A question about the Soca Siphon Canyon, and who should do it.

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A question about the Soca Siphon Canyon, and who should do it.

Post by cathalferris » Wed Oct 31, 2018 9:25 am

Consider this a hypothetical question.

Let's consider a group of paddlers based in the Soca area for a week.

Who here would consider it safe for someone to guide a pair of moderate-level (comfy on grade 3, pushed on grade 4) paddlers in a group of 3 down the Siphon Canyon section at 25-30 cumec?

Lets say that the "leader" of the group has 5 years of experience paddling on whitewater and has been led down that section of river once, the year previous. Let's also say that this leader is not known for taking sane leadership and safety decisions for groups, nor would carry a full set of rescue gear, and would paddle in shorts and dry top. Let's also say that the pair of moderate paddlers are in their second year of paddling. Let's also say that there was nobody in that group that would have intimate knowledge of the river section and no knowledge of what has changed since the previous season.

My take on this situation would be that it would be considered foolhardy to do this particular trip, and would constitute an unreasonable risk.

I know full well that this section of river is not hugely difficult to paddle, but the level of consequence for a screwup could be catastrophic depending on the location of a swim.

Thoughts and considerations from those familiar with the section of river?

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Re: A question about the Soca Siphon Canyon, and who should do it.

Post by Jim » Wed Oct 31, 2018 12:11 pm

With such a level of detail this clearly is not hypothetical and the people you are thinking of will probably recognise themselves!

I'm not familiar with the section although I have heard of it. But this is irrelvant, the person you have described as a leader is not fit to be leading (based on your description) and whilst you cannot stop that person leading, you can make sure that the people who may be lead by that person are fully informed with respect to that persons limitations so that they will hopefully make a suitable decision about whether or not to go on the trip.

I would suggest that every member of a group on a section like that should be capable of taking the lead role in a rescue situation that may evolve quickly, involve a siphon and possibly require a hauling system - siphons are notoriously hard to read and have no respect of ability. Any one of the group could end up being the casualty, which means everyone needs to be competent to run the rescue.

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Re: A question about the Soca Siphon Canyon, and who should do it.

Post by DaveBland » Wed Oct 31, 2018 1:08 pm

As Jim says, clearly not a random description.

From a more general angle, I have a real issue with trip leaders and the concept of leading other paddlers, organized or not.

No-one should paddling above their ability. Full stop. It doesn’t matter that there’s a more experienced paddler ‘leading’ them. The leader isn’t controlling the other paddler's boat and so it’s just not a safe environment.

That said, if a paddler wants to push harder, it IS UP TO THEM, and them only to take the responsibility and risks associated.

Ideally, this is how it should work. You practice on the grade you are at until you are MORE than comfortable. Then you try a grade a bit harder. Ideally with a stronger group of paddlers a yourself. These paddlers are not there to ‘lead’ you, but having more experience can offer advice and assist if needed.

So back to your scenario, if each paddler wants to do it and feels they are up to it then, fill ya boots. But no-one should be relying on anyone else to lead them.
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Re: A question about the Soca Siphon Canyon, and who should do it.

Post by purelandexpeditions.com » Wed Oct 31, 2018 1:29 pm

Always, always, be responsible as a leader. Always understand your own limits as part of the group. Always know your choices and decisions matter to the whole group.
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Re: A question about the Soca Siphon Canyon, and who should do it.

Post by DaveBland » Wed Oct 31, 2018 3:21 pm

Shoulda said... paid for professional trips excluded. Thats a whole different thing.
Largely due to the fact a professional provider wouldnt take inexperienced paddlers down unsuitable rivers.
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Re: A question about the Soca Siphon Canyon, and who should do it.

Post by Franky » Wed Oct 31, 2018 4:54 pm

But most paddlers want to push themselves. If we didn't paddle "above our ability" sometimes (*), we wouldn't make any progress.

I *think* the point you're making is that we shouldn't hold anyone else responsible for our own mistakes, and if so, I agree.

But I'm an intermediate paddler and likely to stay that way, so whenever I am going down a new river (especially one outside my comfort zone - I disagree with your suggestion that no one should ever paddle outside their comfort zone), I want to be with at least one paddler who IS comfortable on the river.

I can think of at least one occasion where an advanced paddler has advised me to portage a rapid, when my inclination was to try running it. I deferred to his judgment, which was probably the right decision in retrospect.


