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canyon exploring with Michele Angileri

Gole di Iornito

Landscape of eastern edge of Sila Mounts is harsh and spectacular: big high monuments of sandstone and pudding everywhere, like giant castles defending the villages rising on them. Road go up-and-down-and-left-and-right to join two neighbouring villages. Distances look greater because there are walls and pits and hills to pass to go from A to B. Some hillsides are covered by tight mediterranean wood and bush, while others are used are grazing ground and others are left landsliding down. Emigration brought people far from here and Nature is slowly taking its places again.

The villages seem to me like islands in a a silent, tormented and still sea of cliffs, badlands and hills. My thoughts go to Umbriatico, perched on a cliff between two canyons joining to make what people calls U Strittu, or Strongoli, leaning on a sandstone "mesa" above hills and sea, or San Nicola dell'Alto, lying on a crest surrounded by pits.

Sandstone and pudding are very tender in this area, so tender that it is impossible to use bolts or pitons in such a "rock". However they can form walls that are high more than 100 meters. So even little streams are able to dig very deep and tight canyons in such a rock. By the village of Carfizzi there are 2 easy, deep, long, tight canyons so near one-another that it is possible to go through both of them in one day. Rope and harness are not needed here.

Name Gole di Iornito
Area Calabria, Sila
Nearest village Carfizzi
Entrance altitude (above sea level) ?
Exit altitude (above sea level) 100 m
Length 3 + 3 km
Longest rappel 0 m
Rock Pudding
Shuttle No.
Explored by Michele Angileri, december 23 2008. Probably some home-born guy went through the canyons before me.


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I remember ...

Once again Nature was hitting me by surprise. I couldn't have believed there was a canyon inside a rock like that, a long deep narrow canyon. I wore uncomfortable cheap PVC boots, because I believed it all will be ending in a few minutes. But I was hiking and hiking and hiking through that narrows and nothing was telling me about canyon's end.

The day after I had feet aching, and I couldn't go hiking for the next couple of days. However it was worth, yes it was.

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.