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  • Writer's pictureKish

What exactly is Canyoning?

Canyoning is not a well known sport in Iceland, to summarise it's essentially using a variety of techniques (some with technical ropework) to descend a canyon. Canyons don't have to be wet, they too can be dry, but in general the wet ones are more fun. We've broken down what defines a canyon, and other essentials for getting into the sport, as well as what you can expect on a canyoning adventure with us at Ice Guardians Iceland.

What defines a canyon, and how do they form?

Iceland is dotted with canyons (in Icelandic ‘gil’ or ‘gljúfur’) all over, this is mostly due to the fact that it has seen, and still has massive glaciers and rivers. Combine all this ice (>10% of Iceland's area) with volcanos and the 'Land of Fire and Ice' is sure to produce huge floods which rip through the relatively young and brittle basaltic landscape. This is the most violent way, there are also other ways in which they form, relentless erosion by rivers and waterfalls over millennia create steep walled cuts in mountains and hills. Finally there's the Ice Age glaciers, these would've ploughed through the landscape and polished the bedrock, these mostly retreated c.~12,000 years ago leaving behind canyons.

Is Canyoning a new sport?

Canyoning is certainly a new-ish sport to Iceland, we are the one and only commercial canyoning operators in Iceland. It is a