(*) Ignoring the contradiction in terms - by definition, if you're paddling, you're paddling within your ability.

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Re: A question about the Soca Siphon Canyon, and who should do it.

Post by DaveBland » Wed Oct 31, 2018 6:31 pm

Franky wrote:
Wed Oct 31, 2018 4:54 pm
But most paddlers want to push themselves. If we didn't paddle "above our ability" sometimes (*), we wouldn't make any progress.

I *think* the point you're making is that we shouldn't hold anyone else responsible for our own mistakes, and if so, I agree.

But I'm an intermediate paddler and likely to stay that way, so whenever I am going down a new river (especially one outside my comfort zone - I disagree with your suggestion that no one should ever paddle outside their comfort zone), I want to be with at least one paddler who IS comfortable on the river.

I can think of at least one occasion where an advanced paddler has advised me to portage a rapid, when my inclination was to try running it. I deferred to his judgment, which was probably the right decision in retrospect.


(*) Ignoring the contradiction in terms - by definition, if you're paddling, you're paddling within your ability.
To be fair that's not what I said. Or not what I was trying to say. I shoulda been clearer...
No-one should paddle above their ability. I stand by that. Comfort zone is a different matter.
There's no way of progressing unless you push beyond your comfort zone, but if you've done your groundwork [water work?] properly on a grade lower, your ability should be there.

But yes, my point is that if you are stepping up to the next grade, pushing your comfort zone, then have others [plural!] who are more experienced with you. Not one 'leader' who is responsible for you.
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Re: A question about the Soca Siphon Canyon, and who should do it.

Post by DaveBland » Wed Oct 31, 2018 6:54 pm

Franky wrote:
Wed Oct 31, 2018 4:54 pm


(*) Ignoring the contradiction in terms - by definition, if you're paddling, you're paddling within your ability.
...ah, just saw this bit. Totally possible to be paddling beyond your ability. Depending on the definition of 'ability' of course.
Many, many paddlers have drifted and been flushed down stuff that they don't really have the ability to paddle in control or adapt and correct if the unexpected happens.
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Re: A question about the Soca Siphon Canyon, and who should do it.

Post by Simon Westgarth » Thu Nov 01, 2018 1:15 am

cathalferris wrote:
Wed Oct 31, 2018 9:25 am
Who here would consider it safe for someone to guide a pair of moderate-level (comfy on grade 3, pushed on grade 4) paddlers in a group of 3 down the Siphon Canyon section at 25-30 cumec?

Lets say that the "leader" of the group has 5 years of experience paddling on whitewater and has been led down that section of river once, the year previous. Let's also say that this leader is not known for taking sane leadership and safety decisions for groups, nor would carry a full set of rescue gear, and would paddle in shorts and dry top. Let's also say that the pair of moderate paddlers are in their second year of paddling. Let's also say that there was nobody in that group that would have intimate knowledge of the river section and no knowledge of what has changed since the previous season.

My take on this situation would be that it would be considered foolhardy to do this particular trip, and would constitute an unreasonable risk.

I know full well that this section of river is not hugely difficult to paddle, but the level of consequence for a screwup could be catastrophic depending on the location of a swim.
The short answer is absolutely not.

Although the lines on the Siphon Canyon are Class IV slot boating, the consequences for even minor misjudgements is considerable. On such occasions people ask about paddling the Siphon Canyon of Soča, my reply is that if you are a solid Class IV* who does not need to roll on Class IV, that is, you simply do not fall over and thus need to roll, you could possibly entertain such a section. Walk the first 500m to Solomon Pool for an idea of what the section is above. The crux is on the bend, another 500m downriver of Solomon Pool.

* a solid Class IV paddler in my view is someone whom can run Class IV anywhere in the world on sight/with inspection without any notable errors.

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Re: A question about the Soca Siphon Canyon, and who should do it.

Post by Mark Dixon » Thu Nov 01, 2018 7:48 am

My lad paddled the Canyon a few years ago and hes a solid grade 5 paddler, he went on his own so he didnt have to look out for anyone, weve been back twice since but hes said the section is just not worth paddling, you need to constantly scouting and totally on your game.
If you want a challenge go to India, its dirt cheap and far better rivers from what he tells me. Theres a new guidebook out and its fantastic

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Re: A question about the Soca Siphon Canyon, and who should do it.

