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Canyoning - trekking trips at lake Garda Trentino Italy
a new style of canyoning in Europe

Pont del diaol (Devil' s Bridge)


canyoning hiking Trentino - Pont del diaol

The Pont del diaol is intertwining legends that are travelling through centuries of history: it is said that this bold bridge was used by the devil in its night raids between the countries of the two banks of the Sorna. Other legends tell of two drunk men who met the devil on the bridge and have been dragged down the ravine and both of them died. A little more truth seems to be the story of a mason of Corne' who had the contract to build the bridge but, not succeeding in major efforts, he made a pact with the devil, etc. , etc. The true story says that the bridge has been restored by the austro-hungarian troops in WW I.
Probably the first Pont of diaol in history was a natural bridge consisting of a large boulder wedged between the rocks (see photo at right). The canyoning in the torrent Sorna at Monte Baldo of our Mountain Guides School began with just a lowering of 40 mt directly from the bridge into the ravine below.
Today the route demands attention as we move on the path, very exposed which crosses the bridge and leading into the valley below where the picture on the left has been taken.

Early Pont del diaol

Today the legends seem distant and absurd but the history is telling that the last witch, called Mary Bertolotti, had been burned alive in Brentonico on March 14th in the year 1716. Our so-called civilization at Lake Garda Dolomites is not really that much atavistic as we read in the history books!

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The mines in the canyon Sorna


canyoning hiking Trentino - the mines outside

Along the valley of Sorne there were many other "productive activities", in 1850 there were 17 factories used for mills, ironworks and sawmills, the whole being driven by energy supplied free of charge from the torrent. Of course there was a network of mule tracks of access, to facilitate the production. What remains of it today ... Nothing! Here, it seems the "day after" the forest has invaded the fields, the roads, the paths. The only traces of humans that you will find are those of a few old fisherman; otherwise only prints of animals. On the sign of the paths to the Pont del Diaol you can read: "Mines 15 min", you really think to find them ?! The answer to the chapter: "the map of the canyoning-trek at Lake Garda". CANYONING SORNE MINIERE 02

The mines inside

It is only a hypothesis, bibliography and archaeological research is non-existent and perhaps it would be worthwhile to undertake. Some old men are telling that in 1800 strands of gold had been found in the torrent Sorna and the peasants quit working on the fields and rushed to seek the precious metal. In 1897 the race for gold of Sorne finished due to poor performance and results and so the farmes went back to cultivate their fields and gardens as well as to plant lush fruit and vegetables on the riverbanks of torrent Sorna and Lake Garda. Iron mines or coal? Everyone in the village of Corne' near Lake Garda Dolomites knows that after WW II there have been active mines to extract coal, some say that in the Middle Ages iron had been mined there. The coal used to be carried up into the valley of chestnut trees on the back of mules and there are still visible traces of a muletrail. Visiting the mines there are evident veins of ferrite; my opinion is that these mines have provided the raw material for the construction of tools of hunters who had visitited the valleys of Trentino in the Neolithic era after the last glaciation.

The rocks of our canyoning-trek


canyoning hiking Dolomites - toboga

Can you imagine to do "toboganing" of this kind in a traditional canyoning ? You would come back with broken bottom bones ! But this is nature, these are the sculptures which nature has built over millennia and not for the fun of human beings. Certainly the canyon of Sorne is more suitable for the exploration than the fun of a normal descent of canyoning. If you have not yet understood, I will be more explicit: coming there is to understand and admire nature...

canyoning hiking - sculpture

For this reason we propose the canyoning trek at Lake Garda Dolomites.
If you are just looking for fun, there are other solutions ... go to Gardaland or visit any other waterpark at Lake Garda Trentino! When you face a tuffaceous conglomerate rock formation which is discharging water like a shower, this is all normal! The image that you see on the left is an entirely different phenomenon, it is a sculpture of nature. Even the old local fishermen do not know this place at Lake Garda. Only facing great works of mankind produces the same feelings.
Nature has created the artists which can offer us great emotions but it has shaped itself during centuries and its works of art should be admired, studied and preserved.

Spring from tuff stone

For these reasons we have chosen the neologism canyoning-trek in order to distinguish it from so far known canyoning at Lake Garda Trentino Dolomites.

The water of torrente Sorna


canyoning hiking Lake Garda - waterfall

Everyone knows that water is a source of life but in no place like this we have touched this principle with our hands. Here you can see as the water is directly flowing out of the rocks and even in periods of drought the springs and waterfalls of torrent Sorne in Trentino are carrying water in large quantities. The deviation of water in the upper part impoverishes the quantity of water but the various tributaries, the main one is called torrent Lodron, contributes towards the valley to increase the water quantity; so the Sorna exits in the plains of Chizzola: rich, sparkling and clear. After the construction of the two waste pipes built into the sides of the valley years ago, the water quality has now improved. CANYONING SORNE ACQUA

Clear water

Here it is the kingdom of Fario trout and some elderly fishermen who still venture into the canyon, come back home with the baskets full. The same fishermen who complain to us when we come back to the village,after our solitary excursions of canyoning-trek into the canyon of Sorna because the trips can be dangerous, both due to the steep slopes of riverbanks due to the presence of unstable plants and tree trunks uprooted by heavy snowfall. These are the same enthusiastic fishermen with whom we are sharing our experiences: sightings of giant trouts or traces of animals: deer, stags and lately also traces of the bear. Thus another legend was born: "The bear of Sorne" but photos taken with a cell phone, are indisputable ... no legend this time!