Learning - The Basics
This section will provide the basic context of what goes into the sport of Canyoneering.
This section does NOT dive into the Canyoneering Gear or Ropes or Knots or Techniques. That is provided in "Learning 2 - Essentials" section.
This Basics section will help you determine, if this inherently dangerous sport, is too complex and isn't something worth pursuing. Or maybe, just maybe, you will be bite by the "bug" and want to consume all that you can about it.
Canyoneering isn't just dropping into any random canyon at any given time and guarantee that you are going to be okay. After reading through this section, it will provide a simple answer of - it "all depends" on the canyon!
Sometimes variety is good (and adds to the "spice of life") and those "mediocre" canyons will add new experiences and allow you to be more comfortable on the ropes, make you more competent at rappels, and help you solidify skills.
Some of those 2-star rating canyons will often see very minimal people, and provide you with an appreciation for all canyons later on. The "best" isn't necessarily the "best" all the time. It's okay that your "best" canyon is not everyone else's favorite or best!
We all like different things and for different reasons. Some want the challenge from the tough canyon. Others seek the aesthetics (looks) of the canyon. Some want a good night stay in a hotel after a canyon, versus camping for 2-3 days in the hot desert with no amenities near by.
But you know what? That's the great thing about this sport - you get to decide what and where you want to go and how you want to descend these slot canyons.
With that said, Canyoneering takes serious consideration with planning and forethought! Some canyons are great for beginners and other canyons would seriously injure or be lethal to the ill-prepared!
People have died by underestimated the canyon, by not doing their research and planning in addition to not knowing the apparent risks. Sometimes, people will ignore weather warnings and decide to rappel into a canyon when there are cumulonimbus (rain) clouds in the vicinity!
Remember, a canyon is literally Mother Nature's drainage system! Live another day! The canyon(s) will always be there! You will not!
Some people and websites think that once you learn how to tie just a few knots, you are good to go! Wrong! While you may get through some simple technical canyons, that doesn't mean that you were "successful". In other words, you got lucky! But maybe not next time? Do not take your safety and the safety of others for granted.
The purpose of these sections is to give everyone the context of the dangers and cautions found within the sport.
I have 3 rules for canyoneering that will help you keep safe:
Your safety is ALWAYS the number one rule.
The second rule, is your enjoyment; along with the proper attitude correction of preserving and protecting slot canyons for future generations.
The third rule is to follow the first and second rules exactly in that order.