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Purcaraccia, Bavella

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On the Aiguilles de Bavella side, the canyon of the Ruisseau de la Purcaraccia is, as advertised, a sort of natural aqualand where waterfalls, sliding over magnificent open rock slabs, follow one another in an aesthetically pleasing setting: smoothed pinkish-white granite, translucent emerald water, surrounding vegetation, azure-blue sky. Enough to attract the crowds, and indeed it does, which takes away a little something. On the other hand, it's all there: slides, jumps, abseiling, everything is there to satisfy the many groups who pass through here every day. So it's best to get out early and leave when the human tide arrives... which we (almost) managed to do.

Technical summary

Type ✦ Water canyon
Location ✦ Bavella
Region ✦ Corse du Sud
Country ✦ France
Length ✦ 700m
Vertical rise ✦ 150m
Difficulty ✦ v4-a3-I
Max abseiling ✦ 45m
Duration ✦ 4h to 4h30
Interest ✦ ★★

Access to the place

From the Col de Bavella towards the east coast, and Solenzara, the road first descends, then rises to pass the Bocca di Larone. Park at the pass, in the parking area provided for canonists (empty at 7am, crowded at 11am).

Itinerary description

Hiking to the start 1h15 à 1h30

Follow the road down from Larone and at the 1st bend, take the obvious path to the right. Cross level with the river bed and follow it on the left bank (right side uphill). Further on, cross over to the right bank (left side uphill) and finally cross back over to the RG under the 40m waterfall. Climb up and join the 45m. to the start, cross RD again and climb a little expo on the slab to reach the starting boulder.

Course 1h30 à 2h

A succession of abseils (max 45m), slides of varying speeds and straights, and small jumps, each as fun as the next. Beware: some slides are dangerous if you take them the wrong way. So plan a 2x50m and leave early to get ahead of all the groups. The approach path follows the overall creek bed, crossing it several times. The equipment in place is perfect.

Abseil 1 (30m)

On a large boulder. Inclined descent with feet in the stream, ending with a passage under a boulder. This is followed by a series of gently sloping slides to a faster 15m slide.
Rappel 2 (45m)

In a waterfall not quite vertical, but sprinkled with a thin layer of water forming a sort of veil. End of a superb emerald basin. Again, a series of small jumps, slides and descents follow.
Rappel 3 (40m)

In 2 sections, with a small balcony in the middle. A wide, open waterfall, where the water trickles down to end in a new translucent pool. Further down, a short but rather brutal "gas pedal" slide that ends with a bend... then at the exit a lovely 5 or 6m jump (avoid the shin-breaking slide!). End of obstacles.

Back

Follow the torrent bed until you find the approach path in the opposite direction.

Map & topo

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