Welcome to BluuGnome

What is BluuGnome?

The main focus of BluuGnome is sharing canyoneering beta, but you might find a little something different that interests you. This is not a collection of routes and information from various people.  The beta presented here is for canyons I have personally been through.  Of course I don't have everything I have ever done on the website, but there is enough offered to keep most canyoneers busy for a very long time.  Most of my routes are in Utah since I really love the style and feel of Utah canyons more than anywhere else.

Each route description includes GPS coordinates, maps, written descriptions, suggested gear and other bits of information. It is my intent to make the information as accurate as possible but errors can be made. Keep in mind canyons change due to natural causes and or man made modifications.  Always think for yourself, do not blindly trust beta (mine or anyone else's). Canyoneering can be dangerous and you are responsible for your own safety and decisions.

Route information on Bluugnome is free and you are free to manually enter the information into your GPS or mapping software. Or, if you want to press the easy button and obtain a GPX file for your chosen route, you can visit the BG Gear Store to purchase the file.  Purchasing GPX files makes it easy to load the route into your GPS unit or mapping software and help support the literally thousands of hours that have went into curating this information for you.  The BG Gear store also offers various canyoneering gear, like the Sqwurel rappel device or the Smooth Operator anchoring device and more.

Links to picture albums on the beta pages are not meant for showing off just the pretty or intriguing parts.  Instead, the albums show as much of the route as possible so anyone can rapidly click through the images to get an overall feel for the place.  The large volume of images can be a bit much if all you want is pretty.  I will leave the pretty pictures between you and your Google-Fu since there are tons of canyoneering photos all over the inter-webs.

It can be useful to know the current conditions of a canyon before you go.  Checking various canyoneering related forums, Facebook groups or canyon condition websites is a good start.  If you want to give back to the community, take the time to post a canyon condition after your trip.

Canyon Rating System

There is so much more to a canyon than a few categorized attributes on the canyon rating system.  This is why the rating system fails at conveying if a canyon is difficult or easy, pretty or mundane, fun or a slog and so on.  One example would be to compare two canyons, like Hard Day Harvey versus West Blarney. Due to the combination of route length and skills required, a beginner will see HUGE differences in difficulty, while both canyons are rated a 3. With that said, the rating system is divided into 4 sections.  Technical - assigned a number 1, 2, 3 or 4.  Water - assigned a letter A, B or C.  Time - assigned a roman numeral I, II, III, IV. V or VI.  Risk - assigned a letter R or X.  This canyoneering rating chart illustrates each section and explains a bit about each.  If you are new, plug into the community and ask what canyons may be appropriate for a beginner in what ever area you are interested in.  A few rating examples:  4 B III X, 3 A IV or 4 C II.

Getting into Canyoneering

I highly recommend going with an experienced group where you can get a feel for the sport and have opportunities to ask, learn and practice. Getting invited to join on future outings is a great way to expand your adventure buddy network and will continue to introduce you to a varied set of people with a wide range of views, techniques and ethics (spoken and unspoken).

If you do not already know experienced canyoneers, you can try getting involved with the many online communities (Facebook, Meetup, etc.) where you can learn a ton by reading and interacting as well as look for public invitations to join on adventures. If you want to be invited back, show you can add value by pitching in where you can. Simply stuffing a rope in a bag, offering to carry a piece of gear or many other simple gestures can go a long way on getting invited back!

Some find courses a valuable way into the sport. While courses will teach you some skills, they are not a replacement for in canyon experience, connecting with the community is still recommended. Few people remember all the finer points from a course. Try to remember you were shown one possible way, not THE way to do things. Keeping this in mind will help maintain an open mind and create opportunity to learn from the many people you will connect with in the future.

Books, web sites and other sources offer some insights, but should not be relied on as the sum total of your knowledge. As informative as these sources can be, they will likely fall short of fully preparing you for your journey. Nothing compares person to person learning.  Are you catching the theme here?  Connecting with others will likely provide the greatest value.

Note, every area has it's own flavor and the flavors vary a LOT.  If enjoy a few adventures in one area, it is easy to think you now have a full understanding of the sport.  It can not be understated that this is NOT the case.  Every area has its own ethics, style of terrain, styles of movement, and so much more.  Bolted anchors, natural anchors, wet suits required, potholes to escape, sections of stemming, long and difficult routes, difficult route finding, area specific land management and other aspects will provide VASTLY different experiences.  As you grow, try not to take on the mindset that what you know and have experienced should be applied everywhere.  Take the time to learn why each of the areas is treated the way it is. Plugging into various communities, not just one segment, is your ticket to understanding.

A great online resource for basic knowledge is the Dye Clan's Canyoneering 101 page.

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