A little bit of knowledge can be a dangerous thing...

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A little bit of knowledge can be a dangerous thing...

Post by T2 » 18 Mar 2019, 14:47

Once upon a time, activities like canyoning (not to mention other rope sports) required you to know someone who could take you out and teach you the skills, a club, or a commercial guide. The internet has made it easier than ever for people to get out there. While it's great that our pursuit is more accessible to new people, it can be quite dangerous as people can see a nice photo, do a quick google search, then go out themselves, often without a firm grasp of the risks.

A couple examples I've recently come across of how a little bit of knowledge, generally from the internet, can be dangerous things. The first is a video from YouTube titled "how to rappel on a buget". Moving beyond the spelling, which should ring alarm bells, it's been watched more than 30,000 times. Have a watch and between the cringing and laughing you'll appreciate how easily someone following the advice could plummet to their death. I'm sure there's thousands of similar videos and guides across the internet sharing dangerously bad advice.

The next one is an (apparently) serious post on the Canyon Collective forum in the US from someone who'd seen pictures of canyons, done some googling, and was now planning to set off.

For people who don't know the canyons he references, it's like someone here saying they'd heard people had died in Empress, so figure they'll start off with Danae. They want to know if everyone really needs a harness, descender, wetsuit, etc, or if they can just share... The full conversation, with further replies, is just as mind bending: http://canyoncollective.com/threads/zio ... ers.25772/
Amazing find! There is a website for everything these days. I've read through some stuff and this looks like I'm in the right spot!

Some of my bros and I are coming from ISU to Zion for spring break to get our canyoneer on (and hopefully snap some sweet IG photos!). Thanks in advance, after researching heavily and reading almost this whole site, here are some questions!

Our general plan is to come in, and do some "moderate" type canyons (we're all young, fit, can rock scramble - I can bench almost 2x my weight too) - realizing the easy ones will be loaded with Noobs, but we don't want to get in over our heads either. So it looks like we'd be doing any canyon with a, "3" rating? (and maybe, "Heaps" cuz those photos are sick! - don't worry, we'd jump out of the canyon before that long last rappel/lower! jk).

We've done a ton of research, we even bought a static rope on Ebay (hoping it gets here on time! do they rent ropes?) and think we're pretty well ready to rock and roll, we just have a couple really small questions:

1. Wetsuits - do we, "REALLY" EACH need them? It seems like it may be overkill, but I realize they rent them there too? Worst case - would it be possible to just rent one (or even two?) and just have the guy getting ready to get wet put it on?

2. Harnesses/Descenders - I've used a GriGri at the gym, so I get the "lowering" (letting the rope out) concept. Again, seems overkill to have everyone wearing a harness and having a descender - seems like we could get by with a couple, and just drag them up in between by tying them to rope and pulling back up to the top. I read that people sometimes do that.

3. Which campsites do all the, "canyoneering" peeps hang out at? Is there one that is a closer location to the good stuff?

4. I imagine the rangers are working overtime to make sure it's all tip top, but can you absolutely count on having anchors/rings at ALL the anchor locations? (I mean, we'll bring some cord/webbing and be prepared in case there isn't any there, but I just wanna make sure. I wanna avoid unsafe situations like that unless absolutely necessary.)

5. Any other emergency stuff (besides cord/webbing/achor building stuff) that we should take?

Finally, what canyons do you guys recommend? Imlay? Mystery? (I know enough to avoid number 4's and stuff like Keyhole where all those people died.)
Has anyone else seen anything else as terrifyingly bad closer to home?

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Re: A little bit of knowledge can be a dangerous thing...

Post by johnmurray49 » 18 Mar 2019, 19:56

I had to check my calendar to see if this was a 1st April video.

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Re: A little bit of knowledge can be a dangerous thing...

Post by marilyn_scott1950 » 19 Mar 2019, 08:28

Just last week a couple of friends did Claustral on a Saturday and then took a peak up Thunder, it was at this time that they ran across a guy who was looking for the way out of Claustral. It was his first canyon (ever) and he did it solo. They showed him the way out but kept on catching up with him, eventually he decided that it was best if he stuck with them (and told them later he appreciated being able to tag along on the exit). They tried to (nicely) convince him that it's safer to go with a group in the future, but weren't confident that he took it on board. Some people lead charmed lives …

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Re: A little bit of knowledge can be a dangerous thing...

Post by tom_brennan » 20 Mar 2019, 21:57

That Canyon Collective thread was either utterly hilarious or completely terrifying. It's yet to be clear which!

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Re: A little bit of knowledge can be a dangerous thing...

Post by polas » 27 Mar 2019, 18:30

wow. the video. is that guy still alive? ;-)
this cannot be serious... no way.

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