Canyoning - General information

The dangers

Canyoning is a fascinating sport, but it is necessary to consider the dangers associated to this sport. In this section, our objective is to make you aware of the dangers that you may encounter.

Sudden and improvised increase of water level

Numerous canyons in Ticino are exploited by hydroelectric stations. Water level can therefore vary suddenly and without notice leaving little chances to those who find themselves in exposed zones.

The warning sign means: Watch out the sudden and unexpected increases of water level. Canyons with this symbol are exploited by hydroelectric stations.

You must call the respective command centre of the hydroelectric station before risking yourself in canyons with artificial uptake.

Floods

Often strong floods ruin and destroy in part the anchorage. Always take along some reserve material (self-drilling spits, ropes, etc.)

Basin depth

The depth of the basins and the volume of debris they contain (logs, stones, gravel, etc.) changes often after floods (natural or artificial). Check always before diving.

Whirls and syphons

In spring and at the beginning of summer the river water level is always higher. You will find therefore often whirls zones which can create serious problems. To avoid the formation of big balls and knots, do not leave ever the free rope in the basins. It is preferable to use the Kit-Boule method with a rope adjusted to the surface of water and a loosening system from the top. A well sharpened knife easy to reach (not tied around the neck!) is always very useful in this circumstance. The syphons are rare in Ticino rivers, nevertheless be always cautious.

Inadequate or insufficient personal and/or group equipment

Too soft or too big neoprene suit, too short ropes, insufficient number of ropes, shortage of reequipping material (self-drilling spits), etc. are all factors that can put in danger your life and that of the members of your group.

Technical and physical preparation

The mountainous character of Ticino canyons makes them very difficult, dangerous and unpredictable. It is therefore necessary to have an excellent technical and physical preparation before risking yourself in a challenging canyon. Get yourself informed or explore the area before throwing yourself into adventures without an adequate preparation, which could result in a very unpleasant experience.

Important Information

Before undertaking any activity in the rivers, these two factors have to be taken into consideration:

1. Weather forecast

 

2. Water level in the rivers


The level of water can change even in nice weather days if there is a hydroelectric station nearby.