canyon exploring with Michele Angileri

Burrone di Carfizzi

Hidden among the folds of rolling hills covered with woods and cultivated fields, the Burrone di Carfizzi is a way that leads into the heart of wildest Earth, primitive and grand.

A Nature's absolute masterpiece.

Name Burrone di Carfizzi
Area Calabria
Nearest village Carfizzi
Elevation loss 220 m
Length 3300 m
Highest cascade 15 m
Rock Conglomerate
Shuttle Recommended
Explored by Michele Angileri, Saverio Talerico; march 31 2018


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I remember ...

It had been 10 years since I first set foot in this unexpected and extraordinary world of hidden gorges and ravines carved into the tender rocks of Carfizzi, San Nicola dell'Alto and Melissa. From the beginning it was clear to me that some of those narrow canyons had waterfalls, that could be interesting canyoning routes. The problem was: how to set belays for rappelling the cascades? In that "rock" a little more compact than pressed soil, the usual expansion bolts were certainly unusable, and the same was true for pitons. Could I try the exploration trusting on the presence of trees or other kinds of natural anchors, or sporadic compact rock suitable for bolting, or some makeshift anchors?
No, I did not feel like slipping into one of those narrow corridors of sandy conglomerate without tools and a technique that would allow me to descend a waterfall without any natural anchor or boltable rock.

Years passed. From time to time I thought back to that kind of rock and those canyons trying to imagine an efficient and safe anchoring system. I finally found a possible solution. Of course, I had to verify on the ground that kind of anchors before doing the exploration. I did it at Christmas together with Saverio Talerico, a guy from Rossano who had contacted me some months before to share his passion for the creeks of Sila Greca. Since to best way to know an actual or potential canyoneer is going with him to a canyon, I invited him to come to Carfizzi.
So I tested the anchors, which proved to be reliable, and I also tested Saverio as a partner in canyoning, and he proved reliable too. We went up the Carfizzi canyon. 10 years before I had stopped at a narrow with a little pool below a dam of branches. This time we had wetsuit and the dam wasn't there no more, so we went on through amazing narrows with some little pools and cascades that could be climbed, up to the foot of a 10 meters waterfall enclosed in narrows, that made me wondering about the spectacular environment that could be upstream.

The weather then worsened (as always at Christmas). We explored upper Carfizzi canyon a few months later and, yes, the unexplored part turned out to be even more spectacular than I had imagined.

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