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canyon exploring with Michele Angileri

Fosso della Madonnella

At the end of Salto valley, a few kilometers from town of Rieti, there is an unusual canyoning place. It features pudding-rock in huge compact layers, giving landscape peculiar shapes and colors. Pudding is also tender for water, so every little stream is able to dig a canyon. That's why we find a very high concentration of canyons here!

Nice few-engaged canyon, to be descended in a rainy period. Rock is less compact than other canyons in Balzi area.

Name Fosso della Madonnella
Area Lazio, Balzi di Grotti
Nearest village Casette (Rieti)
Entrance altitude (above sea level) 700 m
Exit altitude (above sea level) 435 m
Length 1200 m
Longest rappel 21 m
Rock Conglomerate
Shuttle Possible.
Explored by Lower part (after the confluence): Michele Angileri, Enrico De Bernardinis, Gaetano Peluso, Virginia Simonelli; february 17th 2002
Higher part: Michele Angileri, Renato Donati, Andrea Pucci, Matteo Santoprete; march 26th 2006


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I remember ...

We started at the crest, to descend from left branch, called Fosso Cognolo. There was a little flow though that winter had been very very dry. Cognolo was an open, steep valley in the forest, with a few waterfalls. Sometimes we rappelled, sometimes we bypassed the waterfalls, according to what seemed more time-saving.
At last we arrived at the confluence with right branch of the stream. From that point IGM map calls stream "Fosso della Madonnella", and from there things became interesting, though water disappeared. Stream engaged a little, enough to be called a "canyon", enough for us to be forced to place a few bolts, to get completely wet into some putrid pools.

The second time, 4 years later, it was much better. We had a rainy winter (meadows were plains of mud). We descended from the right branch, which prooved to be better than Fosso Cognolo: steeper, rich in pools. There was water flowing down the waterfalls, through the whole canyon, and the day was splendid.

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.