canyon exploring with Michele Angileri
The steep hills of the middle Trionto valley are made of flysch, a rock composed of alternate thin layers of marly limestone, sandstone and clay.
Flysch is unstable: it landslides, crumbles. However, where it is more compact it can make rock walls, even tall but with such an unstable appearance that you would never
wanted climbing or abseiling them.
Of course, the water of streams has no problems in jumping down a flysch cliff, and this, yes, can make a canyoneer considering to follow it and take part in its journey.
Since the waterfalls on Northern Sila flysch walls are usually in the middle of wild valleys, far from everything people cannot see them, but there is one exception:
Vurghiulara Fall, a nice fall near Ortiano, can be seen from the road. And unexpectedly it is fed by a stream that features pools and waterfalls upstream of it.
|Calabria, Sila Greca
|Michele Angileri, Saverio Talerico; April 21st 2022
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What you find in the detailed description
I remember ...
My friend Domenico Riga is a great mountain enthusiast, hiker, skier, climber, but also has the rare ability to read the territory and understand where the hidden canyons
might be. This is even more remarkable if we consider that Domenico goes canyoning occasionally, as a minority of the many things he loves to do on mountains.
It was Domenico who suggested the Vurghiulara to me as a probably interesting canyon. I had not the same feeling: a very small feeding basin like that gives little chances
to see some water flowing through the valley. Since rock was the same as the near Fosso Livari,
so must be the features.
However, I told Domenico "ok, let's go and see". But the intention didn't materialize: I'm in Calabria for less than 2 months a year, most of which in the wrong period
for a torrent like Vurghiulara. In winter and spring we have to deal with the sometimes unfavorable weather, with family commitments, and even with health
that at our age is starting to not be guaranteed ...
And evidently on both sides there was not much will to explore the Vurghiulara: I considered it less promising than other possible gorges in the area
which I gave priority, and Domenico ... evidently he too considered the Vurghiulara less interesting than some hiking routes!
So 2 years pass between commitments, bad weather, distractions, injuries and indecisions.
At Christmas 2021-22 I finally start to consider the thing in a more concrete way and I do a reconnaissance.
Despite the rainy autumn the stream was dry, and this strengthened my belief that the interest of Vurghiulara was limited to a more complete knowledge of the area.
But in spring of 2022 an acquaintance publishes on Facebook a drone view of Vurghiulara waterfall with plenty of water, and finally it looks interesting!
I told Domenico: "we must go now, or who knows when these good conditions will come back". Domenico agreed, but some day before going
a mountain accident puts him out of the game. So he could not see with us the pools and waterfalls which proved his intuition was right, although even himself had not
completely believed it.
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