Post by Franky » Thu Nov 01, 2018 8:45 am

DaveBland wrote:
Wed Oct 31, 2018 6:31 pm
But yes, my point is that if you are stepping up to the next grade, pushing your comfort zone, then have others [plural!] who are more experienced with you. Not one 'leader' who is responsible for you.
Yes. The thought, "I'll be up to paddling this river if I go with X" shouldn't enter one's mind.

No matter how experienced and responsible the people you're with, when something goes wrong there is a period - might be seconds, might be minutes - when you are totally on your own.
Franky wrote:
Wed Oct 31, 2018 4:54 pm
(*) Ignoring the contradiction in terms - by definition, if you're paddling, you're paddling within your ability.
...ah, just saw this bit. Totally possible to be paddling beyond your ability. Depending on the definition of 'ability' of course.
Many, many paddlers have drifted and been flushed down stuff that they don't really have the ability to paddle in control or adapt and correct if the unexpected happens.
Sorry, that was a fit of pedantry. I was thinking that, strictly speaking, we are always paddling within our ability - you can't exceed your own ability. But I know what you were saying.

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Re: A question about the Soca Siphon Canyon, and who should do it.

Post by cathalferris » Thu Nov 01, 2018 10:04 am

Thank you all for your inputs so far. Most useful, and it appears that people have very interesting viewpoints on the matter.

The original question is technically a hypothetical question, that applies to a known stereotype within a local club here. There have been some people within that club that have done similar things in the recent past, though as far as I am aware the exact scenario I outlined has not taken place. I would be *unhappy* if I were to hear of such a thing being done. The question was raised to get the opinions of the experienced paddling community as a whole regarding this type of scenario, where the people being led would not have the experience to understand the extent of the risks of that particular activity, and those doing the leading definitely have an arrogance that overstates both their leadership abilities and their rescue abilities, and most likely putting everyone at risk unnecessarily. The exercise underway is to see how more appropriate safety and leadership decisions should be taken, and to try to minimise unnecessary risks to the less-experienced while still allowing progression and enjoyment of the sport.


As for that particular section of river, I'm not a fan of it, though I am well capable of paddling it. The risk/reward isn't there for me any time I've gone to look at it with the possibility of doing it. The only way I would do it would be as a part of a peer-paddling group where everyone could perform any necessary rescues. I would definitely not be comfortable taking a group down the Canyon where any coaching would be required for any lines or rescues. It's on the bucket list to paddle that stretch, but I'm in no great rush to get it done.

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Re: A question about the Soca Siphon Canyon, and who should do it.

Post by Chris Bolton » Thu Nov 01, 2018 11:10 am

those doing the leading definitely have an arrogance that overstates both their leadership abilities and their rescue abilities, and most likely putting everyone at risk unnecessarily
That's a problem wherever they are leading, but worse in a place with with disproportionate risk such as your example; I assume you chose the example to highlight the problem. It's something the club management have a duty to address. It's never easy to do that in a volunteer organisation, but it has to be done, even it means some unsuitable leaders leave the club rather than reform.

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Re: A question about the Soca Siphon Canyon, and who should do it.

Post by DaveBland » Thu Nov 01, 2018 12:06 pm

Franky wrote:
Thu Nov 01, 2018 8:45 am
Yes. The thought, "I'll be up to paddling this river if I go with X" shouldn't enter one's mind.
Thanks for summing up what I was trying to say in one line!

Interestingly, and relevant to the OP, the converse of "I'll be worried if I'm on this river with X" should enter your mind.

Choice of paddling crew you are comfortable with and confident in, is key to a safe and enjoyable day on the river.
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Re: A question about the Soca Siphon Canyon, and who should do it.

