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Canyoning in the Alps

This summer come join us for a two week canyoneering adventure to one of the best destinations in the world: The Alps!

The Italian Canyoning Association (AIC) organizes an International Canyoning Rendezvous every summer. Canyoneers from around the world attend this gathering to meet new friends and explore fantastic canyons for an entire week. However, this year the Como Mountaineering Association (a northern Italy organization) is also organizing his own canyoning rendezvous, which starts precisely when the AIC Raduno ends and just a couple hours drive away.

Since these Radunos provide logistics, lodging, canyon beta, catering, social events and even accident insurance at a very low cost, these two Radunos (AIC & CAI) provide a cost effective way to spend two solid weeks descending some of the best canyons in the world!


The Raduno AIC will be from July 27 to August 4 near Domodossola, on the NorthEast Italian border with Switzerland, an area with some spectacular canyons (Mondelli, Rasiga, etc.). The Raduno CAI will be August 3 to August 11 near Porlezza, with easy access to the best Italian and Ticino (Switzerland) canyons (Bodengo, Bares, Cresciano, Lodrino, etc.). Both Radunos are accesible from Milan International airports (there's 3 of them). Map available here:

Most people will probably leave after the Radunos, but I'm going to stay for a few more days to go climb some of the fantastic Vias Ferratas in Switzerland. Let me know if interested.


Italians are friendly, the Raduno CAI even provides free tents for foreigners that fly in. Italians are proud to share their fantastic canyons with EVERYONE! Italians have no need for secret canyons or other types of manhood enhacements. Included in the enrollment fee you get a mini booklet with detailed beta and topos for all the nearby canyons. The organizers will also tell you latest water conditions and weather forecast and sometime even organize lead canyon outings.

I live in San Diego now, but I was born in the Alps, in the border of Switzerland and Italy, and still have family living in both sides. I've attended italian Radunos every year for the last 6 years, I speak the language and know how things work over there. I can help you with the logistics, translations, etc.


ALL the canyons in the Alps are "CLASS C"! Some canyons are easy, some are very intense. They are rated like whitewater rapids from class 1 (little water) to class 6 (extreme water). ALTHOUGH NOT REQUIRED, PRIOR EXPERIENCE WITH CLASS C CANYONS IS HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! The closest thing you'll find in North America is Jump Canyon (CA), 7 Teacups (CA), Matacanes (Mexico) & Hydrophobia (Mexico). If you've never done any of these canyons take a look at this video of Bodengo (Italy) to get an idea of what mess you'll get into:

For Ticino (Switzerland) canyons watch this:

For a more detailed info and pictures of the canyons take a look at the book "Canyoning in the Alps". We'll be doing canyons in regions 1, 2 and 3

You can also find more info and RATINGS of the canyons (voted by the people) online at (blue=kick-ass canyons)


Camping is the cheapest and usually best option since most social activities happen around camp. They usually make available a soccer field for people to camp for free. On-site facilities usually have full bathrooms (flush toilets & showers) that run 24h/day with power outlets and sometimes wifi.

If you don't want to bring camping gear, you can buy it at Decathlon after you arrive, use it for two weeks and donate it before you leave. Decathlon sells inexpensive quality gear, may be able to order online and have it shipped to the Raduno too.


Bring full canyon gear: Helmet, Shoes, Gloves, Wetsuit, Harness & descender.

Glacier melt water can sometimes be 50F even in summer. So 5mm FULL BODY wetsuit will be mandatory, preferably semi-dry or farmer john + jacket. You can buy discounted semi-dry Camaro wetsuits at There's usually vendors at the Radunos that will sell specialized canyon wetsuits, but do not count on it for the first few days.

We should also plan to bring one 200ft rope for every couple people.


We should share cars! Fiat Panda (fit 5 people) from Jul 27 to Aug 11 costs 560E ($730) at and $958 with Costco Travel. We can arrange to pick up from airport or instruct you how to take a bus/train and pick you up at the destination.


The flight is going to be the biggest expense! Last time I checked a round trip to Europe from San Diego quotes for around $1300, your location might be cheaper, especially if you fly out of LAX or Atlanta or New York. There's often ways to find cheap fares online. Best sites: good multi search site includes and you pay $40 but they may save you thousands, I'm trying them out as we speak




Enrollment: 36E ($47) if before May 31st

Included: Free camping, t-shirt, canyon booklet, gadget

Insurance: Add 8E ($10.5) to cover rescue and hospital during event

Extras: Free access to pool and lake beach

Extras: Free tents for foreigners (tent sleep 8 people)

Food: they offer group dinner & breakfast buffet for 13E/night ($17), packed lunch for 5E  ($6.5), so  max food expenses should be around $24/day. Some people prefer to buy their own food at a supermarket and cook at camp to save a few bucks.

RADUNO AIC: (similar conditions)

Enrollment: 50E after June 8

Included: Free camping, t-shirt, canyon booklet, gadget

See site for more info

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  • antalya t.

    I would be interested in doing a couple canyons and coupling that with some cycling with a friend whose family lives in Sagrado. Thanks for any advice you have.

    January 16

  • antalya t.

    After you buy your ticket email me what dates you will be arriving so we can arrange meet up and transportation.

    January 14

  • antalya t.

    This sounds fantastic! I'd have to do some finagling and couldn't come for the whole 2 weeks.

    January 13

  • mark r.

    Definitely want to do this, but, can't do it this year. How bout 2014?

    May 16, 2013

    • Luca

      Most likely in 2014 there will NOT be 2 Radunos back to back. Most likely they will NOT be in the best canyon areas like they are this year. Finally, I don't know if I will go in 2014.

      May 17, 2013

    • Christopher R.

      Hi Luca, This does look like to year to go with location and back to back Radunos. I will also look for this in the future as I am unable to attend this year. Have a great time.

      July 22, 2013

  • Brett K.

    Luca: This sounds like a great adventure. I'd like to do some Alpine canyons in the future. Like Mark, I can't make it this year. Is there an outfitter that you'd recommend? I would be interested in doing a couple canyons and coupling that with some cycling with a friend whose family lives in Sagrado. Thanks for any advice you have.

    July 3, 2013

    • Luca

      There are plenty of outfitters in the area, some good some not so good. is one of the best outfitters. Pascal Van Duinn is a great guy, he opened most of the canyons in the Como area and wrote the book most of us use for canyons in Italy.

      July 7, 2013

    • Brett K.

      Thanks for the information, Luca.

      July 7, 2013

  • Luca

    I arrive in Italy July 22nd and depart Aug 15th. I stay extra to visit family and to do some ferratas. Other friends of mine from Spain and USA will be there only for first week (July 27 - Aug 4).
    After you buy your ticket email me what dates you will be arriving so we can arrange meet up and transportation.

    June 21, 2013

    • Li

      Thanks, Luca, for organizing this. I finally have to give this trip up due to my work schedule. I will try it next time.

      July 5, 2013

  • Sharon S.

    OMG, Luca. This sounds fantastic! I'd have to do some finagling and couldn't come for the whole 2 weeks. If I could do just one of the two, which would you recommend?

    June 4, 2013

    • Luca

      Hard to say... both weeks provide fantastic canyons. My favorite canyons are the 2nd week. But the biggest event is going to be the 1st week.

      June 4, 2013

  • Li

    Not sure my schedule yet, but say "yes" now.

    May 16, 2013

2 went

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