Canyoning (of Kloofing, as it is known in South Africa) is a rapidly growing sport. Many South African canyoneers are still applying old, outdated techniques simply because they are unaware of the benefits of updated skills. Also, many of them consider canyoning just to be an offshoot of rock climbing or hiking, and consequently do not plan with canyoning-specific considerations in mind.
Don't be that guy!
Learn what makes leading canyoning trips different, and hw to manage the unique environment of the canyon...
Canyoneers do not need to be super fit, but it does take a specific type of fitness to stay ahead in this game. It is very core-intensive.
You need to be fit enough to:
Walk 10km off-trail in a day carrying a backpack
Swim 200m wearing shoes
In addition, to do a canyon leader's course we require you already to have the skills and knowledge that would be required of both a:
Walking group leader; and a
That is because we need to expand on the knowledge base of these two skill-sets, rather than teach with a fill-in-the-gaps approach...
Please note that assessment is NOT included in this course, nor is it included in the course costs. If you require assessment than you will need to arrange it as a separate event once you have consolidated the skills.
Before you are permitted to undertake assessment you must be over the age of 18 years old and must have:
Completed at least 20 kloof trips in at least 3 different regions in South Africa.
Logbook should show that you have descended at least 5 significant kloofs.
A valid Swift Water Rescue, Life Saving or Surf Lifesaving qualification
A valid First Aid certificate
The format for the assessment is:
A written theory exam of up to 150 marks. The pass mark is 75%
Swim 25m towing a participant
Plan and execute a trip (including all administrative processes) that includes ropework. During this trip they must select appropriate abseil setups and techniques for the terrain in question and their safe use and management.
The following techniques must be demonstrated either on the trip or in a simulated environment:
Abseiling onto land
Abseiling into water
Abseils involving deviations
Duty of care, liability and insurance
Differences between guiding and other forms of leadership
Risk assessments, risk management and SOPs
Trespass, access, permits and the water act
Wetsuits, Drysuits, Cags
Dry bags, bottles and barrels
Harnesses, helmets and abseil devices used for canyoning
Ropes used in canyoning
Whistles, Rescue knife, Gloves and accessories
Figure 8 on-the-bight
Figure 8 rethreaded
Figure 8 stopper knot
Double fisherman’s knot
Classic and French prusik knots
Group management techniques
Counter balance abseils
Using deviations to change your line of descent
Stein knots and simultaneous abseils
Blocking knots and retrievable abseils
Basic raising (hauling) techniques
Abseils in flowing water
Lowering past a knot
Preparation before the trip
Supervising kloofing abseils
Use of life jackets/PFDs
Simple life-saving techniques
Basic throw bag usage
Tensioned diagonal lines
Prevention of typical injuries such as twisted ankles, sunburn, rope burn
Prevention of illnesses such as diarrhoea
Management of injuries in the canyon environment
Management of illness in the canyon environment
Group management in emergencies
Considerations in canyon evacuation
Considerations for extended care of the sick and injured
Deciding when to call for rescue
Local mountain rescue structures and phone numbers
Use of all canyoning equipment for the duration of the course
Any permit fees for off-site training
Transport to and from class