Post by Yew » Thu Nov 01, 2018 1:23 pm

cathalferris wrote:
Wed Oct 31, 2018 9:25 am



Lets say that the "leader" of the group has 5 years of experience paddling on whitewater and has been led down that section of river once, the year previous.
So they are an experienced boater, with prior knowledge of the section
Let's also say that this leader is not known for taking sane leadership and safety decisions for groups,
This is vague and subjective, what sort of decisions? What sort of groups? What experience do you have to judge the appropriateness of their choices?
nor would carry a full set of rescue gear,
Again, vague, what constitutes a full set of gear? I can think of some things that, whilst necessary for UK boating, and not required when boating abroad in the summer.
and would paddle in shorts and dry top.
I struggle to see how this is relevant?
Let's also say that the pair of moderate paddlers are in their second year of paddling.
Excellent, you also said they are comfortable on grade 3, and can manage grade 4, so paddling a section of grade 4 during their trip isn't out of the question
Let's also say that there was nobody in that group that would have intimate knowledge of the river section and no knowledge of what has changed since the previous season.
You have previously said that the leader has paddled the section, furthermore you can ask other paddlers what has changed since the previous season. This is common in popular destinations.
My take on this situation would be that it would be considered foolhardy to do this particular trip, and would constitute an unreasonable risk.
I feel the decision is based fundamentally on the progression of the paddlers during the trip. 2 weeks of solid paddling can take you from someone who can manage on occasional grade 4, to comfortable on grade 4. In that case, it seems reasonable and appropriate to consider the section (dependent on levels, changes, etc.). Furthermore, for such a small group, the possibility of joining with other paddlers for shuttles is very high, which; a) helps with safety cover if the two paddlers are feeling up to the section, and b) gives the leader to possibility of running the section alone, with paddlers from another group.

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Re: A question about the Soca Siphon Canyon, and who should do it.

Post by cathalferris » Thu Nov 01, 2018 2:19 pm

Yew wrote:
Thu Nov 01, 2018 1:23 pm
cathalferris wrote:
Wed Oct 31, 2018 9:25 am

Lets say that the "leader" of the group has 5 years of experience paddling on whitewater and has been led down that section of river once, the year previous.
So they are an experienced boater, with prior knowledge of the section
Experienced in years yes, not necessarily in attitude and outlook - especially from a group management perspective.
Let's also say that this leader is not known for taking sane leadership and safety decisions for groups,
This is vague and subjective, what sort of decisions? What sort of groups? What experience do you have to judge the appropriateness of their choices?
Lets say for argument's sake that I was a leader for 20 years of that club's existence, across multitudes of national and international trips and events, with a reputation as a safe and competent group leader during that time. I'm not going to detail the real club's makeup other than all adults - no under 18s, and regularly having new people join the club for a few years.
Let's just say for the purposes of the hypothetical question that I had regularly observed really poor decisions to paddle when borderline drunk or actually drunk, or skagging after a night at a rave - and the people involved were not happy at the suggestion that they were unfit to paddle let alone make group decisions.. Let's also say the "leader" in my question has also thoroughly berated (with shouting, spit flying and a red angry face) first year paddlers for deciding they were too tired after a days paddling of two long easier sections to do e.g. the Otona section before the 6pm cutoff - a definite no-no from my experience with first year paddlers in the Alps as errors compound when people are tired and people get hurt as a result.
Then again, my original question has nothing to do with my own abilities or experience, just to get opinions on what people think of that hypothetical situation.
nor would carry a full set of rescue gear,
Again, vague, what constitutes a full set of gear? I can think of some things that, whilst necessary for UK boating, and not required when boating abroad in the summer.
Enough to deal with a pin / entrapment / etc. I don't see anything different for grade 4 rescues between British Isles and the Alps, nor do I have any differences in what I would personally carry. If anything the Alpine paddling would need a bit more such as longer throwlines due to bigger river widths and faster water speeds. The hypothetical leader in my original question would try to paddle as "selfishly" as possible from a rescue gear viewpoint, relying on others to carry any heavy bits so there's less effort for that "leader" to expend.
and would paddle in shorts and dry top.
I struggle to see how this is relevant?
Attire like that is a poor choice to perform any extended rescue requiring any immersion that takes some time - someone with no thermal insulation when immersed means they will become part of the problem after maybe 5 or 10 minutes immersed. Especially in cold summer Alpine rivers. I've seen exactly this happen on a previous trip I went on where someone helping with the rescue became hypothermic during the rescue and as a result needed rescuing themselves when they fumbled and fell in. Does this help with how the clothing is relevant?
Let's also say that the pair of moderate paddlers are in their second year of paddling.
Excellent, you also said they are comfortable on grade 3, and can manage grade 4, so paddling a section of grade 4 during their trip isn't out of the question
Lets say for the hypothetical question that they are not comfortable on normal grade 4, but could get down with a struggle and a decent chance of a swim. Does that change what you think, especially when applied to this specific section of river?
Let's also say that there was nobody in that group that would have intimate knowledge of the river section and no knowledge of what has changed since the previous season.
You have previously said that the leader has paddled the section, furthermore you can ask other paddlers what has changed since the previous season. This is common in popular destinations.
Certainly useful for a peer group, but not suitable in this instance for bringing under-grade paddlers down this section. I wouldn't be absolutely relying on another paddlers observations when there is so little margin for error - plus others may not have all the information to hand and not know that they don't have the information to hand. Personally I would seek local advice and weigh it when making my overall decision whether to paddle or not.
My take on this situation would be that it would be considered foolhardy to do this particular trip, and would constitute an unreasonable risk.
I feel the decision is based fundamentally on the progression of the paddlers during the trip. 2 weeks of solid paddling can take you from someone who can manage on occasional grade 4, to comfortable on grade 4. In that case, it seems reasonable and appropriate to consider the section (dependent on levels, changes, etc.). Furthermore, for such a small group, the possibility of joining with other paddlers for shuttles is very high, which; a) helps with safety cover if the two paddlers are feeling up to the section, and b) gives the leader to possibility of running the section alone, with paddlers from another group.
Agreed, but again, for the hypothetical question there were no other paddlers involved, and that the river would have been done on the 3rd or 4th day of the trip for the two lower grade paddlers - not towards the end of an epic fortnight of stepping up the rivers attempted.

