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canyon exploring with Michele Angileri

Canale Margherita

Millions and millions of years ago the tectonic plate of Calabria was very far from its current position. It was tied to France and Spain, like Sardinia and Corsica. They all kept moving to east, but while Sardinia and Corsica stopped where they are today, Calabria went on its motion, till it collided with the new-born italian peninsula.

The tormented landscape of northern Calabria was made by that huge collision. It bent, broke and minced sedimentary rocks, and gave birth to Pollino and Orsomarso mounts. In some places you can see amazing evidences of the collision: the "Timpe" of San Lorenzo Bellizzi with their limestone layers uplifted from the south, or the crazy bendings of quartz-sandstone layers in the narrows of Canale Margherita. Both are harsh, dangerous places of pure grand beauty.

Name Canale Margherita
Area Calabria, Pollino
Nearest village Villapiana
Entrance altitude (above sea level) 500 m
Exit altitude (above sea level) 440 m
Length 400 m
Longest rappel 5 m
Rock Metamorphic sandstone
Shuttle No
Explored by Michele Angileri; august 1997


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I remember ...

The feature of canyoning that amazes me the most is the closeness between unknown wilderness and everyday civilization. Unknown wild canyons are often in the neighbors of roads, villages, stores, schools, but no one is aware of them. The eye passes over extraordinary forms and shapes but the consciousness has no meaning for those forms, and so mind ignores them.
Discovering an unknown canyon needs having "new eyes" rather than visiting a new place. The discover is a stage to a better understanding of what is around us, of the world we live in.

The narrows of Canale Margherita give us the perfect example. I was born there! I spent my youth playing on the hills around Canale Margherita but never noticed there was a canyon (I didn't even know what a canyon is). I can see it from the balcony of my home, but I never realized about it. No one ever realized about it.

My eyes had slowly changed, and I can see it at last!

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.