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THE BEAUTY OF AUSTRALIA’S SLOT CANYONS

The rugged region of the Blue Mountains is home to hundreds of Australia’s slot canyons.

Just like skiing is popular in Switzerland, so is canyoneering in Australia. However, only a handful of daring Australians manage to descend into these deep fissures. They are created by the erosive effects of water rushing through sandstone.

Beautiful Australia's slot canyons.

Australia’s slot canyons are nothing like those in UtahJordan or Corsica. Here you can see many narrow passage-ways and strange rock formations. But what’s typical of this part of the world is canyoneering, also known as ‘bushwalking’. It’s the Australian term for extreme hiking, which involves the use of special climbing gear. The only difference is that climbers go down canyon walls, instead of up.

Australia's slot canyons- Mammoth ferns

Cascades of mammoth ferns flourish in the humid air trapped between Claustral Canyon’s narrow walls. The canyon was named for its claustrophobia-inducing passage.

Claustral canyon is one of many Australia's slot canyons.

John Robens with his team is waist-deep in water, while exploring Claustral Canyon.

Exploring Australia's slot canyons is only for good-skilled climbers.

A canyoneer fights to emerge from beneath of one of Claustral Canyon’s many waterfalls.

The biggest slots were first explored in 1960s, when modern equipment was finally adopted. Without it, Aborigines couldn’t reach some of the most inaccessible canyons of the country’s Blue Mountain region. Along with good technical equipment and even better climbing skills,  canyoneering also requires good physical shape.

The Blue Mountains region is home to many Australia's slot canyons.

Only the driven climbers are daring enough to explore new canyons. One of the most experiencing canyoneers Dave Noble searches for the most remote and difficult to access canyons. He says: “The darker, the narrower, the twistier-the better.”

Adventurers make their way through Australia's slot canyons.

Adventurers making their way through a passage covered in moss

There is still a number of undiscovered canyons in this region. Noble says:

“”Wilderness canyons should be left undescribed, so they remain pristine and so others can have the challenge of exploring them on their own. That’s part of the mystery.”

Photo Credit: Carsten Peter/National Geographic Stock

(h/t: bbc)

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