Alpin Raft - Canyoning Interlaken Reviews
Canyoning in Interlaken Switzerland Feb 14, 2012
For the adventurous types this is a must do. You hike into a canyon. Then you jump , slide and repel into pools of water as you traverse down through the canyon and come out the other side. The all day canyoning trip is intense and the one you must try if you are adventurous. It is also a little physically demanding. There are half day less intense excursions also. You can paraglide in lots of places, but you need the a canyon and the right canyon in order to do this.
And that is not the only reason to visit Interlaken. It truly is one of the most beautiful places. Situated between 2 lakes and with a backdrop of the Swiss Alps. Google it and look at the pictures. Caution: once you do your going to want to go, so if your broke don't look...lol.
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Sep 27, 2006
Canyoning... how can I describe this... you get a wet suit, a helmet, and a lifejacket... and then you jump, climb, and slide down a river canyon. The best play to go Canyoning is in Interlaken. I went with Alpin Raft. They were very professional and I always felt safe in their presence.
Alpin Raft will pick you up at your hotel or hostel and they will give you all the instructions you'll need. They'll supply you with all the gear you need. Just bring a change of clothing and some towels.
The trip starts with a early morning drive towards the canyon of your choice. I will recommend Schliere Canyon, which is ranked the most extreme on their scales. They will take you to a small town where you can load up on snacks to fill your body with energy. Then you'll drive up to the top of a mountain and suit up.
Here a description of my experience. It was originally written as a blog so pardon the informalness.
At the top, you gear up and prepare for a walk through the woods to the river canyon. Once at the river canyon, we all jumped in and got our crash course in safety. Basically, do what the guides tell you too or else you'll break something, drown, or get washed down stream and over a waterfall.
We waited for over a half and hour at the top while the guides checked the water conditions. It rained over night, and the water level was reaching the safety limit. Normally the water would be crystal clear, but since it rained, the water was now a brown color. After the long wait, we got the ok to go. The water was about an inch below the limit. I was quite thankful because I had been looking forward to this, and didn't feel like hiking back out of the canyon to drive home.
During the trip down we did a variety of "stunts". This included jumps of up to 9 meters (thats about 30 feet) into small pools of water. On some areas where the rocks were smooth, we would slide down into the pool of water. The plastic butt pads and wetsuits were just enough to protect us from any abrasion. So it was really no different from going down a water slide. Although, some of them would twist and turn. You could feel your body contort to snake down the rock's surface. And my favorite had to be the jump and slide. We had to jump out and to our right to slide down a wall. Definately gets your blood pumping.
In places where the water wasn't deep enough, we would repel down the canyon. While this is cool, its not as fun jumping or sliding. In this photo, we were lowered half way down the waterfall, and then we let go.
In one spot, we would run down the rock surface, and then run up the side (horizontally) of the canyon wall to see how far we could make it before crashing into the pool of water below us.
In one spot, they even let us choose our jump. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you, my first successful flip (see photos).
As we got further down the canyon, the drops became bigger, and the water stronger. In one location we had to jump into this cauldron. The water would swirl, so as soon as you surfaced you had to reach out and grab the guide's hand so he could pull you out or else you would get sucked back to the waterfall.
Canyoning was probably one of the coolest things I have ever done. At the bottom, I talked to the guide about other canyons. I was curious as to what the 'extreme' trip was like. He had a moment of confusion, and I explained how they advertised 3 trips, and I had chosen the medium one. He then started laughing hysterically. He told me they didn't have enough people for the medium trip, so they upgraded me to the extreme one. I was both excited and disappointed to hear this. I was excited that I did the extreme trip with no problems what-so-ever, but disappointed that there wasn't something bigger and better out there...
I would recommend canyoning to those of you who like a taste of adventure. Alpin Raft is a good company to go with as well. Afterwards they'll treat you to a meal of sandwiches and beer. They have a photographer who will travel along with you and take photos of you while you work your way down. Buy them all. Trust me, you'll want to share it with your friends and family.
Check out my Switzerland blog for more photos!
Part of the Switzerland 2006 travel blog
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