canyon exploring with Michele Angileri
Fosso delle Iànnole
Fosso delle Iànnole is a steep valley that goes down Monte Cairo range to Melfa Gorges. It is born in Iànnole area, a place cultivated and inhabited until a few decades ago and today abandoned and solitary. Vegetation has taken back this area creating an impenetrable jungle of thorny shrubs even where there was previously the forest, devastated by a fire.
The descent of Fosso delle Iànnole, technically easy, is a nice route through a strongly re-wild environment, suitable for those who like to deal with this type of environmental difficulties.
I remember ...
I had made a survey of the lower part of the Iànnole many years earlier, in 2005. I climbed the valley on bed or side a hundred meters up, and it looked uninteresting to me. A decade later, however, the exploration of other tributaries of Melfa Gorges which I had considered uninteresting and which had instead turned out to be beautiful aquatic canyons (in the right season) led me to take the Iànnole into consideration as a possible canyoning route. Since I had verified that there was not much in the lower part, the interesting section, if there was one, must have been in the upper valley.
The opportunity to go down the Iànnole came one day in early autumn, one of the very rare days in which my friend Carlo is free from job and wants to go down a gorge. In truth, the intention was to explore another canyon, aquatic and certainly more interesting than the Iànnole, but for that day the weather forecast gave a sharp decrease in temperatures, with frosts at relatively low altitudes. I don't like to walk through streams where rocks, already slippery in themselves, are covered with an invisible layer of frozen humidity which puts the legs at risk with every step. That was the right day for the Iànnole, also because the low temperatures would have made the steep access path less tiring, considering we had to climb bearing heavy backpacks.
So I prepared some GPS tracks, trying to locate the ancient paths to the valley.
Once at the place we found that only the main path, the one that leads to Ìannole farmhouses, remained practicable while all the rest was invaded by dense shrub vegetation
through which it wasn't easy to pass.
The assumption turned out to be correct :-)
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