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Thread: Beginner

  1. #1

    Beginner

    I am looking at getting into the sport of canyoneering but after research feel a little overwhelmed. I am thinking of taking a course (maybe 2 day) with my 10 year old son. I figure in the course of two days I will be able to learn a lot. My goal is after the course to be able to successfully go down canyons such as the Subway, Keyhole and Orderville with my son and work our way up to some of the larger canyons. I am at a loss on where to begin with when it comes to equipment needed before we go down to Zion. I figure that the best thing to do is to try and find a small piece of rope and practice knot tying and learn a lot of the fundamentals prior to the course. Is there any words of advice that could be given for someone wanting to learn the sport.

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  3. #2
    Hey Archie!

    I think that getting a small rope and practicing knots will be very useful, and great for preparing for a canyoneering class.

    A good book that helped get me started was the Falcon Guide to Canyoneering, and Mountaineering: Freedom of the Hills. Those are great aids to your hands on training that you plan to receive.

    If you want to tag along on some trips, let people here know. Many are willing to let beginners join them on their trips :)

    Good Luck! Have fun!
    CanyoneeringUtah.blogspot.com
    My YouTube Channel

    "As you journey through life, choose your destination well, but do not hurry there. You will arrive soon enough. Wander the back roads and forgotten path[s] ... Such things are riches for the soul. And if upon arrival, you find that your destination is not exactly as you had dreamed, ... know that the true worth of your travels lies not in where you come to be at journey

  4. #3
    I have some 6mm cord on my desk that I always practice knots with, often while I'm talking with clients on the phone. I can tie all the popular knots with my eyes closed, at night, while drunk in a snowstorm.

  5. #4
    After your course, go on many many trips with experienced parties. You will learn a ton that way.


    Quote Originally Posted by Archie View Post
    I am looking at getting into the sport of canyoneering but after research feel a little overwhelmed. I am thinking of taking a course (maybe 2 day) with my 10 year old son. I figure in the course of two days I will be able to learn a lot. My goal is after the course to be able to successfully go down canyons such as the Subway, Keyhole and Orderville with my son and work our way up to some of the larger canyons. I am at a loss on where to begin with when it comes to equipment needed before we go down to Zion. I figure that the best thing to do is to try and find a small piece of rope and practice knot tying and learn a lot of the fundamentals prior to the course. Is there any words of advice that could be given for someone wanting to learn the sport.

  6. Likes ratagonia liked this post
  7. #5
    Content Provider Emeritus ratagonia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Archie View Post
    I am looking at getting into the sport of canyoneering but after research feel a little overwhelmed. I am thinking of taking a course (maybe 2 day) with my 10 year old son. I figure in the course of two days I will be able to learn a lot. My goal is after the course to be able to successfully go down canyons such as the Subway, Keyhole and Orderville with my son and work our way up to some of the larger canyons. I am at a loss on where to begin with when it comes to equipment needed before we go down to Zion. I figure that the best thing to do is to try and find a small piece of rope and practice knot tying and learn a lot of the fundamentals prior to the course. Is there any words of advice that could be given for someone wanting to learn the sport.
    Hi Archie -

    I am a guide (sometimes, not often) at Zion Adventure Company.

    If you are new to the sport, I would recommend taking a one-day course first, with your son, and then doing a few simple canyons. You most likely would learn an overwhelming amount of information in one day. Without context, there is no place to put further knowledge.

    After doing a few simple canyons, you would then have some context, and it would be good to come back and take another day of lessons, if you want.

    Tom

  8. #6
    Thanks for everyone's input. The main reason at looking at a two day course is that we will have a little more time with the instructor to help gain confidence prior to attempting canyons on our own. I think that if I take the time beforehand to learn the basics online then I will be that much more prepared for the course. I was looking at Zion Mountain School as their courses are private but would like opinions on the other options as well.

  9. #7
    My 2 cents:
    - Learning and mastering some of the basic knots/hitches (figure eight variations, double/triple fishermen, clove, Munter, Prusik, autoblock, etc.) before you take the class would help you free up some brain space during the class and focus on other important technical aspects; otherwise, you might be overwhelmed.
    - For me it's easier to learn knots from videos rather than diagrams. Once I know the knot, I can use a diagram for reference

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  11. #8
    When I go to buy gear for the canyons I am looking at doing (Subway, Orderville, Keyhole, etc) obviously a 60M rope will be overkill and way too large but it seems like that is the normal length for sale at places like REI. What length rope should I look at buying and what is the best place to buy from for a rope that would meet my needs with the canyons I am looking at hiking.

  12. #9
    Maybe get one of these, which can be ordered in 120' lengths:

    http://www.store.canyoneeringusa.com...tegory=2490784

    http://www.store.canyoneeringusa.com...tegory=2490784

    120' should be enough for all those canyons on your list.
    Utah is a very special and unique place. There is no where else like it on earth. Please take care of it and keep the remaining wild areas in pristine condition. The world will be a better place if you do.

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  14. #10
    I don't think REI carries canyoneering rope, do they ??
    Climbing rope is generally dynamic, not static.

    You really want static line when canyoneering.

  15. #11
    Content Provider Emeritus ratagonia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott P View Post
    Maybe get one of these, which can be ordered in 120' lengths:

    http://www.store.canyoneeringusa.com...tegory=2490784

    http://www.store.canyoneeringusa.com...tegory=2490784

    120' should be enough for all those canyons on your list.
    I also now have a 75' length, which is specific for the Subway, Orderville and Keyhole. However, if you have ambitions to do more canyons, you would do better to get a 120' length.

    If you are shopping in SLC at the 3300 south REI, you can slip around the corner and visit IME, where the employees actually know what they are doing.

    Tom

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  17. #12
    I don't think REI carries canyoneering rope, do they ??
    They carry the Bluewater ropes. Or at least they used to.
    Utah is a very special and unique place. There is no where else like it on earth. Please take care of it and keep the remaining wild areas in pristine condition. The world will be a better place if you do.

  18. #13
    Recreation Outlet has Tom's products back in stock, including rope bags!

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