Overview

canyoning


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The activity of travelling through canyons by a variety of means: scrambling, swimming, jumping, climbing, abseiling, and walking. It is distinct from mere canyon hiking in that it usually involves technical descents requiring equipment and specialist technical skills—*parkour, the use of rope, or water techniques. Rugged mountain environments with flowing water constitute the ideal conditions for canyoning, which, consequently, is a select sport for participants of adventurous disposition. It can be dangerous, and in 1999 twenty-one tourists drowned in a flash flood in Switzerland's Saxetenbach Gorge; these included thirteen Australians, and young people from Switzerland, the United Kingdom, South Africa, and New Zealand. The tragedy generated court cases and debates about the commercial pressures that allowed inexperienced guides to lead the fatal expedition when weather warnings had anticipated the thunderstorm that produced the flash flood. Such a tragedy also highlights the need in such sports for serious preparatory training and extreme caution.

Subjects: Sport and Leisure.


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