Once again it is my pleasure to announce the publishing of an article about my favorite discipleine Extreme Canyoning in one of the world’s most popular magazine. I am sure that you’ve all heard of it – the Playboy Magazine. Photoshooting in the canyon is quite difficult and those kind of pictures are very rare and unique, therefore I am very glad when people can read about this extreme discipline in the media.
Most people in Serbia do not know that is also possible in our environment to enjoy one of the most amazing adventures in nature, such as expeditions in canyons.
Untouched nature, in this age of mass tourism in Europe, is hard to find. Whether you go on the furthest Greek islands, in the French alpine villages and mountain, Norwegian Fjords, Icelandic volcanoes or the Sicilian national parks, from all sides there is an invasion of tourists with cameras and mobile phones. Those who want a little peace in which they will be able to afford themselves one of those primordial “return to nature”, beyond “all inclusive” package, are increasingly oriented towards alternative, exploratory, adventurous way to rest, the only one who gives such a chance.
This kind of enjoying the nature is becoming increasingly popular in the world in recent years and it broke through in our region, also. The study of the canyons is one of the most exciting ways to escape to virgin nature. It is one of those adventures when you feel like you manage to bond with nature and all its temptations, and enjoy it at the same time. These challenges are not small especially if you are coming from the world where walking the streets has become one of the more extreme physical activities.
Just by coming to the canyon, we are transported from our everyday comfort to a whole new dimension with completely new rules unknown to us. We don’t need to go very far in order to have that feeling like we’re in the jungle. The big majority of people living in Serbia do not know that it already exists in the vicinity of Valjevo the most popular canyon in our country called Tribuca which has been already seen by a lot of fans of the canyons. Slightly further, on way to Tara and Zlatibor, is situated the beautiful canyon, the largest in the region. In the national park Tara there is a canyon of the river Brusnica, the latest potential hit for the lovers of extreme sports, which many people who live there doesn’t know. The canyon can be visited by regular tourists, with some previous training which usually lasts a day or a weekend. And it is worth the effort: there is a beautiful view of the river Drina and Lake Perucac. “There are plenty of beautiful canyons in our region, especially known to the people involved in canyoning, but also the undiscovered ones. Those canyons are mostly near the confluence of the rivers Ibar and Lim. Midstream of the river Lim is unexplored, just like the upper stream of the river Ibar. In fact, mostly known are the canyons of the Drina river basin, around Bajina Basta”, says to Playboy Milos, a member of Mountain Rescue Service and one of the best experts for canyons in our region and beyond.
Spring is the ideal time to go with a one way ticket into the unknown to discover the whole new terrains that are known by a very few people before you and from which you can’t get out until you overcome those few kilometers. Here’s how the author of the book describes the thrill: “Even a simple, dry canyon can be filled with great atmosphere, with its dramatic high walls that surround a narrow channel, offering you small opportunity for the current drawing. Add to that the noise and rush of water, one or two down hills, and you will feel an unforgettable experience. Only at the bottom you become again closer to the world that you already know”. This kind of adventure doesn’t have to be experienced by trained athletes only, climbers, cavers and others accustomed to the terms of reference, too, on the contrary – with a little training those who maintain at least some fitness during the year can engage in canyoning. One or more days spent in descending and climbing mountains and cliffs of the canyons will wake up feelings that the new generations have forgotten, a true sense of the new conquerors of the undiscovered terrains, the feeling of self-confidence that carries the ability to conquer the wilderness, harmony with nature that we have forgotten neurotically attached to our daily tasks. That stress, which often do not leave even those who have gone on holiday on which they lie around all day, is gone in a second when the adventure of canyoning takes its place. There you can’t wait to see what’s behind the next “corner” – behind a tree or rock.
In our canyons, and in the canyons in the region which is extremely rich in natural beauty (Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia and Slovenia), you will see the virgin nature to which human foot has not reached hundreds or thousands of years.
Many people know the famous canyon in Montenegro that has a proper name – Nevidio (“not seen”) and really looks amazing. Through it you can go without climbing equipment. But there are many others too.
The canyons are full of stone figures that were hewn by water invisibly, abstract walls, waterfalls and pools, pots and traps, chasms and gaps, corridors that lead into the next area and the architecture of nature which can not be described or copied. From the gap you come to a vertical or horizontal terrace, from which you descend into the amphitheater from which you often trample on the rocks covered with moss, soft as a rabbit’s foot, which is lowered into the water clear as air and gives it a green-turquoise color. Game of light coming from the sun lasts not so long, because there are fast replacing lighting conditions, and it is best shown in photographs made by Predrag Vuckovic, our associate who went on a canyoning in Montenegro just after coming from a shooting of the jump from the edge of space in New Mexico (see the April issue of Playboy). Predrag leaves his photographs to talk about how the passing through canyons is exciting and nice, but reminds us also of the dangers, why it’s necessary to go canyoning in a team disciplined and with the awareness that safety always comes first.
“We shouldn’t, of course, be scared, but careful as much as possible. You can always start with the easy canyons, which you almost pass through in a straight line of a beautiful gorge. The expedition can last few hours or several days, during which you can experience so much in every possible way. You just need to have all the time the security in mind in the first place because that such an experience wouldn’t have been broken by any injury that is usually caused by someone’s carelessness. I was passing through the canyons that required climbing and descending, diving and swimming, and I have often hung on a rope in order to get good pictures. No one has ever been hurt, thanks to clear rules, which include the right equipment and all safety precautions. In such circumstances, canyoning is one of the most beautiful experiences that can be experienced during one day in nature!”, said Vuckovic in time when their Extreme Canyoning Team was getting ready at the Fort Maglic (between Kraljevo and Raska) for new canyoning expedition. Besides enjoyment, canyoning is hiding dangers too, because of exceptional and dynamic nature of the expedition in which they go. Canyons can change dramatically in a moment: the bright, sunny and warm places turn into the dark and cold environment, within a few minutes. In the spring the exciting in canyons is the strongest, but then you should be especially careful, because often there is a lot of ice water after heavy rain or due to melted snow. Any injury in the canyon is unpleasant and the main goal of each expedition is to create conditions that do not get to that. You need to know that the way back in the canyon doesn’t exist and that usually you have to go all the way in order to obtain the opportunity to take care of the injured person what might take several hours and sometimes days. Orientation, routing and navigation – all this is very important for the success of the expedition. So, beginners should not be engaged in this kind of adventure alone, but go with experienced guides.
THE ROPE KEEPS THE HEAD
Trainers of the Extreme Canyoning Team (in the photo right) claim to have all measures on the highest level for the participants of the expeditions organized by them, including possession of satellite phones. In addition to disciplined adherence to the rules which are known to all members of the expedition, it is also very important to carry the right equipment. Quality rope is the most important piece of equipment for this type of adventure. It is necessary for the descent and ascent, without it, you can not even enter or exit the canyon. Therefore, it is always important to have a spare rope, if the one you have entangle, stuck or damage. There is also a neoprene suit, which is, on this kind of an expedition, as a second skin that protects against cold, especially in cold water, and the impact of the strong and sharp rocks. The right footwear that is made specifically for canyoning is preferred and it’s important that it is made in very good quality because of the time you spend with your feet in the water. Besides all this, it is necessary to have a helmet, climbing belt, descender for the controlled descending rope, waterproof backpack and bags for the technical equipment that you carry with you, flashlight…
All the details about canyoning you can find on www.extremecanyoning.com