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canyon exploring with Michele Angileri

Fosso La Selva

The eruptions of volcanoes of Latium, which reached their maximum some hundred thousand years ago, were mostly explosive eruptions, with low emission. Huge pyroclastic flows covered western Latium, and this happened several times, thus building the Tuscia plateau. It is made of thick layers of tuff interspersed by layers of sediments, witness of the time elapsed between the various eruptive phases.
The eruptions were followed by water erosion. Creeks could easily dig tuff layers, tens of meters thick, down to the underlying sediments. Because they are much softer than tuff, the erosion could continue on the sides, emptying the base of tuff layer thus making tuff collapse and canyon enlarge.

The result of all this are the canyons of Tuscia, places of great naturalistic value, also rich in history witnesses of the Etruscan and pre-Roman civilizations (tagliate, necropolis, bridges, sanctuaries, ruins) ... but without any interest for canyoning. Only a couple of canyoning trails are known in all the wide volcanic area of Latium, and one of them is Fosso La Selva. It is near the beautiful village of Calcata, that once was a big town of Faliscans called Narce. It's a canyon with very little technical difficulties, but it's tight, dark, luxuriant, surrounded by the extraordinary environment of Treia canyon.

Name Fosso La Selva
Area Lazio
Nearest village Calcata
Elevation loss 40 m
Length 700 m
Highest cascade 6 m
Rock Tuff
Shuttle No
Explored by Alberto Graia; 1987


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I remember ...

It was my friend Alberto Graia the first who wanted to descend the Fosso La Selva. To get it, he had to find a way for placing anchors in the tender tufa (glued anchors were not known at that time). He found a good solution, at last.

30 years have passed and his anchors are still in place and in good conditions!!

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.