Orosei and the climbing in Sardinia
Maurizio Oviglia introduces the rock climbing around the village of Orosei in Sardinia.
When you talk about Sardinia's Gulf of Orosei, you immediately think about the area located between Cala Gonone and Baunei, a wild coastline quite rightly recognised as a paradise for trekking and climbing. What many ignore though is that climbing has been developing slightly further north, around the village of Orosei to be precise. Famous for its crystal clear waters and beautiful sandy beaches, this section of the coast is less well-known for its climbing potential. If you look at the coast from the sea, the first thing that catches the eye are the numerous quarries that scathe the territory. But you'll also notice the large mountainthat rises high above all the rest, Monte Tuttavista - mount view - from whose summit you can enjoy a splendid view, as the name suggests. This limestone peak hosts numerous crags scattered across its flanks and many of these are still untouched.
The early sports climbing pioneers were Giuseppe Garippa from nearby Oliena and Bruno Pederiva from the Trentino region of Northern Italy. A few years after their first climbs the area began to be developed systematically by famous Sardinian climber Enzo Lecis who created Settore Afghanistan, the crag below the summit of Monte Tuttavista, as well as the cave that faces seawards called Conca Arrubia. Lecis received support and gear from Sos Alinos, the campsite close to Orosei that has always believed in climbing and alternative sports. In 2007 the Galtellì town council funded a few more routes at Settore Afghanistan as well the first multi-pitch routes up the Conca Niedda face located above the road that leads from Galtellì to Orosei. These routes were put up by Giampaolo Mocci and myself, but of the 5 we had planned only 2 were completed because the funds ran out and they were never reported about in the media. During the last few years the Sos Alinos campsite took things into its own hands once again and helped the climbing development by funding the new routes at Conca Arrubia and the easy new sector Pizzinnos that lies on the path that leads to the Conca Arrubia cave. These routes were put up by myself, Andrea Mannias, Simone Sarti and my wife Cecilia Marchi.
The latest chapter of this short Orosei story is the creation of a new multi-pitch climb in the Onifai countryside, just 10 minutes away from Orosei and up a beautiful granite outcrop that, unfortunately, has been ruined in part by a quarry. A small sliver of Mont Blanc, a stone's throw from the Sardinian coastline! I embarked on this latest adventure together with Giovanni Manconi and Fabio Erriu.
It seems unlikely that Orosei will be able to contend the title of becoming the island's climbing queen, however, slowly but surely it may become a fine alternative, especially for those who love golden sandy beaches and a reasonable priced, quiet campsite next to the sea. This is certainly a great start!
Monte Tuttavista sector Afghanistan
Pleasant sector, reached easily by car via the road that leads from Galtellì to the summit of Monte Tuttavista. Stamina face climbing; sun in the afternoon only. For the topos check out the latest edition of the Pietra di Luna guidebook.
Great north-facing crag with 5-6 pitch climbs. The routes are still being established, so this article deals with only the first, Libertango. Ideal in summer, the faces stays in the shade until 4 pm. Pumpy climbing, pay attention to some sections as the rock is not 100% solid. Bolted.
Access from Galtellì, drive towards Monte Tuttavista. At the last houses turn off left onto the narrow road and continue eastwards until this ends. Follow the only path to reach the crag in circa 15 minutes.
Beautiful cave with pumpy climbing up some great routes. The only drawback is the 30-minute approach and southern orientation, meaning that this is not ideal in summer.
Access from Galtellì, drive towards Orosei, circa 2 km before reaching this village park just before the cement plant in a pine forest on the right. Follow the road that dives southwards into the little valley surrounded by rock faces. Reach the col; the cave springs into view high up on the right. Continue without loosing height, then scramble steeply up to the base (30 minutes).
Easy crag located on the road that leads to Conca Arrubia, on the left. Technical climbing up somewhat delicate rock. The crag stays in the shade for most of the day.
Access as for Conca Arrubia, follow the road for 10 minutes and then follow the short and steep path leftwards (cairns).
Routes from left to right: Tatanka (5c+) – Caproncino mio (5c) – Maschio Alfa (6c) – Lumetto (5c) – Furetto tecnologico (6a+) – Barboncino progressivo (6b+)
This granite outcrop rises from the countryside to the north of Onifai, on the road that leads to Capo Comino. There are many quarries here, but also beautiful boulders that climbers from nearby Nuoro have bouldered on for quite some time (see www.bloccobirra.com). Multi-pitch routes are the novelty and "Bionda Sardegna" is the first to be completed on the face close to Locherie. The route can be reached by car by driving along the the above-mentioned road and, a few kilometres after Onifai, taking the narrow road that leads to the base of the peak. Shade in the morning, take a fair selection of Friends.
Accommodation and information: Camping Sos Alinos