TARA RIVER, Montenegro – For the first time in history five stand up paddlers – Vallentin Illichmann, Stéphane Pion, Nicolas Fayol and Stetcher twins Mario and Manuel – have successfully completed a self-supported descent of the deepest canyon in Europe, the Tara River Canyon. The four day, 150km SUP journey took the expert team through the Tara River from the Dynamic Alps of Montenegro to the Bosnia border. During the trip, they crossed the 1300m deep Tara River Canyon, known as a hidden treasure of Montenegro.
Daunting in its magnitude, the Tara River Canyon landscape is truly incredible. Abundant, lush greenery covers the mountainsides and a host of waterfalls cascade down along the flow. It is the epitome of a paddler’s dream location. Despite its beauty however, standing on a small board in the middle of a deep canyon, all on their own, the five men were forced to push their physical and mental limits in order to accomplish their mission.
Paddling 8-10 hours a day, the team of paddlers were able to reflect and bond with one another in a whole new way. Their long, taxing days on the water ended with finding campsites near the river, installing tarp, resting in front of a warm fire, and preparing for the next day’s undertaking. Outdoor specialists Stéphane Pion and Gilles Reboisson filmed and photographed the journey to show how a passion for the river, stand up paddling, and outdoor exploration can empower people, build friendships, and grow wisdom. The result of their efforts was a beautifully documented film called Tears Of Europe.
Reaching beyond their incredible journey, their goal in building this film was to spread awareness of the current endangerment of wild rivers by dam construction and bring attention to this current threat. To learn more about the Tara SUP Project, click HERE, and watch the full film above for the story of their journey.
For more SUP Journeys click HERE.