Gorge Walking involves walking up or down a river, jumping into pools and sliding down waterfalls. Canyoning is similar but is more extreme as it involves bigger jumps and slides as well as harnessed abseils.
A gorge is a deep cleft between cliffs, often formed as a result of erosion from a flowing river or stream over many years. The gradual erosion of rock results in a deep void with towering sides. These steep sides usually frame a river for wet and wild adventures. As a gorge contains natural rock formations, chutes, and various challenges to overcome, we naturally want to conquer them.
Mountain streams have many interesting features which you can explore in a small area. There are eddies and waterfalls to get wet in. A robust rope across the water is fun to play with. The rocks are often slippery from algae. Robust clothes like jeans and hoodies soften the blow should you slip and fall down.
You require waterproofs, buoyancy aids, wellies or boots, and on some occasions wet suits in cold water.
Wearing fleece, tracksuits under waterproofs is the desired option.
Thick socks help keep the feet warm.
Gorge scrambling is another term for gorge walking. Both walking and scrambling are involved in the activity and so the terms are often used interchangeably. There can be confusion surrounding ghyll scrambling. The word ‘ghyll’ or ‘gill’ means a deep ravine, especially a wooded one or a narrow mountain stream. If you are in this stream there is an opportunity to remove yourself from the water and walk along the banks, or scramble out of the ghyll.
The activity of gorge walking is a little more than the name suggests. Walking is certainly incorporated into the activity, but be prepared to have the time of your life whilst sliding, swimming, climbing, scrambling and stumbling your way in flowing water up or down the gorge. The only way to travel through a gorge is to venture through the water by swimming, scrambling, and sliding.
This makes for an extremely fun activity that is both challenging and exciting. You simply go into the water and enjoy descending a stunning steep sided gorge by various ways and means. This can involve sliding down rapids, swimming down rapids, floating down fast flowing chutes and waves, walking behind some breathtaking waterfalls and of course jumping off into various pools.
Gorge walking involves adventure, exploration, and discovery as you overcome challenging boulders and sweeping becks throughout the gorge. An exploration through beautiful and natural rock formations, and the discovery of the magnificent natural features within the gorge. To utilise the paths and challenges that the gorge has formed over thousands of years, trainers and visitors can take on the challenge together and ascend or descend through the ravine.
No gorge is the same and each requires a mixed bag of methods to move up or down it.
Although an exciting and challenging experience for all, gorge walking can be done by all abilities,
like fitness fanatics, outdoor lovers, and even the less active.
No experience is needed as long as you are in the right place with the right instructors who possess the right expertise.
Canyoning is like white water rafting but without the raft. This sport is designed to provide an adenalin rush, a degree of challenge and of course a whole lot of wet fun!
Canyoning (canyoneering in the United States, kloofing in South Africa) is a rather wet hybrid sport in which you travel in canyons using a variety of techniques that may include other outdoor activities such as walking, abseiling (rappelling), scrambling, climbing, jumping down waterfalls into deep pools below, and a lot of swimming.
Picture this – an exhilarating abseil as you descend into the beautiful gorge. Surrounded by tall rocks and with your knowledgeable and friendly guide at hand, you’re led through the challenging beck.
Although non-technical descents such as hiking down a wet canyon (canyon hiking) are often referred to as canyoneering,
the terms canyoning and canyoneering are more often associated with more adventurous descents
like those that require abseils (rappels) and ropework, technical climbing or down-climbing, pool jumps, and frequent swimming.
You should be guided by an experienced Canyoning Instructor with safety equipment.