A Little Canyoning

It was time for something outside the world of two wheels.

One of my coworkers in the UK invited me on a little trip to Italy for some canyon exploration in the Dolomites. I had done that sort of thing back in the states around Utah Neon Canyon
and thought it might be fun to see what it was like over here.  I was excited to see the northwestern part of Italy, too.  We would fly into Treviso on Friday night after work, find a place to camp in the mountains of the Dolomite National Park and hit Gole Sofia the next morning. Then Val Clusa the next day, drive back to Treviso that night for the flight which would get me back to cambridge in the wee hours  and then back to work Monday morning. Sounds about right. I was a bit nervous since I haven’t done much of anything involving ropes since the Sprout was born and I really had no idea what to expect…

Got off the plane, grabbed some Speck and beer from a gas station, and found a spot to camp around midnight.
The next morning, we met up with the final member of our 5-man group and headed to Sofia. IMG_3558
I was still kinda wrecked from the last two weeks of adventures. The previous weekend was my Marmotte ride which took most of the previous week to recover from and before that was a fun adventure in Wales with MalMal. But the canyons were so beautiful, it was easy to ignore the hamstring trying to tighten up on me…

The start of Gole sofia

It would have been nice to have the water socks, especially the 2nd day when the water got really cold.P1010684

This was a fun section.

The abseils were pretty fun in the waterfalls.P1010699


Jumping in was fun , too, when it was deep enough.

All the guys I was with were friends from their canyoning club days back at uni, so they had the anchor methods down to a science and the 5 of us got through each section like clockwork. A few of the abseils were pretty tricky to set up, too. Especially the 2nd day which turned out to be a bit more technical. P1010788Often requiring an anchor to be set up just to get to the drop point.

This one was particularly slippery and I lost my footing pretty good while coming down. P10108071 the last thing you want to do is let go of the rope to catch yourself though, so you just hit the wall, wright yourself and keep going down.

The final abseil of the second day was particularly tricky, working down a thin chimney with buckets of ice cold water crashing on you head really hard. getting even harder farther down as the pressure of the water started to feel like a hammer on my helmeted head. All i wanted to do was get out of that thing. It felt like being held under water.  All I could see and hear was the water crashing on my head and I felt the subtle tickle of desperation as I raced to the bottom and practically lept out of the raging falls to get out… much to the glee of my companions… The next guy down got flipped upside-down by the force of the water and came down headfirst, disappearing into the water. We rushed in and pulled him out. He seemed a little shaken, but none the worse for wear. We got out and made it back to the nearby village for some much needed beer and ice cream.IMG_3617

And what would a trip to Italy be without good food and drink?


I would live in Italy in a heartbeat.

Then it was a quick getaway to make our flight.IMG_3630

In bed at 2am and at work at 9am. That was another great weekend.


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