cookieless, no-ads, no threats canyon exploring with
Michele Angileri

Fosso di Follonata

The landscape of Tuscany hills, made of sweet and rounded shapes, tilled fields, small villages, winding and silent roads, woods, is ideal for resting or doing bike tours or horseback riding, and it does not seem to have anything to offer to canyoneers.
Yet even here, looking good, you can find harsh environments made of rocks and waterfalls.

In the surroundings of Semproniano, for example, compact limestone emerges forming rock steps on which seasonal torrents dig gorges. Though short, they can be really harsh and offer interesting as unsuspected canyoning routes.
Like Fosso di Follonata.

Name Fosso di Follonata
Area Toscana
Nearest village Semproniano
Elevation loss 130 m
Length 700 m
Highest cascade 16 m
Rock Limestone
Shuttle Not needed
Explored by Michele Angileri; may 26 2018


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I remember ...

An unavoidable aspect of outdoor activities is dealing with weather conditions. The flow rate in a canyon depends not only on the current conditions but also on the past days or weeks. A seasonal creek flows in wet seasons only, but this means you have to go there in a sunny day of an unstable, on average, period.
But weather forecasts are sometimes wrong, because "forecast" does not mean "certainty", especially if we look at small area weather. Local storms may happen even in a "mostly sunny" day, and generate a flash flood in a canyon.
A flash flood in a canyon is one of the most serious dangers for canyoneers, so it is very important to have a strategy and proper emergency gear to get by.

Weather forecasts for that day said "sunny, no rains". Once on the place I noticed that there was some clouds, rapidly evolving. I began the descent. The forest on the steep sides of the valley hid the view of the sky almost completely. Further on, there was a waterfall in a gorge, followed by a narrow. As soon as I was down I heard a loud thunder. A few seconds later it started to rain. I stopped and looked around. The gorge was wide there, and I could certainly find shelter from a possible flood. Moreover ... yes, from there I could climb and return to the top of the waterfall, and then go up the steep side of the valley and return to car. That, in short, was a safe place. The gorge continued with a waterfall leading into a narrow ...
Going on would be very incautious. I waited for rainfall's end, but 20 minutes later it was still raining and I could not wait no more. So I exited the gorge.

When I came out of the woods, I reached a ridge from which I could see the valley below and, finally, the sky. It was still raining. Getting to Follonata was not easy (it never is), and I'm not just talking about the two hours drive that separated that place from home. Now I was finally there, already completely wet, with nothing else to do on that day but turning back home. So I sat down on a rock and waited, enjoying the spectacle of rain falling on everything and on me.
A few minutes later the rain ended. I waited, patiently. In half an hour the sky cleared a lot, as if it were no longer raining that day. What to do?
I waited a little longer. Then I went down again, to resume the exploration.

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