Mont Blanc / Chamonix

Balme Canyon FAQ

Fitness level ?

Descending Balme canyon requires an effort that is comparable to a 3 hour hike on mountain tracks.

No need of experience as everything will be explained to you along the canyoning experience.

I'm scared, are there jumps or mandatory passages ?

No jump is mandatory in Balme canyon.

The only mandatory passage is a 30 ft high rope descent. Your guide will be happy to lower you if you prefer not to control your own abseil.

What stuff should I bring  ?

Ideal : lace shoes with spikes.

OK : worn out shoes, big hiking shoes, velcro sandals with a solid sole.

Not possible : soft neoprene soled water shoes, sandals and flipflops with toe separation.

* You can rent shoes from OXO : 5€/p. Book them the day before at the latest !

What gear is OXO canyoning providing ?

Neoprene wetsuits and socks are looked after and continuously renewed so they don't have holes. They are washed with a bactericide and fungicide treatment after each use.

Meeting place ?

Right here ! A very easy place to find where you will be meeting your guide with the OXO van. You will then drive 1 more km to the canyon.

You need to be driving to the meeting place.

This meeting place will be reminded to you in details by email.

I'm not driving a car. Can I go canyoning ?

Public transports don't allow an easy access to Balme canyon.

But Barberine canyon is easy to reach using the free Mont Blanc Express train. Let us know you are not driving and we'll explain you how to proceed to come canyoning with us.

Where do we change clothes ?

There is no OXO base on the side of the river and we need to change on the canyon's car park. It is a quite place, but we change outside or in the cars !

Make sure you wear your bathingsuit under your clothes

Make sure you go to the toilets before leaving, there are none on the spot (and peeing in the wetsuit is not right at all !)

What do we do with our valuables ?

All what is not going to the water in staying in the cars... best is to leave everything at your accommodation.

Glasses and contacts. Possible ?

Wearing prescription glasses when canyoning is possible. A well adjusted attach cord normally allows to not lose them. Otherwise, fitting them in the jacket against your chest for jumps is the safest solution.

No problem either for contact lenses as long as you close your eyes underwater.

What if it is raining ?

We are continuously observing the past and forecasted rainfalls, considering that too much rain can lead the Balme river to an excessive waterflow.

Why not go to Barberine canyon in this case ? It is located right below a dam letting the waterflow nearly unchanged in case of rain.

Can one follow the group walking ?

Balme has a very steep-sided first half but the gorge opens up in a forest in the last section. This is where the amazing natural slides are located. It is easy to walk down along the river and take photos of the happy canyoneers.

It is an earth path with potentially steep and slippy parts. Make sure you have an appropriate equipment and fitness.

Photo ! Photo !

You can take a waterproof camera, a waterproof smartphone or any GOPRO like type of waterproof video camera. Several helmets of ours are epuipped with a GOPRO mount (female rail)

Non waterproof devices are prohibited.

Camera polls can be harmful and are prohibited.

Take slings or straps and check your device's waterproofness !


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