, one of them is going back to get the final condor feather in his cap by exploring the virgin 20 km canyon upstream known as the Cruz del Condor. And PL will be along for the ride…
“Colca is known as the world’s deepest canyon, but its upper reaches have always remained shrouded in mystery,” says expedition leader Yurek Majcherczyk.
All that will change at the end of August when, using pack rafts, canyoneering equipment and a lone kayak, the Cruz del Condor Expedition — sponsored by the Warsaw Stock Exchange, Classic Travel, Western Union and Victoria Development/Consuslting — will carry the Explorer’s Club flag into the upper canyon.
“It represents a great opportunity to put the feather in the cap of exploring the entire Colca Canyon,” adds Majcherczyk, who also co-led the river’s first descent in 1981. “We have a solid team in place, as well as the backing of major sponsors and the Explorer’s Club, to finally explore it in its entirety.”
The discovery of Colca proper was recognized as one of the ‘greatest geographic discoveries ofthe 20th century’. Since then, it’s become the second most popular tourist attractionin Peru, only behind Machu Picchu.
In 1981 the Polish explorers rafted and kayaked 100 of the 120 kilometers of the canyon, leaving the first 20 kilometers untouched. Its exploration is hoped to help answer questions on the region’s geology, hydrography and history, perhaps even shedding light into how the canyon was formed.
A team of professionals from Poland, the USA and Peru — including specialists in geology, hydrology, and topography — will use state-of-the-art technology in the forms of GPS systems, laser rangefinders, electroscopes and electromagnetic equipment to document the region, and report its findings back to the New York-based Explorer’s Club
They will also carry a small laboratory for initial analyses of water, air and rock.The team includes a professional rock climber and two world class kayakers/rafters.The progress of the expedition will be reported by two professional cameramen, a photographer and a professional journalist.
An outside support team, including a radio/press correspondent and film director, will report the progress of the expedition via satellite phones and advanced land-mobile radios.