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canyon exploring with Michele Angileri

I Due Balzi

At the end of Salto valley, a few kilometers from town of Rieti, there is an unusual canyoning place. The peculiar feature is pudding-rock in huge compact layers, giving landscape peculiar shapes and colors. Moreover pudding is also tender for water, so every little stream can dig a canyon. That's why we find a very high concentration of canyons here!

I Due Balzi are two little streams without name, descending steeply the left side woods of Salto river, with some avoidable waterfalls. By their arrival in Salto valley they cut a rock wall with a little sequence of 3-4 unbypassable cascades, usually dry. Photographs in this page show Balzo 45, the more interesting of the two.

Name I Due Balzi
Area Lazio, Balzi di Grotti
Nearest village Grotti (Rieti)
Entrance altitude (above sea level) 550 m
Exit altitude (above sea level) 410 m
Length 200 m
Longest rappel 42 m (Balzo 45), 30 m (Balzo 30)
Rock Pudding-rock
Shuttle No
Explored by Balzo 30: Michele Angileri, Orazio Carallo; march 1997
Balzo 45: Michele Angileri, Gaetano Peluso; june 1997


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I remember ...

It was cold. It did't rain since many days, so the stream had to be dry. My friend Ezio (nickname of Orazio), a brave caver, had no gear for water, might never be in a canyon before ... The right thing to do was exploring an easy dry canyon. That stream looked perfect to the purpose.
Bue when at the start of descent we noticed there was some flow and even some pools! Impossible not to get wet. So I thought to change our goal, to go exploring the other stream, the least interesting one: surely with no flow at all.
It was Balzo 30. I had no intention to go there. That day our goal was the stream I would have called Balzo 45.

A couple of months later I was there again with Gaetano, in June. Very few water this time, disappearing soon as going down. Stream revealed much less than I expected: cascades in first part were all bypassable or downclimbable, and there were no narrows! Only at the end stream gave us some thrill: a sequence of 3-4 dry cascades, the last of which was higher than we expected ...

Photos by Michele Angileri and Andrea Pucci

Photographs in this website show ultralight ropes (6 mm ropes made of high tenacity fibers). Read multimedia book Ultralight ropes canyoning technique to learn how to use them.

Copyright © 2002- Michele Angileri. All rights reserved.