Ticino is the canyoning Mecca! “Sympethéra” is the Greek word that means “mother in law” or describes a group of women who are totally different from each other yet they manage to get along for the best of the “family”. To cut the long story short, 5 Greek female canyoners decided to visit Ticino for canyoning and tourism in the beginning of August. The purpose and destination of this trip was unique in the history of canyoning in Greece. It was the first time that a female group from Greece was aiming to descend canyons in Ticino. So… we proudly present some insights of this journey and hope you will enjoy reading it!
Group members: Evie TreliMamaka Barla, Katrin Fliatoura, Antonia Bairachtari, Marilena Giannopoulou and Sila Papadopoulou are active canyoners for a number of years and canyoning in Ticino was a common dream – as it is for most of the canyoners in the world.
After travelling all together in a packed SUV, crossing the Adriatic Sea, driving through Italy from Ancona to Ticino, we managed to reach our amazing little house located on the side of a glorious green field. (https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/29454833?source_impression_id=p3_1660817982_S%2FxsEc1zy%2BbkH9Cf)
Canyon Pontirone (Inferiore)
The weather forecast was not very promising in the beginning. However, on Monday 8th of August 2022, a nice sunny day, after checking the exit of Pontirone, we decided to get in the the part Inferiore. We wanted to warm up as a team and get a first impression of canyoning in Ticino. Across the country road, where we parked our car, was another group of canyoners. We said hallo and they told us that they were going to descend the whole route of Pontirone, so they left in a hurry.
We started walking up the path and got ourselves dressed to get into the canyon. After the first rappel we realised that the water flow was rather much stronger than we had expected. Going down cautiously brought us to the 42 meters waterfall, the absolute highlight of this part of Pontirone. Calmly, Evie gave us some instructions by the walkie-talkie and thanks to her experience / technical knowledge we safely descended one by one the roaming waterfall.
A stuck rope and the middle jump
One of the bolts set by Marilena gave us a hard time. Her rope got stuck and no matter what we did, couldn’t set it free. Besides that, it was too risky to climb up. Having in mind that there was another group of canyoners behind us, we fixed it nice and steady so they would collect it and bring it down. We were all very sorry for the situation. It was a brand new rope.
At this point we were all feeling ok, however made a challenging decision to put a rope instead of jumping at the middle jump. Evie and Marilena went by fairly easily. Antonia and myself found the waterfall rather hostile. It was pooling us in. But thanks to our experience and Evie’s help we managed to get through. Finally, we decided all together to support Katerina and succeeded to overcome the obstacle by guiding her to gather her gear and jump, as she was the last person on the bolt.
Canyoning is all about friendship
At the last waterfall we heard whistles. We turned around and saw three gorgeous canyoners laughing and gathering our rope. They looked like Ticino Gods LOL!
A little bit further we all got out at the exit. There we started sharing our experiences as if we were one solid group! The other team were men and among them there was one only woman. To thank them for their assistance with the rope, Evie decided to exchange helmets with her and – as it always happens with canyoning – we all became instantly… family!
I would like to express my gratitude to my amazing “Sympethéres” team! Go-go-go girls! Thank you for including me in our canyoning group – looking forward to more action and fun together <3