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Descend the greatest Canyons of the Alps with a Cicerone Guidebook

Cover of Canyoning in the Alps
9 Nov 2012
21.0 x 14.8 x 2.6cm
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Canyoning in the Alps

Northern Italy and Ticino

by Simon Flower
Published by Cicerone Press

A guidebook to the most celebrated canyoning descents in the alpine regions of northern Italy and Ticino (Switzerland), with additional routes in Austria, Slovenia and the Valais Alps. Routes are split into seven separate grades, for beginners through to experts. Includes comprehensive information on equipment, hazards and techniques.

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Size: 21.0 x 14.8 x 2.6cm
Weight: 830g

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The Alps rank high among the world's foremost destinations for canyoning. This book brings together 90 of the most celebrated descents in the Alpine regions of northern Italy and Ticino in Switzerland. Divided into five areas, the descents described in the guide present a huge variety of terrain, rock and styles of canyoning. Route difficulty is split into seven grades, from easier canyons suited to beginners, through to the strongest aquatic and technical challenges, which demand experienced rope skills, physical fitness and a calm head for high water. 

The Alps are home to some of the most extraordinary geological creations in the world, and the range's canyons are no exception, from limestone to granite-gneiss aquaparks. Sights to tempt any canyoner await; from the art-deco sweep of water-carved rock, to knife-thin chasms reaching overhead, to serene blue pools cradled in a natural ampitheatre.

The guide introduces routes in Val d'Ossola, Ticino, Lake Como and the Belluno Dolomites through to canyons in Austria and Slovenia. There is information on Alpine geology and the history of Canyoning, as well as details on access and accommodation in each area, advice on technique, risks, preparation and necessary equipment. It is an indispensable companion to any canyoner looking for an exhilarating adventure in the Alps.  

  • detailed maps, photography and topos of all 90 descents
  • advice on equipment, hazards and techniques specific to canyoning
  • practical advice on planning a canyoning trip to each region
  • background information on the areas covered in Italy, Switzerland, Austria and Slovenia

  • Activities
  • Seasons
    In general, the summer months (mid-July to mid-September) are the best time for canyoning in the Alps and Ticino.
  • Centres
    Domodossola (Val d'Ossola); Bellinzona, Biasca, Maggia (Ticino); Colico and the northern lake shore (Lake Como); Belluno (Belluno and Friuli Dolomites); Tolmezzo (Carnia and the Julian Alps)
  • Difficulty
    All routes are graded for difficulty. Although there are canyons of all grades, many routes are aquatic and technical, requiring good abseiling skills, physical fitness and a head for high water. A good wetsuit is essential, and a hand-bolting kit gives peace-of-mind in case anchors are damaged.
  • Must See
    The superb granite-gneiss aqua-parks of north-west Italy and Ticino, including Rasiga, Lodrino and Val Bodegno, along with the classic limestone canyons of the Dolomites and north-east Italy, including Grigno, Val Zemola and Rio Simon.


Corrections to the 2012 printing

Route 6 (Mondelli 3)

The 'return' part of the description has been displaced into route 7.

Routes 28/29 (Pontirone) and 54 (Grigno)

The access maps have been rotated to fit the page, but not the north arrows

Route 84A (Alba)

The final few sentences are missing:

It is not worth doing unless meeting a more experienced team doing Rio Tralba. It consists of four
pitches, rigged out of the water. Allow 2h for the descent. Max pitch 18m.

Route 85 (Rio Simon)

Path 428 referred to in the access description and marked on the map, should be path 424.

The Dolomites intro map

The campsite symbol should be by Cimolais not Claut.


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