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Book review of first ''selective'' canyon guidebook for all of Europe

Discussion in 'Archives - Yahoo Canyons Group' started by evanojenkins, Apr 10, 2008.

  1. evanojenkins

    evanojenkins Guest

    Thought I'd write a quick review for a canyoning guidebook to Europe which came out last summer "Le Tour de l'Europe en Canyon", which I've just finished reading, and might be of interest to the English/American audience:

    This is the first `selective' (picks only the `best' canyons) guidebook which I'm aware of which aims to cover almost all of Europe (Morocco, Portugal, Spain, France, Corsica, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Sardinia, Sicily, Balkans, Greece, Crete). It's written by canyoning addict Stephane Cote (nicknamed Caracal), who is a very active canyon enthusiast.

    The book is 464 glossy pages and very colourful. It covers 104 canyons, and mentions an additional 20 in less detail. The main text is in French, but each canyon also has a short summary written in English, giving the most necessary details but without all the background information. There is a standard fact list for each canyon using obvious symbols to give key beta (Distances, elevations, times, rope lengths, period of year possible, difficulty rating, and overall `quality' rating). Most of the canyons also come with maps, detailed profiles chart showing each drop (although without possible jumps & toboggans indicated), and plenty of colour photos. There are also useful indexes, and more subjective lists of the `best canyons', `hardest canyons', `best canyons for each period of year', etc.

    As with any selective guide, choosing which canyons to include can't have been easy. Stephane has aimed to get the best canyon or two in each area, and so has had to be rather ruthless in some of the richest canyoning areas. For example the book has only the top 2 canyons in Swiss Ticino, even though the next few canyons there are probably actually better than the #1 canyon in Morocco, but this is normal for any selective guide covering such a large area. In fact, I think, and most people I've spoken to agree that this is a really excellent selection of canyons. If you find yourself in a location in Europe for 1-2 days, this book will tell you the heaviest-hitting canyons to do. Of course, if you're in an area for more than a couple of days you'll need to dig out a more comprehensive local source of beta. You may want to do that anyway, but this book will certainly get your `tick list' going.

    The book can be ordered direct from the author at http://www.caracal.fr/ or via most European canyoning suppliers. Cost is 26 Euros

    Evan
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