Canyoning is an adventure sport done in the canyons or gullies of a river. The first place where the sport was done in Spain was the Escuaín gully, in Aragon, and the first person who did it was the Frenchman Lucien Briet in 1903. In his book of memoirs, this precursor from beyond the Pyrenees describes the beauty of the gully as “a formidable joint (fracture in the rocks) open in the mountains and worthy of serious study by those who have followed the canyons of some rivers”.
This sport, with no more rules than safety above all, consists of descending the head of a river, normally walking with water up to your ankles and finding falls on the way. These obstacles are overcome by jumping into the well of the river, by abseiling down a wall or sliding, in other words small falls where the rock is eroded in such a way that it produces a slope that drops to the following section.
The beauty of the Escuaín Gully is proven by that fact that half of its route cannot be descended because it lies within the boundaries of Ordesa National Park (in the Aragonese Pyrenees), which fills it with trees and greenery. The other half, as an expert guide described, is an “area of easy descent”, good for learners and “loads of fun because it is full of water areas”.
The excursion is a round trip of about five hours from the village of Escuaín, and covers a drop of 1,500 metres. With several jumps and slides, the main highlight is a final jump of 15 metres into a large well. The fall can be avoided by the more fearful, who can abseil down or use a nearby path; the scenery alone is worthwhile.
As well as canyoning, the gully offers the chance to trek and pothole. A wealth of activities in an exceptional place.