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canyon exploring with Michele Angileri

Fosso del Salto del Cieco

The famous climbing walls of Ferentillo delimit a short gorge through which flow the perennial waters of Fosso del Castellone. A road goes up the gorge and, through a passage carved in rock, leads to some small medieval villages built of stone, in a scenery of cultivated fields, forests and steep rock walls, pink and white. Further up the river closes again in a gorge: it is known as Fosso del Salto del Cieco, bordered by towering vertical walls. From the village of Castellonalto, which lies on cliff's edge, you can enjoy a magnificent view of the canyon and the mountains that surround it. The bottom of the canyon is large and wooded, and in fact much of it can be covered on foot along ancient and picturesque paths. Still further, however, the canyon has narows that can be traveled only with rope and harness.

Fosso del Salto del Cieco is the first canyon being explored in Valnerina. Nevertheless, the upper part has very few, sporadic repetitions, and is therefore still largely unknown. The lower part is instead a quite popular hiking destination that is usually covered (by hikers) bypassing the narrows.

Name Fosso del Salto del Cieco
Area Umbria, Valnerina
Nearest village Ferentillo
Entrance altitude (above sea level) 940
Exit altitude (above sea level) 450
Length 4500 m
Longest rappel 25 m
Rock Limestone
Shuttle Yes
Explored by Silvano Lepri, Tonino Scacciafratte; 1981


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The Romans called saltus a mostly wooded and wild area, only touched by the pastoral activities and free of crops. The area known as Salto del Cieco (Saltus of the Blind) is now mostly cultivated and the Romans would call it saltus no more. This whole area of Umbria, however, still has a wild, natural character that survives alongside the works of Man.

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.