A blow by blow account of my experience at the Glacier Canyon Swing Grindelwald in Switzerland. Definitely the adventure of a lifetime!
“Are you ready?” our guide asks, with a sly smile.
A strange question to ask someone who is about to throw themselves off a ledge and into a deep canyon, complete with a fast-flowing glacial river 90 meters below.
I’m standing at the top of the canyon with two fellow travel writers and none of us can quite believe what we’re about to do. Jumping off a canyon wasn’t listed on our earlier itinerary and to say that we were slightly scared would be a huge injustice to the Grindelwald Canyon Swing!
Following an hour long walk through the Grindelwald Glacier Canyon, learning about Grindelwald’s famous glaciers, one of which has now almost completely disappeared, our guide stops us and tells us to “Look up!”
We all stop dead and let our eyes gaze to the sky as he points to a small ledge sticking out from the top of the canyon. “That’s where you will be jumping from!” he laughs.
After briefly jumping up and down on a huge net suspended over the canyon (a super fun activity for those visiting the canyon but not brave enough to do the Canyon Swing itself!), which we were told took 30 men to carry in and put in place, our adrenaline is pumping and we’re ready for the dreaded swing.
Jump time! Glacier Canyon Swing Grindelwald
Once we’re all geared up, we are driven up the cliff ledge in the Outdoor Interlaken bus. We’re all a bag of nerves, with everyone having their own individual method to deal with the nerves, be it singing a song, asking far more questions than necessary or simply smiling and pretending this ISN’T about to happen!
Once we all reach the ledge, things start to happen very quickly. Harry, our rep from Switzerland Tourism, who’s voice seems to have risen by two octaves since we exited the van, volunteers to go first, much to everyone else surprise and relief!
Out pops the GoPro and you can see that our guide Chris just loves his job. Getting to torture innocent tourists and watch them squirm with nerves seems to be a real thrill factor for him!
Harry steps out onto the ledge, while I try to photograph his anxious state of being, while simultaneously trying not to think to much that I might be next!
“I’m going to count you down. Are you ready? 3, 2, 1. Goooooo!”
While the scream from Harry’s mouth seemed to come almost instantaneously, we later found out there was a gap of about half a second when no noise actually come out of his mouth as fear had taken over!
Sara and Lucy were up next, as I further delayed my fate. The closer it came to being my turn, the bigger the flurry of butterflies in my stomach.
When it came to my turn, the first thing that came to my head was to chicken out. “You don’t have to do this Janet!” I told myself. “No one will know! Stop signing up to these crazy activities!”
I had to black out all other noise, all questions and all thoughts as I edged by way on to the ledge and felt a wave of dizziness as I looked down at the river below. This was going to happen.
As petrified as I was, I knew I wanted to do this. I HAD to do this. I begged the guide to push me but he said i had to take the first step. I slowly, baby step after baby step, edged my way toward the ledge. I don’t even think there was a countdown. There was just one small step followed by one big push and then the longest scream of my life.
Free fall time!
Despite having previously bungee jumped off bridges in Zimbabwe and South Africa, as well as jumping out of a plane in New Zealand, this was still one of the scariest adrenaline activities i’ve ever done.
I think the close confines of the canyon, and the fear that I might hit the canyon walls, but the fear of God in me, and the knowledge that even if I fell into the river below I would probably not survive the cold, helped add unnecessary anxiety!
It was one of the best adventure experiences in Switzerland for sure, and something I would highly recommend to any adrenaline junkie enthusiasts. Even if you’re just in Grindelwald for a short time, put this top of your list!
The team take amazing care of you, the photos and film footage of the jump are something i’ll treasure for ever and I swear I was buzzing on adrenaline all evening following the jump, high on life – and insanely proud of myself for actually jumping!!
You can book your Grindelwald Glacier Canyon Swing adventure through Outdoor Interlaken, who also offer a range of other adventure activities to get your heart pumping! The cost is CHF 139 per person, with video an added extra.
Want a DISCOUNT? Use this code online when booking your jump: GETBUSYLIVING