How to get into canyoning?

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Joined: 23 Jun 2018, 16:25
Full name: Hayden Caughey
City: Leura
State: New South Wales

How to get into canyoning?

Post by Lith » 23 Jun 2018, 17:30

Hey guys new poster here

I'm a very avid bushwalker, lived in the blue mountains for years and go on at least one walk a week and love it everytime. As much as I love walking though, I'd love to expand my "repertoire" of outdoor activities and canyoning is top of my list.

I did a couple in high school as part of my wild ed class (sheep dip, grand canyon, one in the wollangambe wilderness somewhere) and while they were extremely fun, they didn't instill the confidence in me to go on any without someone in the group more experienced than me. They say the best way to get into canyoning is to know someone who does it and unfortunately for me, in my circle I am "the wilderness guy" so that's a bit of a dead end for me.

So does anyone know some good ways to get into the hobby? I was considering paying a tour company to go on a bunch and keep a keen eye out on techniques so I could quickly get the confidence to go on one alone but those trips cost upwards of $200 per run which is a bit much for my budget. I'd rather spend the money on good gear.

I'm looking for something more akin to a club that accepts people without a lot of experience if that exists, let me know if it does!

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Full name: John Murray
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Re: How to get into canyoning?

Post by johnmurray49 » 24 Jun 2018, 08:32

Hi Hayden,
The Upper Blue Mountains Bushwalking Club (UBMBC) has abseil and canyon activities and is ideal for where you live. Have a look at their website. There is a beginners abseil training day in the next couple of weeks. Check the new activities link and contact that member if you are interested.

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Full name: Tim Vollmer
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Re: How to get into canyoning?

Post by T2 » 25 Jun 2018, 11:19

Hayden, I definitely second John's advice. Outdoor clubs provide a great way to find people who are passionate and experienced about canyoning, and can share skills and techniques with you.

A lot of uni bushwalking clubs do a lot of canyoning trips in the Blue Mountains (Sydney Uni Bushwalkers, UTS Outdoor Adventure Club, UNSW Outdoor Club, etc). Then there's bushwalking clubs like UBMBC, Sydney Bushwalkers, MSS, etc. A lot of caving clubs also do some canyoning in summer. I'd suggest looking at some of the past programs / past trips on these club websites so you can get an idea of which ones might be the best fit for you.

I'd advise against commercial trips. They are mostly designed to take people through as an experience, rather than to teach the skills. The techniques they use are also suited to guides taking beginners through a canyon, but are not necessarily the most appropriate for recreational canyoners.

Good luck and hopefully we'll be bumping into you in canyons before too long!

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Full name: Tom Brennan
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Re: How to get into canyoning?

Post by tom_brennan » 25 Jun 2018, 16:46

If you live in the Blue Mountains, then joining UBMBC would certainly be worthwhile.

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Full name: Dylan Jones
City: Blackheath
State: New South Wales

Re: How to get into canyoning?

Post by dyl_jo » 02 Jul 2018, 11:19

Hi Hayden.
You can do short courses through Registered Training Organisations like TAFE and other private providers. I believe that 5 star training and consulting does a short course (done in conjunction with the Australian School of Mountaineering - see below). This course assumes some prior knowledge though, and is targeted at people who want to work in the industry.
Another option is as mentioned the clubs: a great affordable option.
You could also consider a course from the Blue Mountains Climbing School or The Australian School of Mountaineering. These don't assume any prior knowledge and they are for recreational enthusiasts not for people wishing to become a guide. The difference between the ASM and BMCS courses is worth asking about as they have very different outcomes.
(*Full Disclosure: my friend Hugh runs and owns the Blue Mountains Climbing School)
All the best!

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Full name: Craig Flynn
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Re: How to get into canyoning?

Post by Flynny » 21 Jul 2018, 19:01

Personally my little brother once took us through Rocky Creek and got me hooked. Started exploring, bought some gear and did a basic abseil course..... Looking back we were pretty naive and I have no idea how we found our way in to some of the spots let alone got ourselves back without major incident...

As others have stated joining a bush walking club is a good place to start. Many do canyon trips including instructional days. Check out their activity program to get an idea.

Next option is skilling up with the commerial group, don't just bookl a tour as you wont learn much but, basic through to advanced abseil, rope rescue and navigation courses can be found. Or you could do this through a TAFE program

That option probably wont help you hook up with regular groups thou. For that you could use the meet up section of this forum to see if there are any trips plkanned that are open to beginners or even ask if you could tag along on a trip or two. viewforum.php?f=13

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