Being punctual is an appreciated quality in every aspects of our daily life. We start practicing in nursery school and continue throughout all our education. Everyday is almost dedicated to punctuality, as we need to be on time for work, for our meetings, with our co-workers, our superiors, our boss, our loved ones, when meeting our friends for fun, on special dates, etc.
What is the importance of punctuality in canyoning?
Well, first of all it is a matter of respect to ourselves and the people who are expecting to meet us. Second, it is time and energy saving. And third, it enables better understanding, positive attitude and great communication. However, in canyoning being punctual is even more important because we need to:
• Summon our canyoning team
• Prepare and double check our gear
• Divide the cars and set logistics
• Put our dry clothes to the trunks of the cars parked near the exit
• Pack our canyoning bags with our equipment
• Double check the contents of our waterproof barrels (food, extra batteries, etc.)
• Wait for the drivers of the exit cars to return, so we can all get dressed, and start walking toward the entrance of the canyon
• Double check the weather conditions report via internet and/or on the spot
• Double study the map of the descent
• Double mark the exits of the canyon
• Choose how many ropes to take (usually canyoning teams have more ropes than needed)
• Lock the cars and memorize the key positions
• Safely find the entrance of the canyon
• Send a message to a trusting person on the exact time of entering the canyon and the expected time of getting out (so she/he can call a rescue team in case of an unexpected delay)
• Get actually started
Among the above bullet points one has the utmost importance: the time of exit
Depending on the season, the sun is setting on an exact time each day. Therefore, starting very early in the morning is great. It gives us enough time to enjoy the company of our friends and canyoning during daylight. So, we highly recommend it. Many canyoning groups give each-other an arrival time gap of 15’-30’ so everybody takes it a bit easier.
What if something happens and you cannot be punctual at all?
Mmm… It depends on how late you estimate to be and on your role as a team member:
• If you are the leader of the descent it will have an effect on your credibility – so don’t ever let that happen – only if there is a very serious matter in your personal life. Should you need to stay behind and you trust your canyoning group, to proceed to the descent without your presence, you need to call them one by one and inform them about your situation.
• If you are one of the drivers co-travelling with other canyoners it can cause a big mess. The others are counting on you and your car to get to the location, so you must inform them immediately. You need to call the other drivers as well, if there is a case to slow down and wait for you. If you are unable to attend for some reason, call your friends as soon as possible, so they can find a way to be transported there with someone else’s car.
• If you are a team member co-travelling and you are getting late, it will affect everybody in the same car. Call the driver and the leader of the descent immediately. If your delay is minor it will be ok – but if your delay is more than 30’… maybe reconsider participating.
Last but not least… not finding the entrance of the canyon
All the above points are successfully handled – the team is ready, everybody is in a great mood, jokes and laughter resonate on the rocks but… for some reason your team cannot find the entrance of the canyon. If none is able to find the entrance of the canyon and the search continues for more than one hour (in our humble opinion) maybe you need to reconsider getting in the canyon and avoid getting too late? Please think twice and make the right choice for your safety. After all, the canyons are there… so stay focused, safe and have fun canyoning!