Climbing in Sardinia: three new crags in the south
Maurizio Oviglia introduces three new crags in Southern Sardinia: Cave of dreams, Villasimius e Broadway
Sardinia continues to produce interesting vertical news at an unprecedented tare. The island is renowned for being one of the best places in the world to go climbing, not only because of the immense number of routes, but also and above all due to the vast variety of climbing: from difficult single pitches above the marvellous beaches to beautiful multi-pitch outings in breathtaking scenarios, past new bouldering hot spots and, why not, a fine selection of trad outings. One of the driving forces behind this development is certainly Maurizio Oviglia who now shares some of the recent developments, just in time for summer and also the highly anticipated updated version of his guidebook Pietra di Luna. An indispensible "bible" to discover this happy island paradise in the heart of the Mediterranean.
THREE NEW CRAGS IN SOUTHERN SARDINIA
There really have been loads of developments in Sardinia over the last few years, so much so that the reference guidebook due out next month, Pietra di Luna, has over 600 pages dedicated to single pitch climbs alone.
One of the the most interesting developments is the new overhanging sector bolted last summer at Ulassai by Giampaolo Mocci and myself. The sector benefited from a grant issued by the Ulassai town council and the "Cave of dreams" is a sort of canyon which always lies in the shade and as such is ideal in summer. Or rather, climbing is possible here in summer and autumn only. The dozen or so routes range from 6a+ to 8a, the hardest of which was freed by visiting climber Luca Giupponi. To get to this new sector reach the Canyon sector of Ulassai and continue along this to exit on the other side where, hidden from view, you stumble across the canyon within the canyon...
In winter I spent some time completely renovating the crag at Villasimius. Located above the sea shore the area is enchanting and the granite resembles - I'm not joking - that of Chironico! The crag had been somewhat abandoned but the potential for development was there and after having rebolted the old routes I started to establish some new ones. The difficulties increase from left to right, the routes become more and more interesting, and the once semi-abandoned crag has suddenly become hugely popular. I was helped enormously by Andrea Mannias who freed the hardest route there (Hard Rock, 7c+/8a) and, more recently, Paolo Contini. My Braille Traille slab is worth a special mention: there are a couple of no-hand moves on this 7c and that's why I dedicated it to Johnny Dawes! The crag now has thirty or so routes but much is still to be done, perhaps next winter. I recommend you go there on summer afternoons and combine climbing and swimming in what is rightly considered one of the most famous seas in Europe. The route topos will be published in the next Pietra di Luna guidebook... but in the meantime, if you're on holiday in the Villasimius area, do go and check it out!
Between February and April a new crag came to life in the Domusnovas area, already recognised as one of the most important centre's on the island. In truth it's a new sector located on the extreme right-hand side of Chinatown which, financed by the agriturismo Perda Niedda, now boasts ten 35m pitches from 6a+ to 7b. Cecilia Marchi and I bolted this splendid limestone sector dubbed Broadway and which gets the shade from 13.00 onwards, so it's suitable for summer afternoon climbing.
The route topos can be downloaded from www.pietradiluna.com.