TOPO Canyoning

Mini Yellow Flowers, Cilaos

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In the heart of the Cirque de Cilaos, the upper section of the Fleurs Jaunes canyon is a little jewel, and on this day, after the passage of cyclone Dumazile, conditions were particularly exceptional! A short descent, mini obligatory, but spectacular, starting with the aerial entrance to the canyon, followed by a series of abseils, slides and small jumps in an incised formation with an impressive water flow. With no real difficulty and impeccable equipment in place, the site is splendid, and we could then move on to a cliff-climbing session at the finish, on the banks of the torrent. The integral Fleurs Jaunes promises a second, more open but very aerial lower section, one to plan for a new trip to La Réunion.

Technical summary

Type ✦ Water canyon
Location ✦ Ilet à Corde
Region ✦ Cirque de Cilaos
Country ✦ La Réunion
Length ✦ 200m
Vertical drop ✦ 80m
Difficulty ✦ v4-a3-III
Max abseiling ✦ 40m
Duration ✦ 2h30 to 3h
Interest ✦ ★★

Access to the place

From Cilaos, take the road to Ilet à Corde and Terre Fine. After crossing Bras Rouge, the road climbs back up and before Ilet, stop at Fleurs Jaunes, at the level of a huge piton in the shape of a sugar loaf, the piton Sucre, a must-see.

Map & topo

Itinerary description

Hiking to the start 20'

From the road, descend and immediately cross the torrent to pick up a path that runs alongside it on the right bank, then crosses it again just outside the last waterfall. Then head uphill on a scree slope to reach the base of a mini-cliff, which you cross with a lifeline. Follow the path to a promontory overlooking the canyon. This is where you'll find the abseiling lines (one straight ahead and one to the left a little further on).

Course 2h

4 compulsory abseils, 1 of which can be a slide depending on the water. There's no escape in the parade, but it's short in length. The equipment in place is highly operational, given the number of groups that pass through in high season.

Rappel 1 (38m)

Start in contact with the wall of a splendid monolith, then about 25m on a pendulum to land in the torrent bed. This entrance (40m abseil) is not compulsory, as a path leads down into the torrent bed a little further up.
Abseil 2 (12m)

Just after, on the left bank, equipment to the left. Land on a ledge with an indentation 3m above the water.
Transition

Jump then swim in today's busy little reach, followed immediately by an inclined slide, not very flat but with plenty of water. At the bottom, a mini jump of 1m leads to a basin with a right-hand bend.
Rappel 3 (15m)

Can be done as a toboggan, guided at the start and then letting go further down: very fast finish with a bend to plunge into a bubbling kettle (safe but impressive!). Swim to the edge of the big waterfall.
Rappel 4 (28m)

Final abseil to the right of the final cascade. Land in the basin or beside it. Swim across if there's a lot of water and this is the end of the canyon. 9m and 11m jumps possible on the left as you exit.

Back

Once you've left the last waterfall, take the approach path and quickly rejoin the road.

Video

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