Adventure beckons in the high water and deep gorges of the Alps
I'd been threatening to write a canyoning guide for a couple of years, scribbling ideas on the back of beermats and waxing lyrical to all who'd listen, before my partner finally called my bluff and packed me off abroad. It's a special sort of person who agrees to get up at 6am on holiday in order to explore some potentially small-print canyon.
Frequently hidden among a backdrop of lofty mountain peaks, the canyons of the Alps are wild and forbidding natural reserves, where river, waterfalls and clear-green pools nestle between towering walls of rock and vegetation.
If you're an experienced canyoner, or simply a mountain enthusiast looking for your next challenge, this guidebook, exploring 90 canyon descents in five regions of the Alps, opens up a new world of mountain adventure.
Canyoning in the Alps describes a stunning selection of routes in the best areas. Canyons are graded in seven difficulty categories, from those suitable for beginners to the more prevalent technical routes requiring good rope skills, physical fitness and a head for high water.
Cicerone author Simon Flower tells us how he came about writing the guidebook:
"I'd been threatening to write a canyoning guide for a couple of years, scribbling ideas on the back of beermats and waxing lyrical to all who'd listen, before my partner finally called my bluff and packed me off abroad.
She no doubt came to regret this decision over the following years, spending weeks, sometimes months alone (and at one time, heavily pregnant) in a house that was for many weeks a building site.
Gathering helpers for the project wasn't always easy – it's a special sort of person who agrees to get up at 6am on holiday in order to explore some potentially small-print canyon – and the gruelling schedule required to complete the task proved to be a real test of stamina and resolve.
There were certainly times, laid up with injury or too tired to speak, when it seemed the book would never get finished at all. But in the end the rewards of such spectacular canyoning far outweighed any difficulties encountered."
Simon grew up in Sheffield, spending much of his free time mountain biking and climbing in the Peak District. In 1998 he took up caving at Bristol University and was pretty content until discovering canyoning a year later. He was refreshed to discover a serious mountain sport that didn't take itself, well, too seriously, and seemed to combine everything he loved about the outdoors. Since then he has been canyoning enthusiastically (bordering on obsessively) all over Europe and beyond, taking in a handful of first descents along the way.View Articles and Books by Simon Flower