Cursing in a Canyon

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Words by Dalene Heck / photograph by Pete Heck

I am so incredibly brave from behind a computer screen.

Long, treacherous hikes are entirely doable, even running off of a mountain didn’t seem too bad at the time. You can entice me to do just about anything with a juicy photo of scenery that will accompany the task.

I convince myself that I am a brave and adventurous soul, and that there is nothing I can’t do.

Then, come ‘game day’, I whine. I freeze a little, I curse a lot, and when it’s over, I always vow that I’ve reached my adventurous limit, and I’ll never do anything like that again.

But time is a gentle yet treacherous beast. Enough days pass to make me forget about the fear and I feel invincible again. And when I stand poised to start the next foolish adventure I talk myself into, it all comes rushing back.

Who am I kidding, really? I am a total wimp.

Yet I keep putting myself in these terrifying situations.

Slovenia is an adventurer’s haven. The Triglav National Park in its northwest corner offers world-class white-water rafting, kayaking, canyoning, and more.

We left it up to our Facebook fans to decide what we would do – white-water rafting or canyoning. They chose canyoning, which was my preference anyway, seeing as we had never done it before.

Not once did it occur to me that it would be such a fear-inducing rush. On our drive to the canyon, our guide Zan said: “You will enjoy canyoning. It gives you more of an adrenaline boost than white-water rafting.”

Say, what now? Why had that not occurred to me? Once again, I had been seduced by the pretty pictures.

Enter frayed nerves. I was practically mute for the rest of our trek to the top of the canyon. And the only way out was to endure sliding down natural waterfalls and jump several metres into small pools in the Å usec Canyon.

You might be able to guess how I fared. And, I could tell you all the gory details behind how I reacted in the face of our first canyoning adventure…

Or, I could show you…

About the Video

    • We strapped our GoPro video camera to my helmet and I filmed almost our entire journey. However, I got the angles wrong a lot. For most of Pete’s jumps and slides, I only showed water splashing and nothing else, so he is barely featured in the video. Me = bad wife/videographer.
    • You might guess from the title of this post that I used a bit of profanity in the face of danger. You would guess right.
    • I honestly can’t believe I am showing this in public. Do I really sound like that?
    • To my Mother, who has a strong fear of water, you might want to pour yourself a glass of wine before watching this.

Would I do this again? Maybe not tomorrow, but ask me again in a few months. I do have some pretty pictures to be seduced by…

I look really happy! This might have been a “before” picture.

Susec Canyon, Slovenia

Pete would do it again tomorrow, for sure.


Yep, that’s me, mouth wide open and screaming as I was going down backwards. My favorite slides were the ones we went down head first, like Pete is doing on the right.

Canyoning Slovenia

Our sincere thanks to Soča Rafting for this heart-racing excursion. We were so happy to have done this adventure with the longest-running company in the area – with their expertise, pleasant staff, and strong attention to safety. Our guide Zan was also incredibly patient with me. If I were him, I probably would have pushed me in a few times. I’m glad he didn’t.

And while our canyoning adventure was complimentary, all opinions and girlish screams, as always, are our own.

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    1. Really great company to work with. It really made the experience worth while. Be wary of some other companies that can ignore safety. We saw some cliff jumpers that were definitely up higher than they should have been…

  1. You know.. I went through this whole video wondering if Pete was actually real. And then he finally appeared. Also.. potty mouth young lady!

    Canyoning looks entirely like my kind of thing though!

  2. “3…2…1…GO!” “…that doesn’t work.” BAAHAHA! This looks AMAZING! Send me to Slovenia! I’m also terrified of heights. Not water, just heights.

  3. “…look into the camera, and bye-bye!” haha!!!

    Ah, Dalene, you’re so brave to do this – I mean posting this AND actually doing it!!! 😀
    I would’ve been saying the same things, IF they even convinced me to slide down a rocky chute – backwards!! (the jumping I think would not be as bad… ??) Looks like lots of fun!

    1. That was the craziest decent for sure. Dalene’s motto is don’t think, just do. If she thinks about, she’ll most likely bail.. All in all lots of fun and I think we would both do it again….

