Canyoning

Canyoning (Canyoneering) is an outdoor activity consisting in a trail in a river’s bed following a itinerary alternating swimming, jumping, walking and rappelling. It is a unique way to discover wild landscapes, this progression lead to cross various natural obstacles providing emotions and sensations.

 

Renowned for many years for its mythical canyons, like the Rio Vero or the Mascun, the Sierra de Guara region is the cradle of canyoning.

On this page we answer frequently asked questions about the activity itself, the difficulty of the canyons, the schedule of a typicl day and the necessary equipment to be expected.

CANYONING ACTIVITY

Back in the days to explore the gorges, pioneers of canyoning had neither maps nor topos to locate themselves. They used to climb the canyons backward against the current and without suitable equipment. Today, thanks to the equipment and our guiding skills, you can enjoy privileged moments in a preserved nature. Canyoning goes along with a lot of fun.

SHOULD I BE GOOD AT SPORT TO PRACTICE CANYONING?

Technically accessible to everyone, we adapt the choice of canyon, progression speed and itinary to the group level. When making your reservation give us an estimate of your level:

 

  • not very sporty
  • sporty
  • heterogeneous.

 

It is not compulsory to be a great athlete to practice canyoning, nevertheless there is two prerequisites:

be prepared to provide a minimum of physical effort,
do not be afraid of water.

 

We can take care of children from 7 years old. But to guaranty the day to be a pleasure it is preferable that the younger ones are used to do hiking and are good at swimming.

I DON’T LIKE TO JUMP, IS IT POSSIBLE TO AVOID IT?

Jumps are never mandatory, It is always possible to bypass them either by rappelling or by foot on an alternative itinerary. At each jump you can choose the way that suits you.

 

We are used to teach the right techniques, and we are at your side to secure you every moment.

Underwater passages – known as ‘siphons’ – can also be bypassed.

CAN I DO RAPPEL ?

Yes of course! In order to cross certain rock jump or cascades safely, we practice a descent on rope. During a preliminary workshop, we teach you the basic rappeling techniques to allow you to be prepared. During the activity, each rappel is counter-insured by the monitor for a maximum security.

 

Some canyons such as Rio Vero, Péonéra or Barrasil do not have rappel.

SHALL I BRING MY OWN CANYONING EQUIPMENT ?

You do not need to bring your personal neoprene suit. Especially because abrasion on rock during the tour would dammaged it quickly. The prices announced on our page “Prices & Booking” includes the rental of specific equipment for canyoning.

 

We ask during the booking, the sizes and weights of all the participants in order to adjust the canyoning neoprene suits to your morphology.

 

However, you will have to plan some personal belongings which we list in the section ‘Non-Technical Equipment’.

 

Typical day CANYON OF RIO VERO

In general, we discover the canyons on a whole day with a pause at around 1pm for a picnic. Below is the descent of the canyon of the Rio Vero. Schedules can vary according to the group’s rhythm.

RIO VERO CANYON

7:40 am

You leave your accommodation to reach the meeting place we have indicated you by Email.

8:50am

Arriving on the spot, the guide welcomes you and briefly explains the general course of the day. He distribute the canyoning equipment that will be used for the practice of the activity. This is also the time you retrieve the aquatic digital camera previously booked on the online form.

9:15 am

With the material on your back, the approach walk can start. It will take you to the entrance of the canyon. Along the way, the instructor gives interesting information about the Sierra de Guara, the fauna, the flora, the natural park. Griffon vultures pass close by taking advantage of the heat of the first rays of sunshine, promise of a superb day to come. When lucky Percnoptera of Egypt – a rare species of vulture – can also been seen.

10:00 am

Arriving at the river side. The sound of the first waterfalls invites you to swim, it’s time to get ready. Maybe the most sporting moment of the adventure : you have to put on the neoprene suit!

10:35 am

Finally your are ready to go! But before starting, the guide begins the briefing to explain the rules of safety to be followed, the appropriate positions and procedures as well as the course of the day.

10:45 am

You enter the heart of the canyon, which reveals its many secrets. Excitement laughs emerge from the group at the approach of the first jumps …

12:45 pm

Time for the picnic, the place is bucolic.

14:15 pm

After this break and a little nap for some, you’re back on track for the last part of the canyon, very playful one.

16:30 pm

Now the gorges widen foreshadowing the end of the canyon, still in discovery and action. The instructor manages the canyoning equipment and offers you a refreshing break on a Spanish terrace to conclude your expedition, and discuss the potential canyons for the coming days. You can not wait …

17:30 pm

It is time to go rest a little at your hotel. This evening you will discover the medieval village of Alquezar and enjoy a soft and relaxing evening.

