Canyoning, Introduction




Descent system: the belay system that an abseiler operates to control their descent.

Deep-water belay: a safety system relying on deep water in a fall zone.

Direct supervision: where a nominated person responsible for supervising others during all or part of the activity is able to intervene immediately (also see indirect supervision and remote supervision).

Dynamic rope: a specially constructed kernmantle rope that is somewhat elastic under load. The elastic ‘stretch’ under load is what makes the rope ‘dynamic’. (Also see static rope.)


Fall factor: is the ratio of the height of a fall (h) (measured before the rope or lanyard begins to stretch) and the rope or lanyard length available to absorb the energy of the fall (L). It is used as a representation of the severity of a fall when arrested by a belay system. It is calculated by (h) divided by (L).

Fall height: The vertical distance between the climber’s or abseiler’s lowest body element and the surface beneath.

Fall zone: The surface that can be hit by a climber or abseiler falling.

Feature: a part of a natural surface or artificial surface.

Flash flooding: is flooding in a localised area with a rapid onset, usually as the result of relatively short intense bursts of rainfall.

Flying fox: a means of travel along a sloping rope or cable by attaching to it using a free moving pully and being propelled by gravity.

Forward abseiling: abseiling while facing towards the ground.


GPGs: Good Practice Guide(s) – See Preface for details.

Guided rappels: an abseil that uses a track-line.


Horizontal canyoning: the ascent, traversing and/or descent of a canyon where any fall safety required can be achieved using spotting.

Hydraulics: refer river hazards. Indirect supervision: where a nominated person responsible for supervising others during all or part of the activity is in the vicinity but unable to intervene immediately (also see direct supervision and remote supervision).


Lead climbing: where the climber ascends a pitch while periodically attaching their rope to fixed or removable protection.

Lifejacket: a worn device that provides the wearer with additional buoyancy in water. (Also known as Personal floatation device (PFD))

Lowering: a descent which is controlled by a rope from above. Also known as ‘passive abseiling’.

Terms to be found here:

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