Canyoning Guide

by Chuck Robert
Canyons offer a lot of space to explore.

Canyons offer a lot of space to explore.

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"Canyoning" officially refers to technical descents, which use advanced climbing and swimming techniques, although some people use the term "canyoning" to refer to any kind of canyon exploration. Canyoning includes techniques such as walking, abseils, rope work, jumps, climbing and swimming.

Surroundings

Water cutting through stone creates canyons over time. People engage in canyoning to see natural surroundings, such as waterfalls and the sculpted walls created from sandstone, granite, basalt and limestone. Canyoning is less a sport and more an appreciation of nature.

Gear

People use various kinds of gear when canyoning, including helmets, wetsuits, static ropes and special shoes. You should only use equipment designed and approved for canyoning. Some canyoning trips require wetsuits since people often travel through wet areas.

Rope

The most important piece of equipment for canyoning is the rope. It must be an expensive and high-quality rope since the lives of those engaged in canyoning often depends on the rope's strength. Any cuts on the outside of a rope are signs that an explorer should get a new rope.

Other Tools

Other important pieces of equipment are the descenders, used to descend using the rope, and the piton bar, which helps control the descent speed. Also important is the rack, which lets an explorer adjust the friction based on the environment. The harness is a belt that wraps around the explorer and keeps him from falling off a rope. This device can be padded, for more comfort, or unpadded. Explorers use ascenders to climb back up a rope. Packs are highly useful for all the equipment people need to carry with them.

Getting Lost

Torches are very helpful since people do not know when they will suddenly need light due to a cloudy day or a delayed trip. The torches should be waterproof. LED torches have long battery lives but are not as durable as traditional torches. Whistles are important so explorers can communicate with each other over the roaring water.

Trips

People usually engage in canyoning trips during the summer although some people perform canyoning trips in the winter. Canyoning groups usually have four to five members. Having at least four people increases safety in the event of an injury since one person can stay with the injured person and the other two can go for help. Having too many people on a canyoning trip can damage the natural surroundings and prevent those on a trip from fully experiencing the canyon.

Photo Credits

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