NEW ARTICLE: Canyoning in Spain - Rodellar & Sierra de Guara

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 Jack Geldard 27 Aug 2008
John Bull takes us splashing and swimming through the canyons of Northern Spain. He shows us the equipment we need and tells us all the details: When to go, what to do, what not to do...

"The most effective stroke seems to be a sort of slow motion doggy-paddle..."

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 tobyfk 27 Aug 2008
In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC:

I am disappointed that John hasn't offered guidance on the type of companions one should choose for a canyoning excursion. I was in Rodellar in June this year on a side trip from the Riglos. It was on the edge of being too hot and for the first time in my life canyoning did seem like an intriguing option. But then it struck me that spending a day in proximity to my mate Dan in a wetsuit wasn't wholly attractive ....
 Morgan Woods 27 Aug 2008
In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC:

great article. i've done quite a bit of canyoning back in oz but not got around to it in europe yet. suprised it doesn't have a higher profile in the UK.
 Pyreneenemec 27 Aug 2008
In reply to Morgan Woods:

I first discovered the Sierra de Guara in the early 80's,fishing for the wild brown-trout!The first km of the Rio Vero at Lecina provided excellent
sport shortly after a good downpour!The Rio Alcanadre was similarly good,but is now a fly-only reserve and all fish have to be returned.
In those days,wild-camping was the norm;what better than a night under the stars,eating fresh-trout accompanied by the local Somontano wines(they do a mean Chardonnay and believe it or not a fantastic Gerwurtztraminer!).

The small village of Nocito is an excellent base (camp-site,shop,restuarant)for climbing the Tozal de Guara.On a clear spring morning the view of the south side of the Pyrénées is majestic!On more than one ocassion,I have been able to make out the snow-covered summits of the Picos de Europa,a few hundred km's away.
 Morgan Woods 27 Aug 2008
In reply to Pyreneenemec:

excellent story....i did notice a couple of biggish fish in the mascun when i was climbing there last month....i guess they were trout too?
 Pyreneenemec 27 Aug 2008
In reply to Morgan Woods:

To my knowledge,there are only two species of fish in the Sierra de Guara,
brown-trout and barbel.On the western-side,the Vadiello lake is stocked with rainbow-trout.Great climbing,too,on pudding-stone,just like Riglos!I've done a few "dry" canyons in that area,that involved swimming/floating across the lake to the start!Great fun!

Many of the canyons in the Monte Perdido area are in the National Park and sadly out of bounds.The Rio Bellos(canyon de Anisclo)was a great descent,plenty of water,even in the height of summer.Alas,also full of BIG
trout!My favourite in the area is the Miraval gorge(Rio Yaga),on the eastern edge of the park.Nothing technical,but usually plenty of water and great fun(also plenty of trout!).
 John H Bull 27 Aug 2008
In reply to tobyfk:
Hey Toby, sorry for the oversight.

Should you find yourself in unbearably hot conditions with a very sweaty bloke, I sugest the following guidelines...

Ensure that your unsavoury companion showers thoroughly prior to donning a full, heavyweight, 2-piece hooded wetsuit, worn fully zipped to the chin. Choose the most aquatic canyon available. Remain downstream at all times.

Hope his helps!
Miss Bee 28 Aug 2008
Had a go at my first canyon earlier this year after the April rains in Mallorca. From what I've found out there's a great selection of canyons to suit all levels on the island.

Canyoning's great fun, but don't underestimate the need for a good wetsuit. I borrowed someone else's that's previously seen a lot of rough and tumble. Those small and innocuous holes let in a lot of damn cold water. Luckily the 45 minute walkout warmed me up again....!
 Fluvial 02 Sep 2008
In reply to Morgan Woods:

The Uk's canyoning scene is begining to find its feet although obviously up against some very stiff competition, although we don't have the sheer volume and splendour that is on offer in the Pyrenees and other areas around the world we have more intimate, fun and often challenging gorges within the UK.
I run a canyoning website based on sites within the UK where people can post reports on places to go as well as other stuff. Wales and Scotland have stuff to offer even the most seasoned canyoneer. However if its profile was raised too much the canyons would probably get ruined.

That book was a great read from a guy who knows his stuff and I will certainly be following in his footsteps sooner or later
 pdhu 09 Sep 2008
In reply to Pyreneenemec:
> (In reply to Morgan Woods)
> To my knowledge,there are only two species of fish in the Sierra de Guara,
> brown-trout and barbel.

Thanks to all the Euro climbers and their dirty ways there's probably quite a few Mersey goldfish in there too.

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