Canyoning & kids

Sierra de Guara is unique to practice canyoning with children. Because of the specificity of the slides with their fun parts, and the most beautiful canyons are able for the youngest one…

CANYONING : A FAMILY-FRIENDLY JOURNEY

Starting 7 years old, we can supervise all the children who want to discover the canyoning activity.

This practice is playful and aquatic, children are often the most motivated to go into the water, to do again a jump or a slide.

While having fun, it is also the opportunity to discover with your family a natural environment of an extreme richness and to weave an unforgettable adventure.

As professional sports educators, we have developed a special affinity with the young publics, for which we insist on the educational and pedagogical aspect of this sporting activity.

We are often amazed by their enthusiasm, their overflowing energy and their ability to learn.

SIERRA DE GUARA : A NATURAL PLAYGROUND

This area offers canyons that kids love:

Games in the water:

Jumps from different heights (always avoidable), swimming (the neoprene suit acts as a swimming ring that improve floatability), natural slides, caves and waterfalls, and many other surprises…

Canyons accessibility :

during the canyon we have the possibility to modulate or avoid difficulties to adapt the itinary to the children so the day remains a pleasure

Water temperature :

Because it does not come from snowmelt, but from springs fed by winter precipitation, the water of the canyons of the Sierra de Guara is warm compared to the canyons of the Pyrenees.

Important notes:

  • To have the will to discover and have fun
  • Do not be afraid of water
  • Be able to walk at least 45 minutes in a roll
  • Suitable periode : July and August
  • The equipment is adapted to children

Testimonials

Lucille – 9 years old – Canyon of Peonera:

Was it your first time to pratice canyoning ?

Yes, it was great ! At first, I was a little scared, because I did not know if I will be able to do anything. But in fact, it’s too easy.

What did you prefer ?

The jumps! Especially one we did several times. And also waterfalls where you can go behind.

Is there something you have found hard ?

Well… yes : walking. It is a bit long, because I was a little tired. But after we had icecream

What about your instructor, was he nice?

Yes! He showed us a lot of things: vultures, dragonflies, and also a lot of path just for children

Would you like to do canyoning again?

It was so good. I want to do it again !

Canyoning equipment

In 20 years of practice history, canyoning gears has evolved a lot!

Thanks to our experience in this field, we have been able to test numerous brands and products. Today we choose our equipment for its quality, strength, efficiency and comfort for our clients.

All our equipment is checked daily and the neoprene suits are cleaned with a specific anti-bacterial washing product every day.

TECHNICAL CANYONING EQUIPMENT

We are talking about individual and collective technical equipment when it comes to equipment specifically designed for canyoning. It is provided by Le Sens De l’Eau, and its rental fee is integrated to the rates advertised on the page “Rates & Booking”

Canyoning suit

Since the beginning we have been with Vade Retro canyoning suits. These 5 mm neoprene rugged and comfortable suits are in two parts, a jumpsuit and a jacket. They have elbow, knee and buttock protections. Our stock is renewed every year so that the neoprene is always effective and guarantees optimal isothermal protection. We choose the size adapted to your morphology following the indications you provide us in the booking form.

Helmet

We use Elios® helmets from Petzl, famous French brand of mountain gears (headlamps, belaying systems…). Comfortable, light and quick to adjust, these helmets perfectly fulfill their essential role in safety equipment for canyoning. We have several sizes of helmets that allow us to adjust them well to your head. We comply with the European Standards for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

Self-emptying bag and waterproof container

The 6 liter waterproof cans keep your picnic and your belongings dry during the activity. Generally, we take a can for two or three people. Each can is placed in a comfortable and practical bag of 35 liters capacity designed for the canyoning activity.

Rappeling gear

For canyons that require descents on rope, we bring for each person a harness equipped with a descender (the eight), two lanyards and two carabiners. We plan specific ropes for rappel and counter-insuring. We comply with the European Standards for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

 

Cameras

We offer to rent digital aquatic devices and their satchel that go in the water (20 € / day). For memory cards, you have two possible option: either you bring your own (card in SD format) or you buy us one for the price of 5 €.

NON TECHNICAL EQUIPMENT

Below is a list of the personal materials that must be brought by the participants:

  • Closed-toe Shoes they must ensure a good protection of the foot, type sneakers or hiking shoes (avoid shoes not adapted like sandals, flip-flops, windsurfing shoes, beach shoes …).
  • Water bottle 1 litre per personne minimum.
  • Pic-nic a meal for lunch and energy snacks.
  • Swimsuit
  • Light and warm clothing for the approach and return walk of Expert and canyons in Spring
  • Eyeglasses the best is to secure them with a string. Contact lenses are also perfectly suited.
  • Specific medical treatments if necessary

Contact us

• By phone : 00 33 7 84 38 39 81

tel

 

My name is Sam, coordinator and instructor at Le Sens de l’Eau and I will be happy to answer your questions as clearly as possible.

We usually answer all your message within 24 hours.

 

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