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canyon exploring with Michele Angileri

Fosso dell'Elmo

On the hills between Todi and Orvieto you find the most authentic and charming Umbria, made of little castles and medieval villages in the countryside, surrounded by mediterranean woods and bushes. Landscape is sweet, open, quiet.
Most hills are made of sandstone, but in a few places there's limestone too, and here streams dug canyons of pure beauty, known to canyoneers from all Europe: Prodo and Fosso del Bagno.

Unfortunately limestone appears in spots, very little. That's why these beatiful canyons are also short.
Limestone canyon of Fosso dell'Elmo is short too, but, unlike Prodo and Bagno, it has waterflow even in summer. Moreover, downstream the limestone, Elmo canyon continues in sandstone, with more nice erosions, majestic views, emerald pools.
In brief, canyon of Fosso dell'Elmo offers a long, quite easy, interesting canyoning trail, that can be done even in summer.

Name Fosso dell'Elmo
Area Umbria
Nearest village San Marino (Orvieto)
Entrance altitude (above sea level) 400 m
Exit altitude (above sea level) 180 m
Length 4 km
Longest rappel 4 m
Rock limestone, sandstone
Shuttle No
Explored by Michele Angileri, Riccardo Hallgass; may 16th 1992


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What you find in the detailed description

I remember ...

I told Riccardino about the canyon I had found on western side of Monte Peglia, and he said:
I know those places well. I used to spend there summer vacations with my family when I was a child. In hamlet of San Marino.
San Marino? The canyon is right there!
Oh, well, I know that canyon! It has a large emerald pool people call "Pelacane". Years ago I went through the canyon with a little friend of mine. A child adventure ...
Without wetsuit and harnesses, I suppose ... A bit dangerous, isn't it?
Of course. In a hot summer day canyon's water is not so cold even without wetsuit. Especially if you bypass every bypassable pool. Having no harnesses and ropes ... yes, this was really hazardous. We were able to turn back only by climbing a tight ledge high above river-bed...
Where did you arrive?
I remember we reached the end of narrows. We had not in mind to go till river Chiani. This time we will, true?
Absolutely true

Hills between Orvieto and Todi are really beautiful: the Gods themselves sometimes go there to enjoy such a beauty. Once I met one of them in Fosso dell'Elmo ...

I used to find unknown canyons by going round alone on my off-road motorcycle. I went through roads and trails tasting total freedom, adventure and the beauty of italian landscape. Once arrived where motorcycle couldn't go on, I went on foot through woods, slopes and streams. A solitary happy full immersion into Nature.

So I came to Elmo valley. It looked to me as a canyon, but to be sure of it I had to go through and see. I parked motorcycle and begun going downstream. There were dense blackberry bushes, and I had to snake under them. Then river bed enlarged. Emerald pools appeared and on a pool's edge ...

... there was Venus! young, very beautiful, naked, she was washing herselves at the pool.
She was really surprised in seeing a dirty guy snaking out from blackberry bushes. A bit alarmed and embarassed, she covered her round compact breast with an arm and pubes with the other hand. I said hello, asked her for informations about the stream, then I went on my trail. All was done in a few unforgettable seconds.

I returned at Elmo a couple of times, but never met Venus again: Gods don't use to let themselves being seen twice.

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.