Trip Reports: Canyons in the Italian Alps, Novarza 4 C IV, Lumiei 3 C III
The canyons listed below all have detailed route descriptions in the Simone Flower’s guide book Canyoning in the Alps: Northern Italy and Ticino. This guide book is an exceptional resource the trip descriptions below are to enhance and tie up loose ends that we ran into during our expedition. Flower’s guide book does a great job of pointing out entrances and exits of all the canyons we did. We recommend you look to this book as your main source of information for canyoneering in this region. Our expedition team was large (11 members) so most descents took us longer than the times provided in the book. It is my thought however that the times listed in the guide book are accurate for experienced canyoneering teams, for those that are less experienced expect the canyons to take a little longer than the times described in Flower’s book.
All of our canyon descents were done in the month of August 2018 with water levels in the low to lower moderate range.
Novarza 4 C IV
This canyon has 18-20 rappels, a few of these rappels require a belay assist to safely reach the belay station. The entry rappel is a scree and talus heap of rock fall as you descend into the canyon. The bolted anchors at this and many of the other rappels throughout the canyon look old, loose, and well-worn. On this occasion we took advantage of a mine shaft gate to bulk up the anchor. Use extreme caution on the entry rappel there is a lot of loose rock which creates severe rock fall hazards to the canyoneers below. It is our recommendation due to the rock fall hazard that you do the first 2 rappels as one single 55 m pitch. As you make your way down the canyon through the many rappels be sure to inspect the anchors. A few times we decided to build a natural anchor as oppose to taking our chances on some older well-worn bolts.
Lumiei 3 C III
This canyon only has a few rappels ( a belay assist may be necessary to reach one of the rappels) the longest of which is about 20 m, but what this canyon lacks in rope technicality it makes up for with beauty. The canyon is incredibly dark, narrow and cave like in areas and includes quite a few fun jumping, sliding, and boulder hopping opportunities as you descend down canyon.
Pura Vida Adventures was the first company to run commercial canyoneering courses in the eastern US. Pura Vida Adventures is the only American Canyoneering Academy accredited guide service in the eastern US. www.pvadventures.com