Freesteel Blog » The canyon resort destination

The canyon resort destination

Sunday, September 12th, 2010 at 8:50 am Written by:

Deferred posting Ju skipped the day leaving me to be the slow guy at the back of the party picking up the pieces and holding everything up while Si and Andrew scooted on ahead to do the complicated rigging on slippery canyon walls out in the sunshine. It wasn’t the greatest of canyons. (Mondelli Inferior) The belays were far away from the water and took you across the grass. In my thick black wetsuit I experienced a boil in a bag situation. One jump was scarily high. I wore my mask not only to protect my nasal passages, but also because it was peril-sensitive and steamed up so I couldn’t see what I was about to do. Gravity is just too much. In an eyeblink you can plummet ten metres as though a catapult has you hurled downwards into a ravine, so that if you were a ball hitting the floor you would rebound off the walls a couple of times before flying high into the sky.

The first canyon was much better than this, with more jumps and toboggan slides and cool swims and lovely rock walls. We didn’t even need to slog up the whole way on foot on account of using two cars and the road. This was more like how downhill skiing originally began, in the old days, before they invented ski lifts, and you could only do a couple of runs in a day before you were knackered. Now you wouldn’t think about going skiing anywhere without a cable car. The mountains have been bulldozed and sculpted, the trees grubbed out, and every night they drive tractors drive up and down the pistes to smooth out the snow.

There are canyon tour companies that usually set up shop near a particularly reasonable canyon, clear out the worst of the tree branches, and rent out wetsuits and helmets to give you a guided tour down. If there was enough money in it, or a super rich person got the idea of building an artificial canyon rather than, say, commissioning yet another super yacht to park in the Monte Carlo marina on account of almost always being a super-boring uncreative person with a very narrow view of what constitutes leisure and on whom life is thoroughly wasted, there would exist a Canyonland Park. It would be laid out by a golf course designing company (there’s another totally uncreative mass duplicated unvarying artificiality artifact) and built up into a network of cascades, slides, pools, tricky traverses to high jumps, and tunnelled sections. There would be chair lifts to the top with free plastic bags to wrap over yourself so you didn’t get cold out in the wind in your wet wetsuit.

Or, the water poured down the plastic coated concrete channels could be solar heated so you would only need to wear a skinsuit with patches on your elbows, knees, and backside. However a wetsuit is always better because it’s buoyant in the water and takes out some of the smaller knocks and bumps on the way as well as making you feel invulnerable. It’s part of what makes canyoning fun and refreshing with chilly water. Someone would invent a laser-guided spray-on wetsuit that required you to stand on a turntable with a mask over your face; the rubber would be cured with high-intensity UV light. These would be particularly popular with children who have no body hair to be concerned about, but adults may wish to wear substantial coverings, especially over their privates which could produce strange and unfortunate shapes if left unprotected.

I imagine each canyon would take around twenty to twenty-five minutes to splash, swim and slide down once you got practised at it. The walls would be coated in thick resin dosed with granite dust to make decorative stripes and swirls. The canyons would turn corners as they snaked down the hillside to catch the sun at all times of the day, and have deep pools with windows below the water to make them appear to glow. The final pool in Canyonland Park would be above a massive wide flat chute that all the routes converged upon. The water would spill over the lip over which you could wriggle head-first for a fifty metre high slide down into a wide canal through the middle of town. Turning left would take you back to the chair lifts, but going right takes into the bar section where you could climb out and buy your beer using your lift pass.

You could spend a week at Canyonland Park and get completely canyoned out. Do as many runs as your mind and body can take. The natural canyons would once again become silent, except by the odd party of weirdos who wanted to experience the less-than-ideal designs of nature with its annoyingly slippery boulders and fairly intermittent fun bits.

Every sport should have at least one attempt at a man-made version. Skiers have their dry slope ski runs and snow domes. Free fall parachutists have their vertical wind tunnels. Climbers have their climbing walls. Cyclists have their velodromes and mountain-bike trails, runners their treadmills. Cars their race tracks. What about us? Why can’t we have an artificial fake play area for this sport, eh?

1 Comment

  • 1. Freesteel&hellip replies at 21st September 2010, 6:42 pm :

    […] up the SS549 with five in the car up to Mondelli canyon. (Three of us had done the lower section a few days before where it had too much out of the water and ended with an annoying prussic to reach the road […]

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