Thanks for the input though, I hope the above clarifies things for you.

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Re: A question about the Soca Siphon Canyon, and who should do it.

Post by Sean_soup » Thu Nov 01, 2018 2:43 pm

cathalferris wrote:
Thu Nov 01, 2018 2:19 pm
.. hypothetical situation.
Hmm, yes, completely. <strokes chin>

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Re: A question about the Soca Siphon Canyon, and who should do it.

Post by DaveBland » Thu Nov 01, 2018 2:53 pm

Great that this is all so hypothetical.

What's missing for me is WHY the leader wants to tackle this committing and consequential section with a couple of paddlers who will be pushing it to be okay?

For the lead paddler, a trip down the same section with a few similarly experienced paddlers would surely be more fun and less stressful?

So, if it's not going to be as much fun as if with stronger paddlers, why does the 'leader' want to paddle with these other two?

- To make them feel all cool and leadery?
- They have no-one else to paddle with?
- They get on really well with the paddlers they are leading and they are mates?
- To develop their river leadership skills?
- To say that they have done it?
- Because they fancy one of the other padders?
- Because they want some sort of status in a peer group?

or, because they really want to help other paddlers develop and push themselves in a safe environment*.


*trick answer as siphon canyon isn't a safe environment.
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Re: A question about the Soca Siphon Canyon, and who should do it.

Post by Chris Bolton » Thu Nov 01, 2018 3:58 pm

why does the 'leader' want to paddle with these other two?
Probably because, according to the data supplied for the hypothetical question
those doing the leading definitely have an arrogance that overstates both their leadership abilities and their rescue abilities
which also means, to me, "the 'leader' is a pillock"

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Re: A question about the Soca Siphon Canyon, and who should do it.

Post by DaveBland » Thu Nov 01, 2018 4:33 pm

Sorry, shoulda said...

I have come across all of the above reasons for paddlers wanting to 'lead' trips and maybe that's why I'm so jaded about the whole leadership thing on rivers.

Maybe it's a failing on my part, that although I've got more than enough experience to take paddlers down stuff, I have rarely done so. And when the offer has been to take a paddler down something, it's been because they wanted to do it, but were nervous and I knew they were up to it. But this has only ever been as part of a larger group of experienced paddlers with ONE paddler only, being looked out for by the whole group. And even then it's been a "come with us" scenario, not a "we'll take you down".

Ultimately "Leader" denotes responsibility, and that's where I draw a line.
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Re: A question about the Soca Siphon Canyon, and who should do it.

Post by TheEcho » Thu Nov 01, 2018 8:01 pm

Let's also say the "leader" in my question has also thoroughly berated (with shouting, spit flying and a red angry face) first year paddlers for deciding they were too tired
I am not qualified or experienced enough to comment on the whitewater specific stuff, but if I saw that, I would never wish to paddle with such a person, not only because I don’t want to risk being yelled at for something that is a fact of life for everyone at times, not only because it is a fun hobby rather than army boot camp or a dysfunctional workplace, but if he is shaming people for that then people aren’t going to speak up for other important safety related reasons either.

