Playing with the idea for a short break away from the cold, wet, foggy weather? Or looking for a climbing destination for the next summer holidays? Have you thought that climbing in Sardegna in the winter time is impossible? No? Climbing in Sardinia is good the whole year. Peter, who runs The Lemon House, situated just within walking distance to the crags from Baunei has sent us a special guest post on updates to new sectors and recent developements on this sunny Island. It certainly does make you want to hop into the next plane there. Thanks, Peter!
Sardegna is the second-biggest island in the Mediterranean after Sicily, as big as two-thirds of Switzerland or the size of New Hampshire or Vermont. Non-climbers know Sardinia for its clear sea and beaches, “the best in the Mediterranean and the best beaches outside the Caribbean”. For climbers, though, it is the Mediterranean island with most routes and is famous for the exceptional quality of its limestone, although there is also granite to climb on. The combination of these two factors make this a holiday destination climbers keep coming back to, and the publication of the first new guide to the island for almost a decade at the end of 2011 surprised people with the amount of new development. Many people are surprised by how underdeveloped the island is, and how much potential there remains.
Main facts for climbers
Sardegna has 4000 bolted single-pitch routes are described in the Oct 2011 edition of Pietra di Luna, from slabs to walls and steep terrain, for all seasons.
Climbers think of the island in 5 main areas:
|Area||Number of SP routes||Main Developments since 10.2011
– Pietra di Luna
|Type of Climbing & Season||Multi-Pitch routes||Boulder|
|Sassari||800||Pumpy, steep on holes / All, best in autumn, winter, spring||No||No|
|800||Cala Gonone: Restyling Buchi Arta
new routes El Chorro
|All / best autumn, winter, spring||Yes||Yes (Nuoro)|
|Ogliastra||800||New sectors in Ulassai Canyon
Monte Oro, Baunei
|All / All||Yes||Yes|
|SW-Iglesiente, south and west coasts||1200||Capo Pecora:
new trad granite crag
|All / best in autumn, winter, spring||Yes||Yes|
|Isili||300||Restyling||Pumpy /best in autumn, winter, spring||No||No|
- The island is large and the roads are poor. It is best to stay in just one of the above-mentioned areas for a week at a time, and not to try and see too much, or you will get very car-sick…
- You can go climbing in Sardinia all year round. Although it rains quite a lot in November and December, other winter months offer great climbing at sea level in the sun, and many famous crags (Quirra) or whole areas (Isili) are winter-only, they are too hot at other times of year. Ogliastra is Sardinia’s best area for summer with crags in the shade at over 1000 m altitude, and many Italians combine a family August beach holiday with climbing in the afternoons.
- Some of Europe’s most spectacular and famous multipitches are found on the limestone Supramonte plateau between Ogliastra, Nuoro and Cala Gonone. For many years Hotel Supramonte in the Gola su Gorroppu was Italy’s hardest MultiPitch route and courted by all the world’s top climbers. James Pearson and Caroline Ciavaldini’s recent much-publicised Sardinia trip did a lot to make people aware of the harder routes seen on this trailer
while the Aguglia di Goloritzè can be climbed by Easy Gymnopedie F6b+max/5c obb and is a must-climb target, overlooking the sea. A new guidebook to Multipitch routes is under preparation.
- DWS possibilities exist but so far the island doesn’t have the easily accessible steep DWS crags like those so popular in Mallorca or Croatia.
- In the south, centre and around Nuoro there are bouldering spots, although these are currently not well documented.
Sources of information:
- The Lemon House guesthouse is run by keen climber Peter and his wife Anne. Peter contributed this text and has bolted lots of routes in Ogliastra (Baunei). Lots of info on climbing and info sources on the website. Latest climbing information is also available in German
- Pietra di Luna guidebook 2011