The Background History

Four young climbers dream of climbing the Lotus Flower Tower, a legendary big wall, somewhere in the Cirque of the Unclimbables in the furthest outreaches of Northern Canada. For 800 m of climbing, they will have to face 550 km of dangerous Nahanni river over a whole month of total independence.

Given that they have only limited experience in this type of adventure, they persuade Dom, a seasoned traveller 33 years their senior, to help them get this expedition off the ground. Whereas Dom will be realising his teenage dream of riding the Nahanni rapids, he is also about to realise that the Lotus Flower will be his last ‘Big Wall’ climb.

A poetic and fun adventure of passing the baton between generations, a point where the dream becomes reality.

The Movie


Packrafting Down the Nahanni

The Nahanni River runs in the Northwest Territories of Canada to the west of the regional capital Yellowknife. At the Virginia Falls, the Nahanni drops down 90 metres, i.e. twice the height of the Niagara Falls. It then plunges into 4 large canyons with rapids bearing the most terrifying names, each one more petrifying than the other, and all witnesses to the multiple attempts that have been made by gold diggers and other trappers. It was only at the end of the 1960s, when man was first setting foot on the moon, that a team of Frenchmen succeeded in travelling down the entire length of the Nahanni for the very first time. Pierre-Louis Mallen described this descent in his book published by Flammarion in 1968: Victoire sur la Nahanni [Victory over the Nahanni]. Roger Frison-Roche has also made the Nahanni River famous in France with his last book published by Arthaud in 1969: Nahanni, la vallée sans hommes [Nahanni, the valley devoid of man].

Climbing the Lotus Flower Tower

The Lotus Flower Tower (2,570m) is a legendary pillar of 800m, climbed for the first time in 1968 by a legendary team of climbers from Yosemite in California: James P. McCarthy, Tom Frost and Harthon Bill. The south-east face consists of two sections: a first section that is easier, but often more humid. This leads to a large bivouacking terrace from which to start the final wall. The latter’s reputation stems from its pillar that is gouged from top to bottom by spectacular fissures. Besides its fissures, the rock of the final wall offers welcome knobs that provide a foothold. The climbing experience is out of this world, without ever being hard, except for a short athletic overhang (5.11a grading). The Lotus Flower Tower is only accessible by helicopter or by travelling 550 km down the Nahanni River. Our adventurers went for the second option, i.e. one month of total independence in the most unspoilt countryside you can find in northern Canada.

The journey

Pictures of the adventure


Claire et François Herinckx-van Tichelen – Michel et Christiane Herinckx – Laurent Eschenauer – Philippe et Cécile Feyens-Coupez – Nicolas Timmermans – Pierre Cattoir – Gaspard & Aurélien Cordi – Yves Hoppenot – Armand Bosquillon de Jenlis – Isabelle Lefebvre – Marie et Damien d’Hoop – François Poncelet – Jean-Pierre Staquet – Astrid de Hults – Johan van der Smissen – Thomas Van der Rest – Jean-François Macq – Thibaut Simonart – Martine Carbonnelle-Misonne – Myriam Verstraeten – Paul Pichot  – François Dupont – Mathieu Chable – Aurore Snyers – Benoit Macq – Peter van Hout –  Laurent Noirhomme – Emmanuel Oldenhove – René Greindl – Guillaume Bleeckx – Benoit Massart – Louis Meunier – Bastien Delvaux – David de Schaetzen – Emmanuel van Hecke – Michel Thiry – Marie Laterre – Sophie debs – Matthias Tummers – Geoffroy De Schutter – Pietquin Cécile – Gaetan Seny – Camille Vanderclausen – Etienne Helleputte – Grégoire Snyers – Jérôme Hendrickx – Maximilien Maus de Rolley – Olivier Lambeaux – Bernard Delloye – Christian Geerts – Nicole et Jean Claude Donnet – Isabelle Tummers – Sébastien François – Frédéric van der Vaeren – Catherine Luyckx – Lauranne Goffaux – Dorian Somers – Pierre Martin – Baptiste Lambinet – Jérôme Meessen – Victor de Nève – Camille Vanderclausen – Joseph de Mahieu – Timothée De Greift -Damien Denoël – Olivier Capelle – Jacques Vanderstraeten – Emmanuel Defalque – Jon van Outryve – Arnaud Matthews – Eléonore Tabery – Tsigeris SPRL Dimitri Mertens – Grégoire de Hemptinne – Mickael Marianne – Raphaël Herinckx – Climact SA – Paul et Denise Denoël-Lhoest – Anne Versailles – Werner et Sandy de Schaetzen – Erwin Frets – Benoît Snyers – Jean-Philippe Timmermans – Carl de Brouwer – Jacques de Brouwer – Matthieu Taymans – Yvan de Maere – Paul Dehaene – Maëlle Snyers – Thierry Fallon – Sébastien Megnin – Gauthier Polet – Perrine Snyers – Imbaud Verhaegen – Sophie et Gaetan Clerbaux-Cauderlier – Etienne Snyers – Julie van de Rest – Valériane Denoël – Thierry Castagne – Arthur Fievet – Castagne-Goffinet – Julian Aurouze – Caroline de Ville de Goyet – Guirec de Biolley – A Van den branden-de reeth – Marisa Tocco – Geoffroy Van Derton – Benoit Verdickt – Anne-Sophie Colmant – Laurent Verdickt – Patricia Van den Bolen – Claire Castagne – Catherine Verdickt – Pierre Dupont – Jean-Louis et Régine Snyers – Antoine Wolters – Adrien Thyrion – Hilda Schuerman – Charlotte De Mesmaeker – Anne-Marie Allemon – Max Collinet – Geoffroy Wolters – Myriam Verstraeten – Amaury van den Branden – Xavier Devillers – Veronique de Hults – Joachim Somers – Valentine Bodart – Anny et François Januarius-Claessens – Francis Somers – Paul Nelis – Quentin Muller – Hilde Musin – Christian Fontaine – Arnaud Snyers – Louise Warnon – Stéphane Pierreux – Tom Anonyme – Florian Gourgue – Dom Snyers – Luc Somers – Adrien Thyrion – Bernard Van de Walle – Murielle Plas – Simon Maurissen – Anne Brédat – Damien Macq – Adrien Thyrion – Dominique Snyers