Advanced, Introduction

SPELEO CANYONING

A canyoner descending in a cave

Speleo canyoning is one of the most unique experiences. It combines caving and canyoning in one descent. Sometimes a gorge can form a cave following the open space of the canyon. Or the speleo part can be found in the middle of the descent, creating more thrill and anticipation.

During speleo canyoning you might find very easy passages of down movement. There can also occur some challenging abseils and chest deep navigations, slides and jumps under the limited light of your headlamp.

Many technical difficulties can be found during speleo canyoning. The water current might get stronger. There might be some exposed and slippery stretches. Siphons and water vortices are possible. Therefore, it is essential for the group’s safety to have an experienced leader. A very good knowledge of the caving part and an easy going personality are perfect. Someone who can take responsibility and will be able to assist all canyoning members of the descent safely to the exit is the ideal person.

In speleo canyoning you need to apply the usual canyoning techniques. We use the same gear such as ropes and backpacks, neoprene suits, socks, canyoning shoes, etc. as it is actually an underground canyoning experience. During speleo canyoning the most valuable gear is your headlamp and extra-extra batteries. As all protocols suggest, during canyoning we must always carry a second headlamp with extra batteries in our waterproof barrel. Personally, if the caving part would be long, I might have one more headlamp in my barrel (and extra batteries) just in case needed.

If you are claustrophobic, and have never practiced some caving before, speleo canyoning might be overwhelming yet irresistible and fascinating. It is better to try a couple of easy caves before you go in without any previous experience. Other than the dark part of speleo canyoning, one element to take into consideration, is the water temperature that can reach up to winter conditions of 4-6 degrees. Therefore, an extra layer can keep you warm, or if the caving part is long, a dry suit could be proven the best option.

Enjoy speleo canyoning with safety and fun!

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