International Pro Meeting 2017
As canyoners we are drawn to adventures and the desire to explore new countries is always present. Canyoning around the world is the ultimate dream for anyone who loves adventure sport. We thrive on the beauty and the challenge of these canyons, especially when few people have experienced these inspiring locations. Canyoneers are not only adventurers but travellers we love to see new places, experience cultures and meet new people, you could almost say ‘it’s in our blood’.
On every canyoning trip or experience we develop our personal skills, learn more about ourselves as people and explorers, and we understand the importance of a good foundation of techniques. Thus, ultimately better ourselves and gaining the trust of team mates. But sometimes we forget the most important and fundamental aspect of canyoning; team work, comradeship and communication. Sharing our skills, passions and experiences is the basic framework of canyoning as it opens new doors, keeps us moving forward and develops friendships and partnerships. At ICOpro that’s exactly what we do.
Canyoning is growing as a sport all around the world. As canyoning is growing more and more people are wanting to experience this fantastic activity. With more of a demand, canyoning centres are opening and developing internationally. Where there are more canyoning centres and businesses establishing there is a growing need for professional Guides and Instructors.
Experience through experience.
As professional canyoning instructors it is our responsibility to deliver the most safe, enjoyable and authentic canyoning experience to our customers as possible. We are always learning and thriving to do this. But we can only become experienced through experience. Therefore experiencing, sharing and developing together is a huge part of us growing professionally.
In February 2017 a small team of professional canyoners went over to Madeira Island. The team was made up of George Yates and Ben Case from The Canyoning Company, Scott Callard a professional canyoning photographer, Elsa Noel from Oxygen adventure and Rodolphe Strum the CEO ICOpro. The objective to this trip was to meet up with Epic Madeira, a well-established and highly professional canyoning business in Madeira, known for its stunning high vertical canyoning, good weather and unique culture.
The trip comprised of 5 days, it was the perfect mixture of canyoning, culture, eating and drinking. But what became most beneficial for everyone on this trip, was that we had 4 adventure businesses from all-over the world sitting together and sharing with each other. We were sharing everything from marketing techniques, social media skills, operating systems, expeditions, business skills, guiding techniques, new ideas, organisations, experiences, rigging techniques and equipment. There were many discussions about ICOrpo and the benefits of sharing internationally, as well as future development plans. New friendships were made, partnerships created and a lot of poncha was had. This was life, this is canyoning, this was what we believe in. From the success of this trip the ‘International Pro meeting’ was created.
We were all excited about sharing what we had done in Madeira with more professionals from all over the international canyoning community. Rodo Jovanovic a recently certified ICOpro Instructor 1 and experienced canyoneer offered up a professional meeting in Montenegro. He had just gained his centre (Adritrek) affiliation as an ICOpro Canyoneer Training Centre (CTC). Rado wanted to show the huge opportunities for canyoning development in his country, the culture and his new centre. Very quickly contacts were made, and invitations were sent. The next meeting was in place.
We were joined by professional instructors, business owners and photographers from the UK, France, Montenegro, Serbia, Czech Republic. Once we all arrived in Montenegro the atmosphere was really exciting, everyone was so open to get to know each other, share good food and drink, but ultimately do some awesome canyons. The plan for the week was simple, to do a canyon each day and in the evenings, relax and maybe offer up some workshops or discussions between us.
On the first day of canyoning it was apparent that although we had a common interest in canyoning, very few of us knew each other, or had been canyoning together. We headed out to Skurda canyon, a beautiful canyon towering above the city walls like a gate to the mountains. The canyon was rated as a 3-hour descent in the guide book. With a team of 10 professionals we completed the canyon in just over one hour. The plan was not to be fast, but efficient, bear in mind when you have 10 professional canyoners together you become very efficient. Everyone got to know each other’s skills, relaxed and enjoyed the experience.
The next few days followed with more canyoning, sharing good food, laughter and experiences. Olda Stos, who is the manager and leader of the Chanje Kola expedition 2018, joined us on this pro meeting. It was a great opportunity for him and Rodolphe to exchange information, topo maps, pictures and tips for his forthcoming expedition in Nepaul. It was a real pleasure to see these two highly experienced leaders working together in the canyon. We are all very excited about this expedition in February and wish Olda and his strong team great success.
With more friendships made and experiences shared the benefit of the International Pro Meetings has become invaluable. The opportunity to network with like-minded professionals is one key to great success in your professional canyoning career.
We will be hosting more of these International Pro meetings in 2018. They are open to professionals worldwide, so watch out for dates very soon. We can’t wait to meet!
If you are thinking of starting you professional canyoning career, or affiliating your centre with ICOpro find out more here.
Canyoning is what we do!