My first time canyoning was a fun and interesting experience. The day started off bright and early at the reasonable time of around 8. I was ready for 8.30 for a short 20 minute drive into the rocky mountains. As the sun glared down onto the rocky water I met the group I would go spelunking with for the whole two hours. The people we’re friendly and re assured me that getting up so early would be worth it. They were right. The guide was helpful as he helped me with my harness and wetsuit. All our belongings were put into a safe location and we set off.
There was a short leisurely walk up the mountain to where our adventure would begin. We secured our helmet and harness and the guide took us through the safety rules. The rules where simple. Flat feet, sit and slide and have fun. The learning curve was not as steep as I would have imagined as we just seemingly slid into the flow of the water. We were traversing the vass array of the rocky undergrowth of the rapids when we came up to the big jump. Unfortunately as the weather was to hot and there hadn’t been enough rain as chamonix is a spicy 20-27 degrees throughout summer I could not do the tallest 10 meter jump. That did not matter however as the 8 meter jump was there right for the taking. The guide reassured me of my safety and his prowess of being an experienced climber as I was hoisted up to the highest possible jump. I looked down the 8 meters of gravity’s might I would have to endure and I closed my eyes and jumped. Following his strict instructions of putting my arms to my side and looking straight ahead I collided with the soft rippling water and floated to the surface. I then had 10 minutes to regain my senses before we set of again. Little did I know just how many more surprises this adventure had for me.
We again traversed the rocks for some of the best 20 minutes I have experienced in all of chamonix. We then came to a water fall and we had two options. Either we could avoid the challenge that was about to become of us or we could face it head on. Everybody decided to man up and do what we were all craving. Abseil down a water fall. Even the most apprehensive in the group where willing to take the plunge due to the sheer thrill and yet safe feeling the whole experience had been up to this point. At the bottom of the waterfall I couldn’t help but look up and just look at the feat of what I just accomplished. Again I had a minute wait as I was the first to go. But I didn’t mind. After doing something so exiting it’s hard not to just admire what you have just done.
The last 40 minutes where then spent traversing the rocky landscape. Sliding, gliding and almost hovering above the rocks as there were so many crevasses to explore with your feet. We then crossed the rapids. Sadly this was the end of a trip I just did not want to end. Again I went first and was greeted at the end by an old familiar sight. The car. There was no more walking to do at the end of the journey and we all took off our spelunking equipment and relaxed. We thanked the guide and where all appreciative of what we just experienced.
I would recommend this to anyone. Anyone with a sense of adventure. Anyone with a sense of excitement just screaming to be tickled. And most importantly. Anyone with a sense of fun.
Sam Foland, 15yrs, England