Exciting water levels during this year’s canyoning training of the Tyrolean gorge leaders demanded a lot from the candidates and trainers.

Also this year the course with 25 participants was completely booked. From 05.05.-13.05.2017 the participants from Austria, Germany, Slovenia, Switzerland and Italy learned the basic techniques and skills for committing gorges and guiding guests. In the tried-and-tested system, the techniques were presented the evening before in the PowerPoint lecture, practiced the next day in the drying room and then implemented in the appropriate gorges.

As we could expect after the heavy snowfall at the end of the winter, we had high water levels which provided for interesting tours. Thus, techniques such as releasable systems and anchors were also to be applied in a realistic manner. To the weather and the water levels we could go every day great and varied tours. Alpine tours with almost 100m high waterfalls or aquatic gorges with sporty water levels. The Wildwasswimmen on the Brandenberger Ache we could do this year with a perfect water level and a dream weather. A great day for sure.

The participants must now deepen the learned and apply it in internships. In summer, course II also takes place, in which special rescue techniques and first aid are trained in canyoning. Course III will also take place this year in Ticino, where the students have the possibility to apply and improve all learned skills. This is also where the final examination takes place.

The training was carried out by Alexander Riml (Training Director), Willewalter, Thomas Kracker, Gerald Senn, Ewald Holzknecht, Martin Gstrein

Text and pictures by Alexander Riml

Canyoning or canyoning as one says with us, what is it actually? The word describes a novel, fascinating activity in a partial untouched and magical landscape. In canyoning, watercourses are descended by descents, climbing, swimming, if possible by jumping and slipping. Here the sporting variety is combined with the challenge of rock and water in a prime landscape and offers countless adventures for everyone. To experience these challenges with pleasure, there are two possibilities.

First: Familiarize yourself with a certified and authorized canyoning and canyoning guide, who takes over the entire organization for the desired canyoning tour. The advantage of this possibility is that you can enjoy the tour and the nature experience to the fullest without having to worry about anything in advance.
The second possibility is to train for this sport, with an expert. During these training courses one learns the most important basics to move safely through a gorge. However, if you have to take this route, you have to be very slow in new tours, because canyoning needs a lot of experience.
The training for Canyoningguides is very comprehensive and covers the entire spectrum of canyoning and takes an average of up to 45 days. Here, as an example, the training route on the basis of the Tyrolean canyoning and gorge guide training.

Entrance examination:

Day 1: Here the candidates have to show whether they are suitable for the training. Only then can they participate in the legally required training. When registering, the candidates must submit a tour report, should the required tours not be available, then the applicant is not allowed to participate in entrance examinations.

The actual training is divided into three areas:

Basic training: 9 days
First aid, rescue and rescue part: 3 days
Guided tour (not in Tyrol mostly in Ticino): 7 days

Between the individual courses, the candidates have to pass some intermediate examinations, which allow an entry into the next course at all. However, the candidates must also complete a 14-day practice period with a trained and authorized canyoning guide between the first and third course parts, which must be documented by an accurate record. Furthermore the candidates must bring a prescribed tour report with 10 prepared topos for the final examination.

Exam subjects:

Rope and knot, topography, geology, weather, equipment and equipment, dangers and accidents, dealing with stress situations, watercourses, hydrodynamics, tour planning, tour management, foreign language, tourism. Wild water swimming, jumping techniques, planning and carrying out gorge tours
These subjects are taught practically and theoretically during the training. The theory lesson is always held by long-term trainers or guest lecturers.

Final exam:

2 days: Only persons who have fulfilled all theory tests, practical partial tests and requirements can be admitted to this examination. If a candidate does not fulfill the prerequisites for the final examination, he has to repeat the third course or the entire course.


Only if all these criteria are met, the candidate can be authorized by the competent authorities and from this point onwards is entitled to offer and conduct canyoning tours. For this reason, every authorized canyoning guide can also identify you, so ask for your canyoning guide before the start of the tour.


However, it is obligatory for every canyoning guide to undergo training at least every four years. If the canyoning guide fails to comply with this obligation, the authorization will be given to him and he is no longer entitled to lead the guests.

Text and pictures by Alexander Riml

Almost with every inquiry/booking this question is aksed, so much better it is to answer it now already.
Wearer of glasses can wear the glasses on easy tours without hard water contact or big slides und jumps or respectivly take them off for a short moment. We do recommend at least a strap for your glasses, even better glasses for sport.
Wearer of contacts should bring an extra pair of lenses and if they have goggles, which for example prevent that the lenses will be washed out when ropping through water.
If you don’t necessarily need glasses or contacts, it is definetly more comfortable without them. You could ask your provider if you can rent goggles.

