The Canyoneering Introduction: List Of Valuable Information & Beta
Canyoneering is rapidly gaining popularity in the US and with good reason. Thanks to this technical sport, you can explore unique destinations and discover hidden gems you might not have otherwise seen. Canyons by their very nature are ever-changing and this adds to the novelty of the sport. Plus the scenery you traverse through getting there can be pretty spectacular too.
That being said, canyoneering does present unique challenges so it pays to learn how to be a competent and proficient canyoneer before heading on a trip. This helps to keep you and the rest of your party safe out on the canyons.
Here are some canyoneering guidelines to keep in mind:
Minimize your impact on the environment.
It’s imperative to leave as little impact as you can on the canyons and surrounding environment even as more people take up canyoneering. To start with, avoid littering and pick up any litter you come across. Also keep in mind that the cryptobiotic soil crust found often seen in deserts is quite fragile so stick to slickrock and washes as much as possible to avoid walking on it.
Have the requisite skills for canyoneering.
Canyoneering can be an unforgiving sport if you’re prone to mistakes so take time to master the rappelling and anchor skills needed to skillfully navigate your way through canyons. You need to know how to evaluate existing anchors to ensure they can serve you and also know when to put up new ones if necessary. You’ll also need to learn and practice pothole skills before taking on canyons with potholes as these can be quite dangerous.
Always be aware of your surroundings.
Always be alert in canyons. Keep an eye on the weather and don’t venture into canyons if the forecast calls for rain. Flash floods can happen quite suddenly and they’ve often proven fatal. It also pays to learn the canyon rating system and to stick to canyons that are within your abilities. Additionally, never jump into a pool unless you’re sure of its depth. Some pools can look deceptively deep and might have jagged rocks, spelling disaster should you blindly dive in.
Ensure you’re equipped with the right gear.
- Rope –ensure it’s long enough for your biggest rappel
- Wetsuit – carry one if the rating or canyon description recommends one
- Helmet – always wear one of these
- Rappelling gear – have a checklist of all rappelling gear you’ll need including ascending devices, locking carabiners, rope pulleys, rappel rings, daisy chains, harnesses, etc.
- Shoes –whether you choose canyoneering specific shoes or sturdy hiking boots, ensure you have the right footwear
- Backpack – get one roomy and strong enough to fit all your stuff