Canyoning tours FAQ

WCA – Rocky Mountains – Abraham Lake, AB

We thank you for looking for answers to your questions on this page prior to contacting us.

Please let us know, preferably by email or using the contact form, if you didn’t find your answer. We will be happy to reply to your questions and add them to this section.

What is canyoning or canyoneering?

“Canyoning” (canyoneering as they call it down in the US) is descending a canyon that is usually deep and narrow with variable water levels at the bottom (from dry to large creeks).

  1. We hike from the trailhead to the top entrance of the canyon
  2. There we gear up (wetsuit, harness, helmet, etc.)
  3. Then we start our descent passing various natural features (waterfalls, boulders, slides)
  4. Once we’re out of the canyon we hike back to the trailhead

Who can go canyoning?

The minimum age is 12 and we have no real limit of maximum age. It is all about your physical shape. You don’t need to be extremely fit and have any sort of experience with ropes or water for the first level though (Explore the canyon). Most people who are able to walk for 6km should be able to come on this tour.

Please let us know if you have a specific physical condition. The guides can decide to turn around at any time for the safety of the group.

Is Canyoning safe?

Like any other outdoor discipline, Canyoning present some risks. All those risks are listed in our waiver and will be explained to you before the trip so you can choose if you want to go or not. 

At WCA your safety and the one of our guides is the number one priority. Please feel free to review our safety page and send us an email if you have any particular questions.

What do I need to bring and what is provided?

What you need to bring is describe on each specific trip’s pages. It will also appear in your booking email. We provide all the specific technical gear you will need.

We also have dry bags and backpacks. Please note that any waterproof container or device could fail in the canyons. Don’t bring anything you are not willing to take the risk for it to get wet.

Overweight, physical condition, movement restriction and disability

Any physical condition, current or old injuries, as any disability should be discussed previously with us. We are using our whole body in the canyon. We are constantly walking on unstable terrain, bending over, kneeling down, scrambling, etc. Again we have many different levels of trips but we need to know if one or several participants could have any difficulties.

Overweight can be a cause for movement restriction and the industry doesn’t make equipment (especially harnesses) large enough sometimes. We have a limit of 110cm waist size for that.

Can I bring a camera or a gopro?

You can bring your own waterproof cameras and GoPros, at your own risk. You should know that in case you drop it or lose it, the priority will always be the safety of the group. You can discuss with the guides your option as they sometimes have their own camera.

We do have a camera – safe option – book with our photographer to record your adventure.

How should I dress?

This will be described in your confirmation email. It depends on the trip you picked and the time in the season. A general rule is wearing synthetic or wool sports clothing adapted to the current conditions in the Rockies (no cotton). Plan on sudden weather changes!

For regular canyoning trips (Explore and Adrenaline) you will be using a wetsuit that means that you will keep the same clothing you came with for the hike up, pack them in the drybag we provide before the descent, and wear a bathing suit under your wetsuit. Plan on a windbreaker jacket, a towel, and spear warm clothing for after the trip (that will stay in your car).

For swimming trips, Alpine and Heli-canyoning you will potentially wear a drysuit. You should come with multilayer warm clothing same as for hiking (synthetic or wool) and spear clothing for after the trip (it stays in your car) as drysuits are never totally dry.

What shoes?

Running or approach shoes are the best alternative to specific canyoning shoes. Light hiking shoes are also an option. Soft paddling shoes are not good as you will not be able to hike and they will not protect your fit in the canyon.

Sunscreen

We are evaluating in a fragile environment and ask our clients to avoid the use of sunscreen. Remember that we are only hiking for 1 to 2km with sections in the trees and then we are cover with neoprene and have shady spots at any time.

You can still bring it with you and use it in case of real necessity but always prefer long sleeves as you will not wear them for long.

Can I wear my glasses?

Yes, you can but plan on bringing a solid box for them in case you would have to put them away and have a strap or a small cord so you can’t lose them. 

Contact lenses are also ok as soon as you remember to close your eyes underwater.

Sunglasses are not necessary.

Transportation, parking and meeting with my guide(s)

We are not offering transportation yet. You will meet with your guide at Windy point that is the first place with Cell coverage between Banff National Park and the canyons locations.

You will receive the contact of your guide in the booking email and he will have yours.

From there you will follow his/her vehicle to the parking lot of the canyon.

Where my belonging will stay during the trip?

All that you are not bringing to the canyon, meaning most of your belonging since we take the strict minimum with us on a trip, is staying in your car at the parking lot of the canyon.

We never had any issues, but please plan on not leaving any expensive things in your vehicle, close it (we can carry safely your keys with us) and not leave anything visible. 

Food and beverage

This is not included in most of our trips (only the heli-canyoning tours). Everybody is different and needs more or less food or water. We count on you to bring what you think is a sufficient amount of water and food.

We are burning a lot of calories in the canyon, this is important to have at least snacks!

Also know that sandwiches are the best lunch (no chips, deeps, or other food that get smash in the bags…).

Do I need to know how to swim?

This is something to tell us when you do your booking and to discuss with your guide when you meet him/her. You should not book any other trip than the Explore the canyon if you don’t know how to swim.

Will the tour be cancel in case of bad weather?

We reserve the right to cancel the tours at any time for canyon conditions or weather reasons. We will get in touch as the earliest we can in this case and offer you to re-book your trip or to get reimbursed.

I am scared of height or moving water, can I still come on a trip?

As guides, we feel even more accomplished when a person was scared and didn’t imagine being able to do that. Our guides are patient and will be happy to help someone who wants to challenge him/herself. You should let us and your guide know about your fears and make sure the group you are coming with will be patient. Take the Explore the canyon for the first time as we can exit at any time and go around obstacles with you. 

Alcohol, Cannabis and other drugs

Any substance before or during the tour is strictly forbidden! The activity must be taken seriously and demands concentration and the ability to react! Guides will cancel the trip if they have a suspicion of use.

OUTDOOR, WILDERNESS, EXPLORATION