QCOSTARICA – A waterfall of more than 140 meters and a canyon with giant stone walls decorate an area never before penetrated by humans.
The Toros Canyoning group, experts in canyoning (a vertical sport with ropes focused on the exploration of ravines and canyons), fulfilled the dream of entering the heart of the Barranco del Río Barroso in Marsella de Venecia in San Carlos.
After years of approaches, Toros realized the dream of descending to the base of the giant waterfall and touring the canyon in its entirety, leaving through the “La Cueva” waterfall, downstream.
This waterfall is born in the fold of the old Volcán Viejo, in the Parque Nacional de Aguas Juan Castro Blanco (Juan Castro Blanco Waters National Park) in Alajuela.
In recent years, many national and foreign adventurers have undertaken to climb up the mighty Río Toro, climbing stones and crossing small rapids to try to reach the base of the great waterfall, but the journey comes to an end at a site known as “Cave”.
Here, the river walls close in a narrow canyon, where a 20-meter waterfall 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 for only a few minutes a day, canyonists note.
Inside, they found a landscape like from another planet, with stone walls hundreds of meters high, a forest of giant “poor man’s umbrellas”, fast waters and 90 km/h winds.
The feat was not achieved overnight, but is the result of multiple expeditions over four years and the support provided by dozens of people.
The Grupo Unidad Ecos de San Carlos was the first to gain access by mountains to the head of the giant waterfall, and to carry heavy rescue ropes with which they made a first foray up 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 its bowels when it collides with the rocks, and more importantly, they opened a viable path for future forays.
In the second instance, representatives of the Asociación de Desarrollo Marsella de Venecia supported the Toros Canyoning Group to carry out other inspection and outreach tours and, finally, international canyoners such as Félix Ossig-Bonanno (Australia), Fernando Fraire Tirado (Mexico) and Pablo Ruiz de Llanza (Spain) gave their support in the two tours in which they entered the bowels of the canyon.
Finally, the French manufacturer of climbing gear, caving gear, work-at-height equipment, PETZL, whose motto is “Access the inaccessible”, donated all the necessary equipment to enter such an inhospitable place.
“Being hung from an ultra-thin rope over a completely unexplored canyon, with the giant Barroso waterfall alongside making a deafening noise… No member of the group is going to deny having felt a certain level of fear,” said Scott Trescott of Toros.
For his part, Allan Brenes, a mountaineer and rescuer 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.
The Toros team left the route equipped so that others can travel it. Of course, the route has an extremely high difficulty rating.