Climbing in Sardinia news: modern and trad multi-pitches

Winter update by Maurizio Oviglia about the latest climbing news from the island that just keeps on giving: three new climbs in Sardina.
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Maurizio Oviglia during the first repeat of Saratoga (6b+, 410m, Slavek Dostal, Jan Kareš, 12/2014), carried out together with Sandro Buluggiu.
Sandro Buluggiu
Over Christmas Sardinia proved hugely popular with climbers who fairly focussed on the Iglesiente area and that around Cala Gonone. The crag Quirra however, located in neither of the above mentioned areas, seems to have been the most popular of all and countless climbers flocked here, unsurprisingly so since this area is considered one of the driest and mildest in all of Italy. Young Carlo Giuliberti made a mark with his onsight ascent of , who managed to climb on sight Viribus Unitis, a former 8b+ that has been downgraded to 8b. His ascent impressed all.

As to new multi-pitch sports climbs, the most active were climbers from the Czech Republic. Prague-based Jan Kareš, perhaps best known for his guinness record of pull-ups, teamed up with Slavek Dostal to create a 410 meter sport climb up the large face the overlooks the the sea at Pedra Longa, just across from Punta Giradili. This face, known as Costa ‘e s’Aidu is actually a buttress of Punta Su Mulone and had attracted the attention of many would-be first ascentionists, but the Czechs got there first. As famous Sardinian comedian Benito Urgu put it "those who get there first are already there"! In truth though, others had attempted the face in he past, such as Corrado Pibiri and Alfredo Papini whose trad attempt in 1981 ground to a halt after two pitches. Others, such as young Battista Incollu, rose to the challenge of climbing the entire face; this occurred back in 1947, when Battista was a mere 20 years old and he did so free solo (as we’d say nowadays), logically exploiting the weakest section of the peak. It’s even rumored that some pastors surpassed this natural challenge and soloed sections up to grade V and VI. Stories of their achievements are documented in the book by Sebastiano Cappai entitled "Iscalas ‘e Pizzos".

But let’s get back to present day and the Czech route, called "Saratoga". This pleasant outing cleverly exploits the features up the cleanest section the face with the clear aim in mind of creating a route that would become highly popular. Sandro Buluggiu and I immediately repeated the line and confirm its beauty but recommend it to climbers who have a fair bit of alpine experience. I’ve traced a route topo, published along with this article, and more news can be found on

As to trad routes, its worth noting that Corrado Pibiri and Simone Pireddu put up a new line at Masua. It climbs the spur to the left of Michel Piola’s "Dolci Sardi" and as its "Back to traditional" name implies, it is a trad route with bolts placed only at the belays. The route offers 150m of pleasant climbing above a beautiful marine environment. The topo of this is included in the portfolio, too.

Maurizio Oviglia (CAAI)

Thanks to Jan Kareš, Corrado Pibiri and Andrea Piallini for the new route information

15/12/2014 - Sea cliff crags at risk: climbing ban or rebolting?
20/05/2014 - Three big new routes in the Supramonte massif 
07/04/2014 - Rock climbing around the village of Orosei 
21/01/2014 - Trad climbing at Regno di Onan, Capo Pecora, the Supramonte di Urzulei
28/12/2013 - Isili and Lanaitto
11/12/2013 - Doloverre di Surtana, the most popular multi-pitch climbing area in Sardinia
13/11/2013 - Capo Pecora, Jurassic Park and a series of new modern multi-pitch rock climbs

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