Devil’s Canyon – ‘The COLOSSAL Canyoning Experience’

Location:
TBC (secret)
Time Taken:
5-6 hours (from meeting to leaving)
Price:
£130 per person
What’s involved?
A proper canyoning descent involving abseiling, zip lining and sliding down waterfalls.
Who is it for?
You MUST be an outdoorsy adult (18+) and you MUST be ACTIVE, FIT and ABLE. You MUST be ok with HEIGHTS and WATER.

The location:

Devil’s Canyon is found in a secret location. It is quite central meaning it’s quite easily reached from most popular areas such as Bowness, Grasmere, Langdale, Coniston, Ambleside, Keswick and Windermere. This imposing canyon quite literally falls down the side of a valley with some heart stopping vertical drops. Parking is in a lay-by (free). Changing will take place at the cars prior to setting off. 

Whats involved?

This is a “proper” canyoning experience. We will  make a full descent of this impressive canyon introducing you to specialised canyoning techniques and skills. The descent will involve zip lining, abseiling, sliding down some huge waterfalls. There are also two small jumps and quite a bit of scrambling down steep terrain.

The canyoning techniques we use are the same as the ones used extensively throughout the Alps and indeed internationally. Not many UK companies hold canyon specific qualifications or even know they exist – Instead they use techniques and qualifications taught to them on dry land by people who have never potentially never entered a canyon!

From the cars there is a steep and gruelling 40 minute walk-in to the canyon entry point. This walk will be made harder due to the fact you will be wearing a thick wetsuit, a harness and you will be carrying canyon bags that we will issue out (full of rope, medical equipment and any food and water that you bring). On warm days we walk up with wetsuits only half-on (up to waist) so it is advisable you wear a rash vest/base layer/gym top (no cotton) for walking up and for wearing under the wetsuit during the canyon descent for extra warmth.

Before we enter the canyon you will first be taught how to use the canyoning equipment and how to abseil. We will then enter the canyon and descend it, doing battle with its truly colossal waterfalls and vertical drops. Its ziplines, abseils and slides are the BIGGEST the Lake District gorges have to offer and its guaranteed to get the adrenaline pumping. It really is a “proper” experience. However, be warned; this ghyll has a dark side – its dangers are ever present, lurking in its depths trying to catch you off guard. Its water will try to pound you into submission weakening your body and mind, its exposed location will quietly rob you of what little heat and rational thinking you possess and its doomed depths will try to ensnare you. It is a real test of endurance and will power. Do you have what it takes to attempt ‘The COLOSSAL Canyoning Experience’?

Water safety info:

It is a very aquatic outing that takes place in and around both fast flowing and deep water. The canyon isn’t easily escapable once we enter it,  making it a committing outing. Due to the steep terrain surrounding the canyon you cannot simply walk around obstacles if you decide you have bitten off more than you can chew. If one person wants to leave then we all must leave – this isn’t a “dip your toes and see how you feel” activity, therefore please choose your team wisely.

We have found the water level doesn’t fluctuate much throughout the seasons, however it cannot handle heavy prolonged rain and will be cancelled in times of high water as the flow becomes too powerful.

We have built up a lot of experience over the years in all conditions in this canyon and we will make the right decision of whether or not to run your session. There are normally other options/locations available to us if the flooding is too much.

Who does it suit?

This canyon is strictly adults only (18+).  You must be an outdoorsy type for this. No previous experience is required, however, you will find it beneficial if you have previously taken part in abseiling and/or canyoning prior to coming out. You must be active, fit and able as this is a very strenuous outing that requires determination, mental toughness, a positive attitude and a level of self reliance. You MUST have NO FEAR OF WATER, being inside a waterfall or of being FULLY SUBMERGED and you MUST be GOOD with HEIGHTS. You MUST be able to walk unaided and without fear over slippy rocks. The canyon is exposed to the weather so you must be able to withstand a bit of discomfort as you wait for the ropes to be set-up/taken down between waterfalls. You will be on the move over challenging terrain in cold, sometimes deep and fast flowing water for up to 6 hours.

So to reinforce the point – this REALLY ISN’T a good option for those who haven’t done anything outdoorsy in the past, those who are largely inactive and unfit, those who do not like water or getting their face wet and people who cannot endure a bit of discomfort.

AGAIN just to further labour the point….. qualities you must posses are determination, a positive attitude, a strong mind and lots of will-power, as well as a head for heights and confidence in water. If you don’t possess these qualities then it WILL break you. Maximum group size of 8.

Please let us know of any medical, physical or mental issues including allergy information at the time of enquiring as we may need a conversation about your condition or enough time to put additional measures in place. If in doubt ask your doctor if you  note are fit and able enough to participate.


What’s Provided:

  • Canyoning Wetsuit (10mm)a clean and dry 2-piece wetsuit that has been specifically designed for canyoning. Its 10mm thick and warm and has an optional hood.
  • Wetsuit Socks (3mm) – Clean and dry and 3mm. Any thicker and you wouldn’t fit your shoes over the top.
  • Helmet
  • Canyoning Harness & Canyoning Hardware
  • All Canyon Equipment
  • Two Canyoning Guides
  • Medical Kit
  • Group Bags – with a dry storage container for your personal medication and food.
  • Photo’s – taken by both instructors and shared at the end of the session for free. All the photos on this page were taken during sessions on our phones.

What to bring:

  • Old trainers see info sheet
  • Socks – optional additional layer
  • Swimming costume/trunks/underwear
  • Rash vest/base layer/gym t-shirt (not cotton – its cold when wet) – for walking up and wearing underneath wetsuit
  • Personal food and drink – keep it compact as you will have limited space in the dry containers – and you will be carrying it!
  • Personal medication i.e inhaler, insulin etc
  • Old Shorts – for the walk-in on hot days!

How long will it last?

The activity will last no more than 6 hours from the point we meet to the point we say goodbye. The exact time depends on group size, the confidence and ability as well as the fitness of the participants and also the water conditions.

    

What time of year?

We start the season in roughly April and end it in October (depending on how cold the spring and autumn have been). Please be aware that the sessions go ahead even if it is cold, windy and/or raining. Please have this in mind if you book for the colder months as there is more chance of poor weather and you need to be up for it.

So to reinforce the point further – please expect for the canyon to go ahead even in poor weather and if you are not keen on this idea then don’t book. The only time we cancel this activity is if the conditions make the activity unsafe – and this decision is made by the instructor and is usually due to dangerously high water levels.

Meeting location:

Secret location – to be confirmed once payment has been made in full. Very central and easily reached from Windermere, Grasmere, Ambleside and Keswick.

 

Pro’s: 

  • Suitable for “FIT and ABLE first-timers”
  • Free parking (limited)
  • Lake Districts BIGGEST & BEST waterfall abseils and ziplines
  • Natural slides
  • You will learn “proper” canyoning skills and techniques
  • Small jumps can be avoided
  • Near a pub
  • Bus transport links
  • Easy to find
  • Small groups
  • 2 x instructors

Cons:

  • No toilet or changing area where we park (we use cars and towels)
  • Not suitable for people that do not like to get fully submerged in water
  • Not suitable for spectators
  • Very remote and inescapable
  • Committing
  • Tiring
  • Not for all levels of fitness or abilities
  • Not good for people scared of heights
  • Limited free parking
  
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