Climbing in Sardinia (Isili and Lanaitto) / December 2013 by Maurizio Oviglia
Maurizio Oviglia provides another climbing news update from Sardinia. In this report: Isili and Lanaitto (Oliena).
In previous reports I discussed recent doings on Sardinia's big rock faces and how the island's love for multi-pith routes, both sport or trad, is becoming increasingly infectious. But Sardinia is famous above all for its single-pitch crags and, as most conclude after visiting the island, there's enough virgin rock for several generations! But creating new crags is hard work, you need plenty of time and during moments of crisis like this one, time is an important commodity for the few volunteers! It's understandable therefore that recent developments have slowed down a bit... Having said that, I can still provide an interesting overview of what's been going recently, thanks also to all those who keep me updated by continuously sending me news and information.
One of Sardinia's most famous crags is Isili, that experienced its heyday in the 90's during the "overhanging stamina climbing" era. Isili does in fact offer great overhangs (unfortunately though not too long) with stamina climbing being the name of the game. As a result it didn't take long for the rock faces dotted within the valley to be completely developed, and it seems as if nothing more can be added to the circa 250 existing routes. Fortunately, some blank faces weren't chipped, let's just say that some climbers "resisted" from doing so, and this I believe is honourable given that during the '90's many others wouldn't have thought twice...
The only crag that seemed to still hold a large potential was Conca Manna, located on the other side of the village, but despite numerous attempts to make it popular it never really caught on, perhaps due to the total lack of easy routes (the easy ones were all rather "violent"). So after the first attempt by Isili local Antonio Marino in the early nineties, about 5 years ago Giampaolo Mocci and I got to work to do some restyling. The latest developments have been carried out by Simone Sarti, Carlo Abis and Michele Piras who have established numerous difficult and slightly less difficult routes that appear to be just what most climbers want. I'd like to point out that on the first blank section (which would probably result in routes harder than 8c) Simone has opted against chipping or improving holds and has instead created routes where you pull up on the first 5 quickdraws until the difficulties ease off considerably. Which means you can climb up "amenable" 6c/7a routes which would otherwise have been prohibitive. A choice that certainly provides food for thought! What follows below is a complete list of all the routes at Conca Manna.
In the meantime, numerous new developments are underway in the Supramonte... I wanted to wait to provide news about new crags, but I can anticipate things by saying that much has been going on in the stunning Lanaitto valley (Oliena). The Su Gurruthone crag, first developed at the end of the 80's by local climbers, has been rebolted by Swissman Louis Piguet. Piguet is a big fan of Sardinia and every year he spends a lot of time rebolting unsafe routes and establishing new, mostly easy climbs. I'll provide a comprehensive update in the near future.
Another good example comes from the Neumann family from Dresden. In love with the Lanaitto valley, in the past Sven, Michaela and their children have spent their holidays there and have decided to establish new sectors. The beautiful crags Wonderland, Bellavista and Musicland all came to light thanks to them and are all included in the latest edition of Pietra di Luna. It has to be said the Sven's style of bolting has puzzled some, seeing that the bolts are spaced circa 4m apart (multi-pitch bolting style). But there's no disputing the beauty of the routes and the limestone. The family has even created paths and added wooden signposts, some of which have unfortunately been destroyed as Sven woefully noted. This spring strong Oliena-based climber Gianfranco Boi added 5 new routes to the sector MusicLand and Sven has now provided the list of his new routes and some photos that testify his love and drive, shared by many other climbers, for doing things.
Conca Manna (Isili) – all the routes!
- Gelido Inverno (project)
- Jump (7c+/8a)
- Anghelu Ruju (7b)
- Quarta dimensione (6c+)
- Universi paralleli (6c/6c+) the extension is dirty
- Non c’è trippa per gatti (7c+)
- Fuori inclinazione (7b)
- Ah ecco! (6c+)
- Ex (6c)
- Appiglios Tendiniticos (7a)
- Non ci giri? (6c)
- Palle eoliche (6b+)
- Il gallo sardo (6b+)
- DJ Crow (6b+)
- Ciao Bello (7a)
- I want to live forever (7a+)
- Italian Style (7c)
- Terremoto (project)
Pulling up the first 6 quickdraws of Terremotoone can do the following:
- Maremoto (7a+)
- Terremoto (6c)
- Tornado (7a)
- Nati per vincere (7c/+) – ext (project)
- Amici del Pioppo (project)
- I fiori del male (7b)
- Sesso, morte e videotapes (7b)
- Caterpillar (7b+/7c)
- Penna nera (7b)
- Sogni iberici (7a+)
- Ogni Scarraffone…(7a+)
- Mister 8b (7a/7a+)
- L’uomo lento (7a+)
- L’éleve (6c)
- Il professore (6b+)
- A denti stretti (6c)
- Carpe diem (6a+)
- Bella vista! (6a)
- La piccola Miranda (project)
Valle di Lanaitto (Oliena):
"Finally back again" , 6b, 8 bolts, 20m, 30/10/2013 – left of "Mystic nights"
The route "Mystic nights" now has 12 bolts (5 new ones)!
"Trumpet Player", 6a, 5 bolts, 23m, 25.10.2013
"Moderato", 6c+, 5 bolts, 18m, 26.10.2013
"The Prodigy", 7b, 10 bolts, 22m, 27.10.2013
"Rhythm for Svante", 6a+, 6 bolts, 23 m, 27.10.2013
"Didgeridoo Woman", 7a+, 6 bolts, 22 m, 31.10.2013
The names of the five routes (by Gianfranco Boi) to the right of "Pianoman" are not marked at the base.
Settore Su Gurruthone (by Louis Piguet)
- La prima che si incontra , "Buon divertimento", (the existing"senza nome") rebolted and extended to 32m (5b+)
- appena a sinistra, "O2M" 32m (5c+)
- "Mandragola" (extended to 32m) (5c+)
- Bonsaï (extended to 20m) (5b)
- to the left of Bonsaï: "Bella" 25m (5c magnificent)
- to the left of "Monamour": "Lakana" 18m (6b+)
- "Sieste en mai" (extended to 20m) (6b)
- "Terre Brune" 28m (6a+)
- "Mamuthone" 28m (5b+)
- "11 de capidane" (extended to 28m) (6a)
- "Sa chicchera" and "Maria" unchanged, apart from the belay
- "Ciao Ciao Sardegna" (the start from the belay has been changed, to protect it better and avoid a fall onto the tree) the entire route is now 40m long)
- "Scirocco" and "Roncola" both 40m long!
- "Biuda" (extended to 32m) 6a magnificent!
- "Era un piacere" 31m (5c )
- "L'ami René" (31m) unchanged
- "Qua, Quo e Qui" unchanged
- "Maestro Piero" (extended to 27m) (5c)
- "Manuela" unchanged