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Information and stories about Luca

Luca Chiarabini died in a river accident August 3rd, 2017. He was a good friend to so many, and, the biggest contributor to Ropewiki. He didn't just contribute new canyons to this site, he pioneered new ways to analyze geographic data and implemented most of the features and functionality that make Ropewiki what it is. He shared the great adventure of this world with everyone, you need but look at this legacy of his to find it. If you'd like to share a story about Luca. Make an edit to his user page here. Dav (talk) 14:28, 7 August 2017 (EDT)

Luca's Profile

Hi, I'm Luca Chiarabini. You can find me on facebook at or contact me by email at (remove calpital letters from address).

30 years ago a CalTech University professor and avid waterfall hiker had a group of rock climbing students in his class. Together they devised a way to descend waterfalls and explore canyons that had never been visited by man before. Chris Brennen started writing detailed beta of their explorations, that they called Adventure Hikes, and started publishing it all online for free. Some of his canyoneering students would go on to become NASA astronauts (the ultimate explorers) while his beta would go on to inspire a whole new generation of adventurers, now called canyoneers. Chris Brennen himself is now well over 70yo but still descending canyons (recently in Ouray) and still adding beta to his website, which he has arranged to be hosted indefinitely after his death in order to guarantee permanent free access to his beta for all.

I don't know about you... but when I grow up, I want to be like Chris Brennen! That is why I post all my beta on Ropewiki, a website that truly follows the open community spirit Brennen pioneered, and I encourage anyone to do the same.

Some canyoneers prefer to keep canyons secret, sometimes for noble reasons but more often than not just to keep a canyon for their inner circle exclusive enjoyment ("to keep the canyon as their bitch"). Jump Canyon (the BEST canyon in the US) was kept secret for almost 10 years. The self proclaimed "Guardians of the Canyon" would bring people out and ask them to jump off a 50' drop right at the start. The ones that proved themselves worthy would be lead down the canyon, the ones that didn't would be left behind sobbing. People got hurt, some even broke their back, until Brennen put an end to their monopoly by publishing information on Jump. He received hard criticism for that, but he did not budge.

I had just done Jump canyon for the first time that Summer when my good friend and lifelong canyoneer Roger Arhart told me he was dying. Roger had been diagnosed with an incurable degenerative disease, in 6 months he would be on a wheelchair and in a year he would be gone. After learning about his condition I immediately planned a California Sierra canyoning trip for him and his family. Jump was the last canyon Roger ever did. Before he died he told me "I'm glad we did Jump, that is a great canyon to go out with!". I was able to give my friend a departing gift in great part thanks to Chris Brennen posting the beta on the canyon. My only regret is that I had not find out about Lower Stevenson back then... Roger would have loved every minute of that canyon as well.

  • 3 October 2009: Roger Arhart in Lower Jump. Gone but not forgotten.
  • In honor of Luca Chiarabini

    Luca Chiarabini Memorial:

    Winners of 2019 Luca Chiarabini Memorial photo contest:

    Luca on the last rappel of Parkett Creek

    A drone was sent in to check out the last waterfall on Parkett Creek to see if we could descend. Parkett Creek was in high flow, however, Luca thought that we could descend the canyon. Luca was LAPAR on the last rappel of Parkett Creek. The video camera was floating on a pack. This is the raw footage with no editing of Lucas descent.

    Luca giving a tour of a mine

    Luca managing the anchor

    Luca sequencing the team through the final rappels of Lost Creek. Lost Creek was in high flow. This is the full rappel through intense water flow. It was great to always have Luca watching your back. You always knew that he would be there for you in difficult situations.

    Video and podcast containing Luca Chiarabini

    Brennen Canyon

    Davis Creek

    Dog Creek

    Dry Creek

    Eagle Creek

    Helion Creek

    Lost Creek

    Parkett Creek

    San Jacinto River

    Whale Creek