  4. I’ve wanted to try this but I’ve never been good with the jumping from heights thing. The wetsuit and helmet must help though, no? Good for you Dalene!!

    1. The wetsuit helps huge for the cold water and sliding down the rocks. And the helmets did save us a few times from some bruises. The jumping was probably the most intimidating thing, but Dalene was a rockstar (even if she didn’t do them all).

  5. This looks like SO much fun! And what a great way to record it! Photos don’t do the heights justice – but photos make sure faces more entertaining!!

  6. That’s awesome! Blake says “she’s a bit of a chicken on that one, isn’t she?” haha! He also says he wants to go there next year for his 8th birthday!

    1. That almost did it scene we had to hold a rope and walk sideways out on a cliff. When you were ready you let go of the rope and push off. 4 metres up, it was pretty intimidating, but Dalene did it. So proud 🙂

  7. Wow. They do this up in the Swiss Alps too. It always sounds unpleasant. I definitely avoid things that are described as adrenaline rushes. In fact I structure a lot of my life to explicitly avoid such things.
    Good for you though.

  8. Awesome! Congrats for conquering your fears and quite literally taking the leap(s). I laughed out loud a few times….I’ve been there….those moments….those….”okay, wait wait….oh – I almost did it… wait wait…”! 🙂

  9. Are we all not like that? Courageous behind the computer!!! Its pretty scary to look at you doing all those stunts! Wonderful captures and What a fab video!!
    Have a wonderful day 🙂

  10. I’ve done this before and while I was a bit scared at the beginning (not a big fan of heights) I did enjoy right after slide number 2. Good fun!

  11. Dalene, you ARE a great videographer, if only because you have more guts than I do! This looks like so much fun!

    Susan (ssvoyager)

    1. She is a great videographer 🙂 just some fine tuning when jumping off of 4 metre cliffs. She may have been distracted that day 😉

  12. What an adventure!! I didn’t know the term “canyoning” existed, but it looks fantastic! You’re very brave…not sure I could do it myself!

    1. We first came across the term “canyoning” when in Ecuador and I was always intrigued. I would totally do it again!

  13. I love rafting, but this looks terrifying! You guys are brave in real life too, not just from behind the computer.

    1. aw thanks Emily 🙂 We LOVE rafting too. Either option would have been lots of fun with the company we dealt with. So very professional.

  14. I’m sorry I LOLed watching your feet inch forwards into each slide. I’ve never done canyoning so shouldn’t … rock climbing, mountaineering, even some caving. But this looks a little bit out of control for me 🙂

  15. Amazing and totally crazy! Wow! Looks like lots of fun (says me in front of the computer screen lol).

  16. Yeah, there’s no way I’d do this. Very impressed you went for it. I’m happy to sit on the sidelines of things like this and just take pictures.

    1. I still can’t believe I did it sometimes. It always freaks me out more afterwards though when I think back on it, if that makes sense…

  17. I feel so much better now that I know I’m not the only one that gets scared at things like this! I think I’m adventurous too and would probably do this but am sure everyone watching would be able to hear my heart pounding as I gussied up the guts to go! Fun and beautiful!

    1. Thanks Debbie! I’m glad I’m not the only one. Although if you and I did it together we’d probably just scare each other and STILL be up there trying to do it – haha!

  18. I don’t know D, I call myself adventurous too — but I’m certain I would have been right with you more than once. Just a bit afraid, even as I was excited too. And cursing? Since when is *that* bad?! 😉 LOL

  19. You seem to have the same mentality as I do when it comes to things like this.

    “Why did I do this?”

    “What was I thinking”

    *expletive expletive*

    Did your helmet come with the Go Pro attachment or did you guys bring your own?

    1. Hey Erica, we brought our own attachment that the GoPro came with. Worked quite well when Dalene was looking up 😉 (I might get an arm punch for that one)

  20. That look absolutely awesome.
    I would probably be terrified of doing it myself, but it looks like you get such an amazing feeling once you went trough all of it…

    Great video and pics too! 🙂

    1. Thanks Franca, it was certainly a lot of fun and I would for sure do it again. I think Dalene will need some convincing.

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