canyon exploring with Michele Angileri

Fosso di Morrone Pizzuto

Morrone Pizzuto is a tall limestone spire that emerges from the woods on Lake Turano's southern shore, like a tusk on the muzzle of a wild boar. The area in which it stands is difficult to access: the steep, rocky slopes are covered with dense forest and thorny bush, there are no paths, and the lake prevents accessing from below.
Next to Morrone Pizzuto, the (artificial) lake wedges itself into a valley featuring nice waterfalls.

Name Fosso di Morrone Pizzuto
Area Lazio, Valle del Turano
Nearest village Castel di Tora
Elevation loss 140 m
Length 300 m
Highest cascade 14 m
Rock Marl limestone, tufa
Shuttle No
Explored by Disexploration: the "Zorri" team; january 2008
Exploration: Paolo De Santis; october 2020


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What you find in the detailed description

I remember ...

There are several possible types of canyon exploration. Let's see them.

Descending a creek featuring cascades and pools it is called exploration if no one ever descended it before. Usually the news of the descent is given to the community of canyoneers.

Sometimes it happens finding anchors on the edge of the falls of an unknown, undocumented canyon: they are the proof of a previous canyoning descent, so the right word is re-exploration. You may define "re-exploration" also descending a canyon of whom there are only vague and inaccurate reports.

If you descend a canyon in conditions other than those documented by the explorers you are doing a "first": "first descent in water conditions" if the canyon was explored when dry, "first canyoning descent" if the exploration was done by avoiding most falls and pools, ...

Finally there is disexploration ...
It means going through an unknown canyon without understanding a shit and giving an image of it different from the real one.
The "disexploration" is an error of perception and understanding that may be made even by skilled canyoneers. It is easier making this error if you go bottom-up, because you can see climbing possibilities that you cannot realize from above, thus making you using rope for rappelling. Let's not forget that rope is also a means of protection and not just of progression: it should also be used on passages that are in themselves downclimbable but which would expose canyoneer to serious consequences in the event of a fall ... provided you go canyoning for fun and not for some adrenaline-pumping Russian roulette.

Fosso di Morrone Pizzuto was disexplored in January 2008 by my friends the Zorri team. To deceive them was not only the choice to go bottom-up but also the circumstance of being in a particularly dry winter. The lake level was about ten meters lower than normal, so the Zorri could arrive at canyon's mouth by walking on a usually submerged shore. The drought allowed them to go through the canyon without getting wet, and climb falls 3 to 7 meters high thanks to the very good grip of tufa that covers them. Moreover the creek flows for the most part in a valley that allows avoiding the falls by walking/climbing on the sides (in some case it is so easy that you usually do it even descending canyoning-style).
Fosso di Morrone Pizzuto (surely not a "grand canyon") looked uninteresting to the "Zorri". In telling on their website the "exploit" with their usual joking and desecrating language, they also amicably addressed the joke towards me, calling the torrent Fosso Angileri.
Looking at the "Fosso Angileri" web page I first did the knock on wood (places, ugly or beautiful, are usually given the name of dead people ...), second I took note that the Fosso has no canyoning interest, third ... I mentally addressed to Matteo and the other Zorris those typical Roman friendly phrases that are used in these cases (something like "you dirty assholes, li mortacci vostra, ...").

Ten years later I did a systematic exploration of all the creeks on south side of Lake Turano, but still I didn't go to "Fosso Angileri", because the Zorri had showed in their web page that it was uninteresting. I realized that I had made a mistake in trusting the Zorris only when Paolo De Santis (who knew nothing about the "Fosso Angileri") descended the creek canyoning-style in good water conditions, and made some good video clips. "It is a nice canyoning route in a beautiful, wild environment", he told me. I could not believe that Paolo's videos and Zorri's photographs showed the same place ...

When I finally went to "Fosso Angileri" I found myself completely in agreement with Paolo.
And I understood the real prank unintentionally made by the Zorri team: making me believe that a nice, wild creek near home was totally uninteresting, so that I never wanted to go and see.

Copyright © 2002- Michele Angileri. All rights reserved.