Know Before You Go
Some Swift Water Considerations and Safety Concers
Class C (swiftwater Canyons) require special considerations and training. RopeWiKi has some excellent training info. Please review these recommendations before venturing into Ouray Canyons.
Canyon Rating Systems
NOTE: Ratings refer to descents in normal conditions, during what is considered the normal season for the canyon. Adverse conditions, such as higher than normal water volume or colder temperatures, will increase the difficulty of the descent.
There are two standards for rating canyons: ACA and French.
ACA Rating System
A standard ACA rating, such as 4B IV, consists of three pieces of information regarding the technical requirements, water challenges, and time commitment of the canyon. Some variations add additional information such as extraordinary risks and rock climbing rating. Many of these ratings are subjective and different authors may select different ratings. There's been much controversy on the ACA water rating classification.
A standard French rating, such as v3a3 III, consists of three pieces of information regarding the technical requirements, aquatic challenges, and time commitment of the route. Many of these ratings are subjective and different authors may select different ratings.
Siphon: a constricted passage flooded with water that requires to hold the breath in order to traverse. Also called "sieve" or "sump".
Technical jump/toboggan: dangerous jump/toboggan with problematic start, trajectory and/or landing that may have disastrous consequences if not executed properly.
Press the RopeWiKi button below for a complete description of these rating systems.
Volunteers will serve as 'canyon ambassadors' to accompany groups descending Ouray area canyons. The canyon ambassador has the responsibility to provide familiarity with the approach, descent, and egress from the canyon. Trip logistics will be worked out via email communication and verified at the social meeting the night before each trip. Groups will be limited to 6 canyoneers plus the ambassador.
Canyon ambassadors are volunteers, having a sufficient number of volunteers to staff every desired trip is not guaranteed. Register and the festival organizers will attempt to staff as many trips as possible.
The canyon ambassador is not an instructor, guide or guru. Each participant is responsible for his or her own safety, as well as looking out for everyone else's safety. Activities at height in wet canyons are dangerous and can result in serious injury or death.
Release of Liability
Remember this DISCLAIMER: All workshops, clinics, and trip ambassadors are NOT COMMERCIAL GUIDES OR INSTRUCTORS! All activities are run as a group of friends that get together to have fun and learn from each other with no fees involved. These vertical sessions are no substitute for PROFESSIONAL TRAINING. Keep in mind...
YOUR SAFETY IS ALWAYS YOUR OWN RESPONSIBILITY!
All participans, Please download and sign the event Liability Waiver. Bring to the event or email signed copy.