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canyon exploring with Michele Angileri

Fiume Lese

River Lese is among the main torrents of Sila Mounts. Its meandrous path begins in the heart of Sila plateau, continues through the forests and ends in the harsh scenery of gypsum hills, where Lese joins to river Neto. Many tributaries give Lese their water, so its flow-rate is usually large.

At the feet of the villages of Savelli and Castelsilano, river Lese meanders in a deep valley carved in granite. A little downstream it flows through hercynic metamorphic rocks, where it digs a short nice canyon. Both granite canyon and metamorphic canyon can be descended in one long tiring hiking-canyoning trail. It developes through charming sceneries, with many deep pools and a couple of little cascades suitable to be plunged.
In summer, when flow-rate is at its minimum, trail requires nothing more than a light wetsuit, and the will to hike.

Name Fiume Lese
Area Calabria, Sila
Nearest village Savelli
Entrance altitude (above sea level) 490 m
Exit altitude (above sea level) 205 m
Length 5 km
Longest rappel 4 m
Rock Granite, schists
Rating3 (summer)
Shuttle Needed
Explored by Known by the fishermen of the place


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I remember ...

Once ended the descent, we go on foot up the steep craggy side of the valley, through a typical countryroad of Calabria: steep, in bad conditions, hanged upon cliffs and ravines. The countryroad leads to typical calabrian olive-groves: slopes of 40 ending on cliffs and ravines. On the other side of the valey there is a kind of very large ledge, on which there are more olive-groves and even houses. There people has lived till a few decades ago, when bulldozers and mines came digging the coutryroads and breaking the isolation. Then came cars and agrimotors, and farmers and shepherds went away to the village or to the far industrial towns.

But today, while going up valley's side, I look around and it seems to me as 50 years ago, as shepherds are calling their goats. I seem to hear the toll of the bell calling the little pupils to their country school, in a room aside the barn. For those who were born here this valley was the world, and I feel as an alien visitor going to jump the time-space to turn back to another world and time.

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.