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6 potential 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.

1.Sudden and improvised increase of water level

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

This warning sign means: Watch out for the sudden and unexpected increases of water level.

Canyons with this symbol are exploited by hydroelectric plants.

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


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

3.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).Always check  before diving.

4.Whirls and syphons

In spring and at the beginning of summer the river water level is always higher. Therefore you will often find whirls zones which can create serious problems. To avoid the formation of big balls and knots, never leave 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 these circumstances. The syphons are rare in Ticino rivers, nevertheless be always cautious.

5.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 i and that of the members of your group.

6.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.

Dangerous situations?

Emergency medical assistance by air REGA
Tel (Within Switzerland): 1414
Tel (From abroad): +41 333 333 333
Emergency radio channel 161.300 MHz 

Colonna di soccorso del Club Alpino Svizzero (CAS)
Tel (Within Switzerland): 1414 (Rega) or 117 (Police)

Tel: 117 and 112

Tel (Within Switzerland): 144