TOPO Canyoning

Piscia in Alba, Olivese

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The Piscia in Alba is a 1st-rate canyon, quite comparable to the Ruisseau d'Aneddu: a descent with a series of cascading abseils, most of which are active, in a bucolic and wild environment that is much appreciated. A little higher up, however, with more verticality and a longer, deeper descent. The equipment is very good on the large central abseils, but a little lacking on the smaller abseils at the start (only 1 point...). On the other hand, the big waterfall (55m) with an aerial abseil and the pink sandstone Piscia Minora (41m) add another star to the canyon's appeal! A great option, especially in summer, when water is guaranteed.

Technical summary

Type ✦ Water canyon
Location ✦ Olivese
Region ✦ Corse du Sud
Country ✦ France
Length ✦ 2500m
Vertical drop ✦ 500m
Difficulty ✦ v5-a2-III
Max abseil ✦ 55m
Duration ✦ 5h to 6h
Interest ✦ ★★

Access to the place

On the road from Ajaccio to Propriano, turn towards Olivese. Pass through the village and climb the D69 towards the Col de Vaccia. Before the series of hairpin bends, park near the first right-angle bend. The approach path starts here.

Map & topo

Itinerary description

Hiking to the start 30'

From the corner of the bend, descend 20m and turn right onto a path that follows a more or less buried aqueduct (black pipe). Follow it across to IGN 890, just before the power station. There's an obvious access to the start of the canyon (20m).

Course 3h à 4h

The descent from Piscia in Alba includes 10 abseils of 7m, 11m, 7m, 30m, 50m, 55m, 41m, 17m, 13m, 12m. A 2x60m rope is required. The equipment is good on the large central abseils, on a single point on the smaller abseils at the start.

Abseil 1 (7m) very soon after the start, in the 1st bend. 1 single point on the left bank. Gives access to Rappel 2.

Rappel 2 (11m) over a tree on the left, ending up in a basin. Then walk under the woods for 30′ to reach the balcony of the 140m long waterfall (abseils 3, 4, 5 and 6 linked).

Abseil 3 (7m) gives access to abseil 4.

Abseil 4 (30m) is active and vertical. Ends on a narrow ledge for the R5 relias.

Rappel 5 (50m) inclined, leading gently to the rim of the aerial waterfall (on the topo, 60m indicated but seems too much).

Rappel 6 (55m) is the top! very aerial and ends in the active section. Then a tricky de-escalation (9m) as the rock is slippery. Then we have another walk under the transitional woods with a few jumps to negotiate, including 1 rather tricky one where we put an improvised abseil on a tree.

Abseil 7 (41m ) is the canyon's other attraction: the Piscia Minora waterfall, in the active zone and on magnificent sculpted pink sandstone. We end up in a large swimming pool. Then continue under the woods, following the torrent bed.

Rappel 8 (17m) on an inclined slide ending in a pretty translucent green pool. Then 2 small slides (indicated on the topo) 6m long, but not feasible (not enough water?).

Rappel 9 (13m ) new short inclined waterfall ending in a basin.

Rappel 10 (12m ) last waterfall to rappel, starting on a slippery platform. Swim to the exit. End of obstacles.

Back

After the final R10 abseil, there's about 1 hour's walk under the woods, with a few jumps to negotiate. Just before the bridge over the D757, there's a path that goes up to the right. Otherwise, climb steeply under the bridge pillars. Return stop at starting point or second vehicle dropped off.

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