Canyoning is a white water sport widely practised in the Annecy region. Many sites are suitable for this sensational sport, which nevertheless requires a minimum of precautions and information beforehand.
All about canyoning
Canyoning is a sensational sport which consists of descending rivers which have formed gorges after long years of erosion. The practice of canyoning around Annecy will allow you to descend torrents, rivers, or to abseil down waterfalls and natural slides.
The origins of canyoning
The origins of canyoning date back to the early 1900s. That’s when the first canyon explorations took place. However, it was not until the end of the 20th century that it became a recognised sport.
In 2010, a state diploma was created for professionals wishing to offer and supervise this sport.
Canyoning and ratings
Canyoning is not practiced all year round. Certain periods, more or less long according to the canyons, are more favourable to this sport. In our mountains, the activity is practiced in late spring and summer.
It is also important to know that there are ratings to determine the level of difficulty of a canyon. There are 3 ratings:
Water (A) – The greater the water flow, the more risky and technical the descent
Verticality (V) – The rating will be more important as the size of the waterfalls increases
Engagement (E) – This rating determines the difficulty of a canyon. It will tell you whether or not there is an escape route.
Rules for canyoning
This sport requires you to know certain rules. They will allow you to have fun while ensuring your safety:
- Whether you are a beginner or not, do not hesitate to hire a professional guide. Remember to specify your objectives and expectations, so that the guide can choose a suitable route.
- If you want to go on a group outing, make sure that the level is the same.
- The equipment must be complete, in good condition and adapted to your size: wetsuit, shoes with good ankle support. Harnesses, ropes, lanyards and karabiners must be checked at each outing. Helmets are compulsory and will protect you in case of slipping or falling rocks.
- Remember to check the weather before you leave. In the mountains, thunderstorms can happen quickly. They are dangerous and can cause heavy flooding.
- When jumping, check the depth of the landing basin beforehand.
- In the toboggans, adopt the right position: the body straight and the arms crossed over the chest.
- For abseiling, the instructor assesses the level of the group in order to propose the most suitable and safe technique.
- Finally, you will need a waterproof bag to keep, among other things, a smartphone in case of need.
Canyoning in Annecy
The Haute-Savoie, and particularly the Annecy region, have steep massifs with numerous rivers suitable for canyoning. The environment is natural and therefore not safe. The objective is to descend the torrents with a neoprene suit and ropes.
The courses near Annecy have different levels of difficulty, suitable for all levels. You will have to cross slides, basins and reaches. White water swimming and abseiling require a good physical condition.
The following canyoning spots are located near Annecy:
The Angon canyon
It allows you to abseil down the beautiful Cascade d’Angon over 60 metres. The descent can be made from the path that goes to the waterfall for 35 metres. It takes about 3 hours and 30 minutes to get there.
Extra info: a canyon reserved for people with experience
The Boîte aux Lettres canyon
Located in Angon, it offers three abseiling descents under the waterfalls, some 5 metre jumps and an impressive siphon slide. It takes 1 hour and 30 minutes to descend and a 20 minute walk to get there.
Extra info: a canyon accessible to all levels
The Montmin canyon
At the end of Lake Annecy, near Talloires, it offers good jumps and slides. It is necessary to count between 2 and 3 hours for the descent. Count on 3 hours 30 minutes and 5 minutes of walking to reach the start.
Extra info: for people who already have experience in canyoning.
The Mine canyon
This site, located at the end of the lake in the commune of Doussard. There is an escape route on the canyon. Count 4 h 15 for this canyoning activity.
Extra info: for people who already have experience in canyoning and who master the rope techniques.
The Frontenex canyon
Located between the Col de Tamié and Frontenex, the Frontenex canyon has a 45 minute descent with pools, slides and waterfalls. It takes 5 minutes to get there.
Extra info: ideal for beginners in canyoning.
The Ternèze canyon
Located in the commune of Curienne, in the Bauges massif, the Ternèze has many jumps and slides. A path runs alongside the course and will allow you to take photos. Count on 3 hours of descent.
Extra info: ideal for beginners in canyoning and for children over 6 years old.
The Rots de Balme canyon
It is located in the commune of Magland, at an altitude of 700 metres. Over 1 kilometre, you can make numerous jumps and descend large slides. Allow half a day.
Extra info: ideal for beginners in canyoning.
The Pont du Diable canyon
It is located in the commune of Bellecombe-en-Bauges. This one-hour course allows you to make jumps and slides between 30-metre high walls. Allow half a day.
Extra info: for experienced people.
Canyoning clubs in Annecy
Canyoning is a sport frequently practised by locals, but also by holidaymakers in search of thrills. Professional structures in Annecy allow you to discover this activity during half-day introductory courses. They will provide you with safety, good advice and the discovery of the best canyons.
Club Alpin Français d’Annecy: 17 Rue du Mont Blanc, 74000 Annecy – Tel : 04.50.09.82.09
Annecy Canyoning: 750 route de Montmin, 74210 Faverges-Seythenex – Tel : 07.81.35 88.01