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As it is with many sports there are different difficulty levels with canyoning as well. Only in rare cases this is communicated directly, they talk more about a beginners-tour. The demand for this tour can be handled by everyone with an average fitness-level between the age of 12 and 60 and without prior knowledge. With canyoning-beginner-tours the slides and the jumps can usually be avoided or roped down. The guide can help the client to rope down, incase he is not confident about that yet.

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This questions is asked a lot as well and is legitimate. Even with all the curiosity or euphoria, if you can handle it all by yourself. You should ask yourself a few questions:
Do I have the needed caynoning equipment and do I know how I have to use it?
Do I know the caynioning roping/saving technique, which differs very strongly form the alpine technique?
Do I have reliable information about the canyon? (Topography, approach, access, emergency escape, exit, mobile reception, level of difficulty)
How is my metrological knowledge respective weather changes?
Am I prepared for surprises (broken standing area, injuries) and can I handle them?
Do I know basics about reading the water respectivly fluid dynamics?
Should you be able to say „yes“ to all of these question without hesitation, then theoreticaly there is nothing in your way to take the tour on your own.
We recommand for practical experience: Search for a provider that offers caynoning classes on our website and start building up on your own level. This way it should be doable with enough personal responsibility. Thousands of ski tourers are doing this the same way each winter, when they take part in a trainging with the LVS.
In the south of France for example are some easy canyons which are walked through by families (almost without any equipment). In these regions the part of the private walkers is much higher as for example in Austria – which of course is a result of geology.

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Canyoning (BE) or Canyoneering (AE) describes a joung trend sport in which a Canyon is passed trough from top down. Depending on the requirement or the geolocial structure, waterfalls or obstacles are mastered by roping, climbing, jumping or sliding; pools by swimming or sometimes even through diving. The origination goes back decades (back then mostly as expeditions bottom-up) and started mostly in the southern regions oft he alps, Spain and France and even in countries like Australia. The break through in the alpine region came in the last 10 – 15 years. Jointly responsible were the foundation of single unions and clubs, the training for a authorised canyoning guide and a commercialised offer for guided tours. On our page you can find a selection of professional canyoning providers throughout Austria, just choose the region, the provider and let’s get started.

to the provider side

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The prices differ in Europe quite a bit. For example there are beginner tours in France for 45€/per person and in Switzerland the cost is 150 CHF/per person. In Austria a beginner tour is approx. 70€, for intermediate tours approx. 90€ and extrem or day tours can be up to 120€. These are usually group prices or guided group tours. The price for individual tours is higher of course, but you can enjoy a tour with „only“ your friends.
Our suggestion: When requiring about a tour, also ask if equipment, shoes, camera/fotos, lunch and transfer will be charged separately.

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Usually the entire equipment is provided by the canyoning guide, which means neopren suit, neopren socks, canyoning shoes, helmet and harness. Should your guide not provide shoes, we reccomend ankle-length sturdy shoes, which wont be to heavy when getting wet. Usually you would wear swimwear underneath your neopren suit such as swimming trunks or bikini/swimsuit.
Further we reccomand to wear a functional shirt. Advantage: More comfortable when entering, a bit warmer during the tour and simply more hygienic.

Here as an overview the things you should bring yourself:
bikini, swimsuit, swimming trunks
if you wear contact lenses: extra lenses, as a precaution goggles – should be provided by your guide
if neccessary earplugs for higher jumps – should be provided by your guide
important personal medicine such as allergy medicine, insulin etc.
small drinking bottel – no glas
small snack like cereal bar
neopren underwear or functional shirt, no cotton

These are the important things. Mentionable would be a helmet bracket for the actioncam (such as GoPro) or your own helmet (please check with the guide if your helmet is qualified for canyoning)

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Because canyoing consists of several „disciplines“ (roping, climbing, jumping, sliding, swimming) this question is really subjectiv. As people that are keen on sports have different preferences, this can vary highly. We have seen many tours throughout Europe and definitely have to say, none of them were bad. Which one of them is the „best“ or the „prettiest“ tour, depends on your preferences, the tour planning and the guiding of your personal guides. If there would be a list of the „Top 10 CANYONS of Europe“, there would probably be 2 for Austria, Switzerland, Italy, France and Spain. On our page you can find a selection of professional canyoning providers throughout Austria, just choose the region, the provider and let’s get started.
to the provider side

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Long term no. 1 on the accident statistic is „accidents while walking“. This shows quite clearly how important special shoes for canyoining are. For this reason some sporting goods manufacturers have developed amphibian- or canyoning shoes. Our reccomandation is clearly Hydro Lace or Hydro Pro from Adidas. Should you take part in a guided tour, you should choose a provider that offers rental shoes. We advise you not to wear sneakers or light sport shoes in the canyon!

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