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canyon exploring with Michele Angileri

Arso Integrale

The canyon of Arso begins much upstream of the narrows explored in 2009. The upper part is however very different from the lower one: steeper, dug mainly in gneiss rather than granite, without flow in summer. The walls and the steep sides on canyon and, most of all, the vegetation, leave nothing but a few uncertain and surely hard escape possibilities.
So descending the upper Arso implies to continue along the lower part. The result is a long and demanding canyoning trail, to be done in spring or in the other wet periods of the year, to find good water conditions.

Photos in this page show the upper Arso only. Lower Arso is shown in the dedicated page: Torrente Arso.

Name Arso Integrale
Area Calabria, Sila
Nearest village Mandatoriccio
Elevation loss 520 m
Length 6 km
Highest cascade 48 m
Rock Gneiss, granite
Shuttle Needed
Explored by Upper canyon: Michele Angileri, Domenico Riga; august 18 2014
Lower canyon: Michele Angileri, Andrea Pucci; august 20 2009


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I remember ...

While I'm blissfully on vacation, waiting for the usual visit of my mate Andrea, with whom I will dive into our usual explorations of Calabrian streams, that's an unexpected news: I have to change my job. I was "promoted" to a role of greater responsibility and this means that vacation ends in advance this year, and I have to cancel my canyoning programs with Andrea and return to Rome to attend to the formalities which prelude the new job.

All things considered I realize I still have a day (only one!) spendable for canyoning. Domenico is interested, so the high part of Arso can be done! For Domenico this must be the first exploration of a canyon (the second! we did it another one together some days before, but it had been easy): he is a hiker and climber who does some canyoning only in summer, when it's too hot for mountaineering in southern Apennine, and when he goes canyoning he chooses known nice canyons, and he always has a merry company with him.
At its first hard canyon exploration Domenico touches by his hand what perhaps he might had imagined: that canyon exploring may be not funny or, as I say, that it's another kind of fun, that the merry company can reduce to an Angileri and his huge backpack full of everything, that seems to enjoy even those fucking thorns that force to contortions and never fail leaving a mark on the skin.
It's true, an unknown wild environment can prove to be inhospitable, and as you struggle in sweat (damn, the creek is dry! but the summer before there water flow, I had seen it from the bridge!) you may lose sight of the meaning and the pleasure of being in a place like that.

The meaning, then, perhaps reappears, and maybe powerful, when you return home, reflect on the day, look at the photographs, complete them with the memories. And there are two cases: either the sense reappears or you definitely put a cross on the idea of getting involved again in an adventure like that!

Photo 25 by Domenico Riga

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.