What is Canyoneering?
Canyoneering is "the sport of exploring a canyon by engaging in such activities as rappelling, rafting, and waterfall jumping." It's basically all the fun adventurous things I enjoy doing and have the desire to try in one! I'm not one for jumping off a cliff into water but it's on my bucket list. If I found myself on a canyoneering trip that required me to, I would absolutely jump that thing! Especially if it included a waterfall, because I LOVE waterfalls. Just read about my obsession in these two blog posts!
If you haven't explored a canyon once in your life, you are seriously missing out. Canyons have a beauty to them that can't really be described. Being able to repel down into one creates a greater appreciation for the beauty that nature brings.
How does one go about canyoneering?
If you aren't experienced with rappelling than I recommend finding a guide. Just from personal experience, a great place to go would be to Zion Ponderosa Ranch & Resort. They have experienced guides that take you through canyons in Zion National Park. They set you up with all the gear and help you will need. Considering how much gear that is required for canyoneering, I definitely recommend starting here. There are different levels of canyons so if this isn't your first rodeo there are more advanced repels they might take you to.
What gear does canyoneering require? I'll just make a quick list.
- Dry Bag (for electronics in case you encounter any water)
- Small back pack (hold your food and water)
- Helmets (required, you'll even see experienced people wearing them)
- Descenders (used with your rope)
- Carabiners (also used with your rope)
- Head lamp (the bottom of a canyon is much darker, even during the daytime)
- Webbing (used to create anchors)
- Gloves (don't want rope burns)
Just a quick note on the shoes; they don't need to be anything fancy, but they do need to have a good gripping soul. An old pair of sneakers won't work, the grip is most likely nonexistent now. And just like any kind of all-day adventure, don't forget to bring enough food and water to keep your energy up!
That is quite the list! I don't have hardly anything on that list, so going through a company that can set me up is going to be my best option. Plus, canyoneering can be quite dangerous if you aren't hooked up correctly, so I'd rather put my life in someone else's hands to help me out.
What’s the difference between canyoneering and rock climbing you might ask? Well, it’s quite simple really. Rock climbing simply implies that you are climbing or ascending. And with canyoneering you are doing the opposite by starting at the top of something and making your way down. Though their definitions and actions are quite different, if you are equipped to do one of these activities, you with find that you have everything you need for the other.
Have you been canyoneering before? Comment where you've been and a little bit about your experience. We'd love to hear about it!