Guillaume BOITEUX (Commission Canyon - FFS)

Technique, resistance tests, reliability tests, downhill safety

After analyzing the comments on the experiences, incidents or accidents related to the extension systems used in canyoning, the "Fédération Française de Spéléologie", in collaboration with the CREPS of Montpellier, the CREPS Auverge-Rhône-Alpes and the laboratory of tests of the "Ecole Nationale de Ski et d'Alpinisme (ENSA), have carried out a campaign of tests called:" CANYONING and EXTENDABLES.

This test campaign was intended to answer the following question: Do the different extension systems used at the moment meet the functionality and safety requirements necessary for the practice of canyoning?

As of the date of these tests, and taking into account the manufacturer's instructions available as of January 20, 2021, this test campaign revealed that certain extendable systems DO NOT COMPLY with the expected function: an acceptable level of safety in all the circumstances.

Consequently, some extension systems expose the practitioner to the risk of falling from a height, to the impossibility of lengthening the descent rope or of belaying a swimmer who is trying to overcome a complicated aquatic progression with maximum safety.

For this reason, today, it is necessary to update the extension systems used by athletes in general by those that have been validated in the testing campaign and that comply with all the functional and safety requirements demanded.

For this reason, Guillaume BOITEUX, canyoneering instructor of the "Direction Nationale EFC - Commission Canyon" of the FFS, will explain all the details of the tests and will explain the chosen criteria, functional and safety, of the extension systems that meet the required safety levels.