Canoeist, Adam Shoalts, Accidentally Discovers Largest Waterfall In 100 Years

Gregory Wakeman - Author

Jul. 29 2013, Updated 8:41 p.m. ET

An explorer, Adam Shoalts, discovered the largest unchartered waterfall in nearly 100 years whilst canoeing through Canada.

Shoalts was traveling along the Again River in the Hudson Bay, which is located in the lowlands of northern Canada, when he suddenly dropped 40 feet down a waterfall that he didn’t expect to come across.

As Shoalts continued he then came upon six more waterfalls, and because of his discoveries the Royal Canadian Geographical Society [RCGS] are now paying him to update their map, as this is one of the most remote areas in the world.

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Shoalts remarked, “It’s a pretty big deal that you still have unexplored territory in this day and age. Many organisations are just sponsoring athletic contests, like going to the north pole… routes and journeys that have been done many times before.”

Shoalts has a wealth of experience discovering unchartered areas. Since 2004 he has explored amphibians for 40 days in the Amazon, uncovered rock carvings in British Columbia, and come face to face with polar bears.

Michael Schmidt, the vice chairman of RCGS’ expedition committee, stated, “Given the documentation of these waterfalls, we clearly still have gems to be revealed. Perhaps it’s not to the magnitude of what explorers would have seen 150 years ago, [But] there is still much to be discovered.”

The Hudson Bay lowlands are about the same size as Great Britain, however there is only one person per 50 square kilometre and you have to travel down the Kattawagami river, which killed a canoeist in 2006, to get to Shoalt’s new waterfalls.

Shoalts said of reaching the area, “I used to say that canoeing the river is the easy part because you have to go through such a nightmare to actually reach the thing. I guess that’s the reason these areas… have been passed over or skipped.”

Shoalts now intends to update the maps that haven’t been worked on since the 1960s. However, he admits there is still a lot of work to be done, stating, “Canada’s so vast. Even if I do this the rest of my life, all my work would still only be a drop in the bucket. We don’t know the world nearly as well as we think we do.”


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