canyon exploring with Michele Angileri
Tavolara - Argentino
The Argentino valley may be the wildest place in the Apennines, a place of beauty and exceptional features.
The ground is rough and rocky since low altitude, with very few tillable portions. The mountains rise right next to the Tyrrhenian Sea, forming a tall barrier at around 1600 m
(with peaks that reach 2000 m) that stops the western humid air creating an environment rich in water throughout the year, and snowed in winter.
They are called the Orsomarso Range.
The beautiful village of Orsomarso, with its houses perched around singular rocky peaks, marks the beginning of this territory. River Argentino is the road bringing you
into this extraordinary scenery of rocks, forests and water, one of the treasures of Pollino National Park, a must-see. You can come here as a tourist, walking with your family
along the beautiful path aside the river, or as a hiker, playing to get lost in the forests that cover the sides of the valley, trying to follow the remains of an ancient and
forgotten path, or as a river hiker, going up the Argentino till it enters a gorge and beyond, as far as you can.
The descent of Argentino canyon from Tavolara is a long, extraordinary, tiring and superb canyoning trail.
I remember ...
One of the most challenging and rewarding routes of the very first years of my canyoning experience was the Argentino Gorge. In the second half of the eighties I did it several times, bottom-up, as it was customary for us: neither I nor my improvised canyoning partners knew how to use ropes and harnesses, and we had no wetsuit, waterproof kegs, shoes with non-slip soles, ... Without specific gear some points were particularly challenging, but we were young and tough.
The first time we continued beyond the Cat's Gap, aup the Rossale creek till the cartway coming from Novacco plain. Then we went down along the
cartway, walking and running for more than 20 km ...
Once I had learned rope techniques I put myself in technical canyons exploring. I returned in Argentino valley to explore some tributary canyons
(you can see them in this website) or to take a walk with my family on the easy and beautiful path aside the river.
I went through Tavolara creek, at last! and there were falls and pools and gorges ... and even an old bolt (with no hanger) on the edge of the highest fall,
as evidence that someone had rappeled the fall many years before, or at least had tried.
Copyright © 2002- Michele Angileri. All rights reserved.