So if the word has got around, this hypothetical problem won’t arise, as nobody else will want to paddle with him down the canyon either.

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Re: A question about the Soca Siphon Canyon, and who should do it.

Post by Franky » Fri Nov 02, 2018 8:55 am

TheEcho wrote:
Thu Nov 01, 2018 8:01 pm
So if the word has got around, this hypothetical problem won’t arise, as nobody else will want to paddle with him down the canyon either.
Depends on the age of the people. Younger paddlers might assume this is just how it works, and suck it up.

That said, there is evidently hypothetical stuff going on here the rest of us don't know about. Behind the immediate hypothetical grievance, it sounds as though there is a hypothetical intra-club power struggle that we'd be unwise to comment on :\

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Re: A question about the Soca Siphon Canyon, and who should do it.

Post by cathalferris » Fri Nov 02, 2018 9:32 am

Franky wrote:
Fri Nov 02, 2018 8:55 am
That said, there is evidently hypothetical stuff going on here the rest of us don't know about. Behind the immediate hypothetical grievance, it sounds as though there is a hypothetical intra-club power struggle that we'd be unwise to comment on :\
I'm not a member of the club for some time nor have I been either active with them in some time, so no possible power struggle here at all. Not being a member should make me a good person to ask the hypothetical question, as I've nothing to gain nor lose by the opinions given. Genuinely I have no particular stake in the fire on this one other than I'd like to see people progress safely in the sport without unnecessary risks.

I was asked my own expert opinion (as someone that ran a lot of that club's paddling activities for a long time in the past) on a type of scenario based on someone else's observations and I figured no harm in asking others here about a generalised scenario without identifying any of the hypothetical people that may or may not be involved.

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Re: A question about the Soca Siphon Canyon, and who should do it.

Post by frazerp » Fri Nov 02, 2018 10:21 am

OK, I'll bite. No club I've ever been involved with would allow someone with this hypothetical attitude anywhere near a leadership role. On any water. It just isn't worth the risk. Obviously, if a group of friends chose to paddle together as a group of friends (I.e. Not as part of a club sponsored activity) that would of course be their own choice, and any consequences would be for them to sort out and deal with.

All the best,
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Re: A question about the Soca Siphon Canyon, and who should do it.

Post by PlymouthDamo » Fri Nov 02, 2018 10:35 am

I would have bitten but I just can't get past the 'hypothetical' bit.

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Re: A question about the Soca Siphon Canyon, and who should do it.

Post by Chris Bolton » Fri Nov 02, 2018 12:40 pm

I was asked my own expert opinion (as someone that ran a lot of that club's paddling activities for a long time in the past) on a type of scenario based on someone else's observations and I figured no harm in asking others here about a generalised scenario without identifying any of the hypothetical people that may or may not be involved.
That's a useful clarification/explanation of why it's hypothetical. If the hypothetical club officials were aware, as a fact not an opinion, that they had leaders such as you describe, they would be breaching their duty of care to their hypothetical club members if they didn't do something about it.

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Re: A question about the Soca Siphon Canyon, and who should do it.

Post by SimonMW » Wed Nov 14, 2018 3:45 pm

I've not done the canyon myself, but I have walked a section of it (a mission in itself!) and spoken to lots who have.

My understanding of it is that it is of grade 4 technical difficulty *if* you know your way through it (it's a bit of a maze AFAIK). But it is full of siphons. It isn't just named that because there are two or three of them, but they are at every turn. On the section I walked you could see a couple of them, and to say they looked evil would be an understatement. One of them had caught a load of large tree branches, so if caught by that flow you'd be going into a strainer as well.

Raft clients have died there (swimming in from the slalom section above), slalom paddlers have died there, and one guy at least died from literally sitting in a 'safe' eddy he had been in the day before without problems. His Nomad was literally sucked right under with him in it.

So although it is often said to be grade 4, in my mind the grading system accounts for consequences of getting it wrong, which to my mind makes it a G5+. Although I know Advanced White Water Leader assessments are often run on it.

So to put it mildly, if the leader you reference really does want to do it with people of the skills you mention, then frankly I have no words. In fact from the sound of it I wouldn't even want to run the slalom section above with him given the potential consequences if someone cocks up at the end of it.

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