Punta Giradili, Sardinia: difficult new multi-pitch rock climb Oiscura... L'eco del Baratro
During three weekends between 2012 and 2013 Gianni Canale, Aldo Mazzotti, Stefano Salvaterra, Franco Cavallaro and Adriano Cavallaro made the first ascent of Oiscura... L'eco del Baratro up beautiful Punta Giradili above Baunei in Sardinia. 230m high, established ground-up, with 7c obligatory climbing and two crux pitches still to be freed, probably at 8b. Canale provides the details.
The new route Oiscura... L'eco del Baratro was first ascended ground-up using a drill and hook and without intermediate gear and it takes a line through the cave to the left of the beautiful Via Mediterraneo on Punta Giradili. Those who repeat the route in future will discover why we named the route the echo from the chasm.
The route is reached by the steep red roof which leads to the horrid overhang (this is what we always called it right from day 1). The two wildly overhanging pitches that breach the cave offer fabulous, pumpy stamina climbing up incredible tufas and crimps.
This continuity on pitches 3 and 4 stopped us from freeing the whole route, even though we did succeed in freeing all the moves and we reckon the overall grade may be 8b. Unfortunately Sardinia isn't that close for us to try the route over and over again!
The entire route is fairly run-out except the last bolt just before the belay on pitch 4, which was paced using A0 aid. Before making this decision we fought for two days, to no avail: we simply couldn't breach it and reluctantly used A0! The move was later tried and freed from above and this section in its own right could be somewhere in the region of 8a.
A leftwards traverse across the lip of the cave, "easy" but very exposed, leads to the last two fabulous pitches, a vertical slab of solid grey pockets which lead to the summit. The final pitch shares the last belay of Via Mediterraneo, the only point where the two routes cross, before finishing directly up the fall line!
Personally I can say that the days spent on the first ascent, during those three weekends, weren't just a battle and challenge against the face during which everyone, and I underline everyone, gave it their very best to overcome their fears and falls which come along with this type of new routing. They were also unforgettable days that will remain etched in our memory, strengthening our friendship which is reinforced further by our love for climbing. Fortunately this is another great aspect of this sport!
I want to conclude with a thought for those who will repeat the route in the future: we really hope some famous climber will free the two crux pitches because unfortunately we simply didn't have enough stamina to do so. This route will prove highly satisfying for those fit enough as well as providing the opportunity for the first free ascent and even the first onsight!
TOPO: Oiscura... L'eco del Baratro, Punta Giradili, Sardinia