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canyon exploring with Michele Angileri

Fosso dei Cavalli - Ramo destro

Unlike the famous left branch, the right branch of Fosso dei Cavalli is not a vertical canyon. In place of the uninterrupted sequence of waterfalls there is a steep gully filled with unstable gravel made even more unstable by the flow of water. The canyon ends with a magnificent waterfall of almost 70 m, with wich the right branch joins the left branch.

The water that runs along the right branch comes from a taken resurgence that feeds the Terminillo aqueduct. Probably before the implementation of the source catchment water flowing down guaranteed perennial water to the Fosso dei Cavalli.

The descent of the Fosso dei Cavalli from the right branch is challenging as the descent from left branch, but it is less rewarding and more dangerous.

Name Fosso dei Cavalli - Ramo destro
Area Lazio, Monti Reatini
Nearest village Sigillo
Entrance altitude (above sea level) 1560 m
Exit altitude (above sea level) 880 m
Length 1300 m
Longest rappel 67 m
Rock Limestone
Shuttle Consigliata
Explored by G. Antonini, G. Borgioni, P. Santinelli; junr 10 1998


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I remember ...

I descended the right branch of Fosso dei Cavalli in June 1999, together with a large group composed by Roberto Recchioni, Annamaria Pinotti, Maurizio Biondi, Marco Cellitti and Marco Degani. I was convinced that it was an exploratory descent: despite the left branch of Fosso dei Cavalli (explored 6 years before by myself and Riccardo Hallgass) now had a good reputation among canyoneers I thought that no one had yet decided to go exploring the right branch. It was not so: in the canyon there were the unmistakable signs of a previous descent.

The opportunity for exploration was the First Annual Meeting of the Italian Canyoning Association (AIC), which I founded the previous year together with Roberto Schenone, Roberto Coppo, Roberto Grillo, Roberto Recchioni (how many Robertos!!), Annamaria Pinotti, Luca Dallari, Maurizio Biondi, Maurizio Miragoli, Gaetano Peluso, Martino Frova, Fabio Albino, Paolo Madonia, Giampiero Carrieri. At the time of the founding of the association I had been appointed president pro tempore, until the first regular elections that were held in June 1999 in Rignano Flaminio and in which I was confirmed as President of the Association. All of us had attended the meeting.
The association was founded with the ambitious aim of collecting under its symbol all of Italian canyoning. In 2000 the target was reduced and the AIC began to be characterized as an association with its own particular personality that was not intended to represent all the Italian canyoning but only those who recognize a certain approach to canyoning activity, especially in relation to the techniques. I, who had been the first to recognize himself in the "universal" AIC was also the first not to recognize himself more in this "AIC 2.0", and shortly after I left the association. Even today I use techniques very different from those of the AIC, I would say more than quite different: opposite.

But let's return to June 1999. It was still cold, and there was still plenty of snow on the Terminillo. Fortunately there weren't snowfields in the canyon, and the melting snow fed well both branches of Fosso dei Cavalli. However, that was not a pleasant descent. In the group there was tension, partly because we were in an unknown canyon, partly because the environment was dangerous because of the large amount of unstable gravel. The most dangerous moment was rappelling of c70: I accidentally put in motion a 2 kg stone that fell down the waterfall towards the comrades who were already at the bottom ... Luckily no one was hit! Other tension came from Maurizio and Roberto, who preferred to set rappels on single rope thus causing the breaking of sheath in one or two ropes (I don't remember exactly). There was no sharing at the time of setting ropes and belays (the one who was ahead did it in his own way, and I will not say who it was because it would be a needless controversy). There was also some unpleasant bickering about things like "how to transport rope" ...

In short, there was not the right feeling, and there was not even the group. It was the first time we went canyoning together, and maybe if we had continued the feeling would be born, sooner or later. But we lived far apart, and someone (I certainly, but perhaps someone else) decided that there was no need to do a lot of kilometers to repeat a similar experience. It was the first time and it was also the last.

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.