A waterfall of more than 140 meters and a canyon with giant-stone walls decorate an area never before dabbled by humans. The ‘Toros Canyoning’ group, experts in canyoning (a vertical sport with ropes focused on the exploration of ravines and canyons), achieved the goal of entering the heart of the Barroso River ravine in Marsella de Venecia, in San Carlos.
After 4 years of approaches, Toros made their dream of descending to the base of the giant waterfall and touring the canyon in its entirety come true, leaving through the waterfall of “La Cueva” downstream. This waterfall is born in the old row of the Old Volcano, in the Juan Castro Blanco Water National Park.
In recent years, many national and foreign adventurers have begun to climb upstream through the mighty Toro River, climbing stones and crossing small rapids to try to reach the base of the great waterfall, but the crossing comes to an end in a place known as “The Cave”. Here, the walls of the river close in a narrow canyon, where a waterfall of about 20 meters prevents further progress.
Every attempt to climb the sides has failed, and the base of the great waterfall has always remained out of reach, hidden in a deep canyon where the sun shines only a few minutes a day, the canonists point out. Inside, they found a landscape like another planet, with stone walls hundreds of meters high, a forest of giant “poor umbrellas”, fast waters and winds of 90 km/h.
The feat was not achieved overnight, but is the result of multiple expeditions over 4 years and the support provided by dozens of people.
The Unit Group ‘Ecos de San Carlos’ was the first to gain access by the mountain to the head of the giant waterfall, and to carry heavy rescue ropes with which they made the first foray down the slopes of the dark ravine. They did not touch the bottom of the canyon, but they witnessed the amazing eternal storm that the waterfall forms in their bowels when they hit the rocks, and more importantly, they opened a viable path for future incursions.
In the second instance, representatives of the Marsella de Venecia Development Association supported Toros Canyoning Group to conduct other inspection and approach tours and, finally, international canyons such as Félix Ossig-Bonanno (Australia), Fernando Fraire Tirado (Mexico) and Pablo Ruiz de Llanza (Spain) gave their support in the 2 tours that ventured into the bowels of the canyon.
Finally, the PETZL brand, whose motto is “Accessing to the Inaccessible”, donated all the necessary equipment to enter such an inhospitable place. It was last February 5th that the Toros team (this time composed of Scott Trescott, Allan Brenes and Daniele Rocchi, with Sebastián Vallejo as special guest) finally managed to complete the exploration in its entirety.
“Being hung on an ultra-thin rope over a completely unexplored canyon, with the giant waterfall of Barroso on a par making a deafening noise … No member of the group will deny having felt a certain level of fear”, said Scott Trescott of Toros.
For his part, Allan Brenes, a mountaineer and rescue worker with extensive knowledge of the national geography, said that this has been the most incredible place he has been able to observe in all of Costa Rica.