Two years ago, I headed to the Pyrenees with some friends to The Canyoning Company’s first international trip, for a week of canyoning, under the guidance of Rodolphe Sturm. This was my first experience with ICOpro and since then, I’ve continued to watch the growth of ICOpro here in the UK, to the point that now, on the 31st May, I turned on my out of office sign and headed to central Scotland, for the first International ICOpro Meeting in the UK.
Arriving at the Tay Bunkhouse in Logierait which, thanks to The Canyoning Company (TCC) was to be my home for the next few days, I met up with a large number of ICOpro UK members including CAI’s, CA3’s, AIN’s and IN2’s, along with the addition of France’s Adrien Paris, an ICOpro Trainer and Canyoning Photographer.
The atmosphere within the group was charged, and the decision was made to head to Bruar canyon (V3.A3.II). The sun was out and everyone was excited to run the canyon. The trip was great fun, with everyone playing with different techniques and rigging, and Adrien got into some interesting positions for the best shots and video.
After the canyon, everyone headed back to Logierait where, while enjoying a BBQ laid on by TCC, we sat discussing some of the projects being looked at, like the reblotting of canyons not yet at an ICOpro standard. The evening carried on with everyone excitedly sat around the fire pit, talking about the future of ICOpro in the UK; TCC already have further CA123 courses planned for later this year, and a second AIN course for early next year. Though on top of these, one subject grabbed most people’s interest, which was to have the first UK CAPH (Canyoneer Photographer) course arranged.
The following morning saw the group head for The Birks, a V3.A2.II canyon and unlike Bruar, a seldomly ran unbolted canyon. Yet again, the sun was out for another fantastic trip, testing the group’s skills in navigating its way through a canyon without a blotted infrastructure.
All in all, I would have to say that the first UK International ICOpro meeting was an amazing few days, with a wonderful and diverse group of people, from outdoors professionals to farriers and business consultants. All very different people sharing the same passion and love for the sport. Being involved with ICOpro is so much more than just being part of another organisation; but rather being part of a family.
Canyoning is what we do!
CA3, Scotland, UK