Image Credit: Brett Johnson (C)
This section will provide the basic context of what goes into Canyoneering.
This section does NOT dive into the Canyoneering Gear or Ropes or Knots or Techniques. (That is provided in the "The Essentials" section.)
This helps you determine if this inherently dangerous sport is above your head or perhaps it is something you want to pursue more...
Canyoneering isn't necessarily just dropping into any canyon at any random time and you are going to be okay. After reading through this section, it will provide that the answer with better context to that question, which is it "all depends" on the canyon!
Sometimes though, variety is good (and adds to the "spice of life) and those "ho-hum" canyons will add experience and allow you to be more comfortable on the ropes and at rappels and help you solidify skills.
Some of these 2-star 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 elses! We like different things and for different reasons. Some want the challenge. Others seek aesthetics (looks). Some want a good night stay in a hotel, versus camping for 3 days in the hot desert with no amenities near by. But that's the great thing about this - 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 some 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 and knowing the risks. Sometimes, people will ignore weather warnings and decide to rappel into a canyon when it is raining!
Remember, a canyon is literally Mother Nature's drainage system! Live another day! The canyon(s) will always be there!
Many people and some 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, it 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.
As it should be, 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.