First Descent of a waterfall in Wayanad, Kerala, India

On May 18th, 2016, we did the first descent of a secret waterfall in the Wayanad district in Kerala, South India. I believe this is the first ever technical first-descent in any of the canyons in India outside of the Himalayas. I say so because there is a chance that some westerner might’ve descended some canyon in the Himalayan region.

In April 2016, through my friend Sidharth Rajendran, I got introduced to few resort owners in Wayanad and one of them were Jayan Nambiar (Jayan Chettan). Jayan chettan introduced me to few brave local folks who knew about a waterfall which is not so popular. They were Mohammed Ali (mammali-kka) and Arun Babu. We scouted the waterfalls from the top and gave a thumbs up for a technical descent of that waterfalls.

I conveyed to them that I will return on May 17 and I will give them some technical training and we will descend the falls on 18th. As per the plan, I went back to Wayanad with ropes, harnesses, and helmets. Due to some other emergencies, they were not able to join on the 17th for a training but, still, we decided to descend on the 18th. I am glad to announce that we successfully descended this series of waterfalls. We did this in 3 stages. The first falls

The first falls were 40 ft tall. The second one was some 100ft tall and the last one was 210 ft tall. Since others didn’t have any training, they down climbed the entire series of falls with me giving a top rope belay. I used a figure-8 to lower them down which was backed up by a VT-prusik attached to my harness. My crew consisted of 5 brave locals who grew up in that vicinity seeing this waterfalls from the top and also from the bottom. The crew included

The crew included Me, Mammali-kka, Arun Babu, Redheesh, and Arun’s 2 brothers (Aneesh and Arjun). They were sure nobody has ever descended through the falls and nobody had seen the perspectives we got to see. From the bottom of the falls, there is a use trail which is kind of steep.

We used that trail to come back up. We started the descend at 11 AM and were back by 6 PM. If everyone had enough training for rappelling we could’ve finished this within 4 hours. Jayan Chettan is working with local forest authorities to get permission so that we can open up the waterfalls to the general public for canyoneering.

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