Canyoning and Coronavirus

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Posts: 1
Joined: 28 Mar 2020, 07:24
Full name: James Taylor
City: bullaburra
State: New South Wales

Canyoning and Coronavirus

Post by JImmy » 28 Mar 2020, 20:16

Hi Guys, Whats everyone's opinion on canyoning during the pandemic?
Is there any research on weather the virus is waterborne? Would doing low traffic canyons by yourself be okay?
Thanks Guys!

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Joined: 22 May 2018, 23:04
Full name: Dave Jones
City: Sydney
State: New South Wales

Re: Canyoning and Coronavirus

Post by DaveJones » 28 Mar 2020, 21:07

Assuming it can be spread in water (pools are closed, so?), canyons usually have constant water flows from upstream, so should be safe unless an infected person/party is behind you. So pays to go last in the group? :D

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Full name: Tim Vollmer
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Re: Canyoning and Coronavirus

Post by T2 » 06 Apr 2020, 11:07

James, sorry for the slow reply. It's been a hectic few weeks with the day job.

Personally, there's a few factors I think that canyoners should consider before doing any trips at the moment:

1) Unnecessary travel. The firm health advice is that people should not undertake unnecessary travel at the moment. When people travel, they usually have to stop for fuel or food, creating additional social interactions that can spread the virus. Unless you live somewhere like Mt Wilson, Blackheath, Wentworth Falls, etc and have a canyon in your backyard, then travelling into the mountains or elsewhere to go canyoning would fall in this category.

2) Social interactions. Again, the health advice is to avoid people you are not isolated with (people in your home). A social interaction can only occur with one other person. Given the general safety advice for canyoning is to have a group of people (four is ideal, as one person can stay with an injured person while the other two go for help) then the only way to canyon is either solo, or with people in your own household. Outside of some easy, accessible canyons, solo canyoning is inherently more dangerous.

3) Pressure on the health system. Coronavirus is placing substantial additional pressure on the health system. If you do get injured, the resources needed to undertake a rescue and provide hospital treatment will put further pressure on the system. The same rescue helicopters that winch injured canyoners out are used to move sick patients from regional areas to major hospitals.

4) Risk of exposure. This is actually the bottom of the list for me, given it is quite a low risk, but still something to consider. There is evidence that the coronavirus can survive for several days on some surfaces. It may also survive for some time in water. When canyoning, you touch the same objects as other people (think anchors, rock, ropes, other equipment). If someone in your group has the virus, or someone who was infected has been through the canyon in the preceding days, there is a risk of exposure.

Given all that, I have made the personal decision not to undertake any canyons at the moment, not even solo or with my partner. Everyone has to make their own decisions, but hopefully some of the points above are food for thought.

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