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canyon exploring with Michele Angileri

Vallone di Vècite

The Amalfi Coast is among the most famous places in Italy, but at the same time is among the less known ones. This paradox is due to the strangeness of this unique place. It was a truly hard place to live but it was always densely populated. Villages, homes and terrace fields rise in unbelievable corners. There are very few roads, so most places can be reached only on foot, after a hard ascent on long stairway paths, or rocky trails. And many many tourists come here, all to see the cathedral of Amalfi, the alleys of Positano, the coast and nothing else. So a kilometer away from the coast all becomes silent and solitary and unknown to tourism.
And here the woods are impenetrable jungles amidst huge rock walls, and lush streams go down hidden waterfalls and canyons.

Beyond the little football stadium of Maiori the Valley of Vècite becomes wild. Woods cover the steep rocky sides. At the head of the valley high towers of rock besieged by the jungle, as in far Asia. Here flow the lush waterfalls of Vècite canyon. A lost world one kilometer away from the traffic of Maiori.

Name Vallone di Vècite
Area Campania, Costiera Amalfitana
Nearest village Maiori (Salerno)
Entrance altitude (above sea level) 280 m
Exit altitude (above sea level) 120 m
Length 500 m
Longest rappel 40 m
Rock Limestone
Shuttle No
Explored by Michele Angileri, Andrea Pucci; june 11th 2006


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I remember ...

In canyon exploring is important to have reliable weather forecasts. An unknown canyon is the worst place to be while it rains heavily ... So Andrea and I start reading weather forecasts since 5 days before the trip, then we follow the evolution of weather and forecasts.

Yes: forecasts evolution. Because forecasts for sunday often change as sunday nears. The question is: which kind of weather will be?
Obviously short-term forecasts are better then medium-range. On saturday forecasts told: sunday morning will be sunny; clouds in the afternoon; maybe a short shower on a local basis.
Perfect! Canyon is not long, and we planned to start early in the morning. Moreover a short shower wouldn't be dangerous in a canyon like that.

Sunday morning. Sky is clear, but clouds start forming soon. Rain arrives before noon. It's not a short shower, it rains continuously. Our last hour in the canyon was under the rain. Once at the car we change under the rain which doesn't stop. We leave Maiori driving under the rain. At Chiunzi pass we see it is raining everywhere in Campania!

Science of weather forecasts has much to learn, really. Andrea has thought about a method to obtain forecast as reliable as italian air force forecasts, but much simpler. The result is the famous "head or tails" Pucci Method!
Wanna know if on sunday it will rain? head is for "sunny", tails for "rain", then flip the coin! Pucci method will proove exact one time out of two: the same success rate of italian air force weather forecasts, at no cost!

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.