The Age of Exploration is not over…


Again_River_2012_292b.12102847_std Canada’s Hudson Bay Lowlands, one of the largest roadless areas on earth outside Antarctica, contain rivers so remote that even today a few have escaped complete mapping. The expedition’s objective is to explore the Again River, a remote tributary of Quebec’s Harricanaw River. Until 2012, no known explorer, surveyor, canoeist or anyone else had canoed the entirety of the river and it was only added to the map of Canada in the twentieth century as a result of aerial photography. After two failed attempts, in 2012 Adam Shoalts reached the river’s isolated headwaters by a tortuous overland route, and then became the first known person to completely explore it, an experience that he blogged about for Canadian Geographic. This unexplored river had hidden its secrets well: astonishingly Shoalts discovered five waterfalls on the river, which were not previously known to exist. The first of these falls he was swept over in his canoe. This expedition, however, was only a preliminary journey. Given the discovery of the waterfalls, Shoalts, with backing from the Royal Canadian Geographical Society, will return to the river, retrace his arduous route, and this time photograph, measure, and document the precise location of each waterfall so that they can be added to the relevant topographical maps. The most recent topographic maps covering the river date to 1969, and are derived from aerial photography taken in the 1950s. Satellite imagery is equally deficient for detecting the waterfalls. This expedition is thus geographical exploration in the truest sense: indeed, it will change the map and make topographical discoveries, a true rarity in twenty-first century exploration.


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