Freesteel Blog » Too canyonny for Beckas

Too canyonny for Beckas

Tuesday, September 7th, 2010 at 6:20 pm Written by:

Deferred posting. Halfway down the first canyon — Rosiga — I began to feel I was getting too much of a good thing. The jumps and toboggans forced water up my nose so hard my eyes were squeezed. My eardrums were swollen. I could tell it was a good canyon, but I wasn’t quite ready for it. My nose started actually bleeding at the halfway point. My arms ached two days later from all the swimming.

Canyoning technology has moved on considerably since I was last involved. We now have these tacklesacks that are half mesh so the water drains out like a sieve as you pick them up so it’s no longer like lifting a bucket. When you pack 50m of good rope in one on top of a daren drum and empty plastic pop bottles you are better carrying it than not because it floats. You can safely jump and even swim with one on your back, which is weird. I was wearing a two piece wetsuit that was quite bulky and buoyant, but so badly designed it poured cold water down my neck.

After six hours there was a path out of the river bed leading through the woods. Si got terribly excited when he found 5 huge parasol edible mushrooms. I helped Ju carry them back to the car, forgoing the final section of the canyon that involved a loose 50metre pitch which was apparently crap because it took Si and Andrew longer to get down and back out than it did for us to shuttle run my car back from the top of the hill.

Dinner was a starter of fried “do-you-trust-this-guy-not-to-poison-you” mushrooms on toast followed by pasta and veggie slop. I tried to make contact with Becka by texting a message to Aidan and asking him to email her at the ECVP conference. She’s supposed to come in three days time without any means of independent communication.

Monday 23 August looked overcast, so canyoning got cancelled after we’d packed and had our breakfast. What a relief. I went back to bed. The others headed back to the woods around Rasiga and picked a whole tacklesack of huge mushrooms. I watched it rain heavily in the afternoon (they barely got a drop over in the next side-valley), then cycled down the hill and back up again (there’s no other direction to go!).

The mini hydro-power station at the foot of the hill is built like a temple, with jagged diamond windows and insulator shapes as part of its decoration. Dinner was chicken.

On Tuesday we were not put off by the clag this time and went for two short canyons about an hour’s drive away in my car. I used an old grey surfing wetsuit I was going to give to Becka and wore a small diving mask. Nobody thought this was a good idea, but it meant that hardly any water went up my nose, and I could see underwater. Much more satisfying, and I didn’t really care if ruined all the photos by looking weird. Lots of action photos were taken of jumps and slides, not of the sorts of things that I photo, like walk-ins and people getting changed.

After lunch of one banana and a piece of cake (I’d forgotten to put the bread and cheese in the car) we headed across the valley for a short slippy canyon that ended with a rather scary jump where you had to push far out to clear the rocks on the way down. Ju bottled it, surprisingly. Maybe she just saw how close my falling body skimmed past the edge. It would be better if gravity had a little less force. These jumps are rather sudden events for me. As are some of the slides which shoot you down at the speed of a canon ball. Other than that, it’s kind of nice for nature to have sculpted such an amenable playground from the granite walls.

Si lost is security shreddies here and declared three days’ mourning. We rendezvoused with Carrefour and scored a 3 scoop gellato ice cream each. That’s one too many for me I felt slightly queasy.

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