Federica Mingolla checks in and out of Hotel Supramonte in Sardinia
On the impressive north face of Punta Cucuttos face in the Gole di Gorropu Gorge in Sardinia, Italy, Federica Mingolla has managed to pull off a fast repeat of Hotel Supramonte. Considered by many to be one of the most beautiful difficult multipitches in the world, the route was established ground-up between 1998 and 1999 by Rolando Larcher and Roberto Vigiani, after Larcher had started the first 2.5 pitches in May 1998 with Letizia Deavi and Maurizio Oviglia.
Mingolla, a 28-year-old aspiring mountain guide from Valle d'Aosta, first tried the route with Larcher last November while filming the next episode of the Petzl Legend Tour. Conditions however were far from ideal and the wind was so strong that after the first 5 pitches the pair had to retreat.
Mingolla returned to the Mediterranean island a few days ago to complete the film and, taking advantage of a day off, she repeated the route with Federico Orlandini. The idea was for both of them to lead the difficult pitches and they swung leads on the first two pitches as both climbers had previously led these. The 8b pitch was sent first go by Mingolla who then abseiled down to belay Orlandini, who sent this crux pitch first go, too. After jumaring back to the belay Mingolla immediately sent the next 8a+ pitch, while Orlandini failed to redpoint it. Mingolla jumared back to the bely and from then on led the rest of the route. One last 8a+, and then all the remaining pitches were climbed onsight: 7c, 7a+, the famous niche where several teams have bivouacked, one 7b+ and two 7b. At 6.30pm the team reached the end of the technical difficulties and, choosing not to climb the last 6b+ pitch+, at 7.30pm they were back on the ground. They'd been on the go for 11 hours and in doing so, as Mingolla told planetmountain, a dream came true.
"It was a route that inspired me" Mingolla explained to planetmountain "a line that always got me excited, especially when I was training after the accident and my feet were in plaster. I listened to the famous song by Fabrizio de André which was in my playlist and I I felt like I really wanted to visit this hotel. The first time with Rolando was really exciting. Then, when I got another chance, I knew that I absolutely had to send it. My only concern was my fitness, with the winter season behind me and the ski mountaineering module to become a mountain guide coming up, I didn't feel fit for overhangs. But in the end, my motivation prevailed over everything else! I can't say I did the route easily, but I'm very happy to have managed to onsight the upper pitches. The bolts are far apart and the runouts are very long, really very very long!"
As always, the speed of Mingolla's repeat is surprising, but perhaps it shouldn't be: last year the 28-year-old redpointed 8c/+ at Oliana, and as far as the difficult multipitches are concerned - regardless of whether in at sea level or at altitude - she is certainly one of the best of her generation.
Mingolla thanks: La Sportiva, Petzl, Salewa, Alba Optics, Sherpa Mountain Shop
After the first ascent between 1988 and 1999, the other key climbs worth bearing in mind are: the first free ascent in 2000 at the hands of Pietro Dal Prà, the first female ascent carried out by Martina Cufar in 2004 and the first on-sight by Adam Ondra in 2008. And of course, the first rebolting, carried out by Larcher and Maurizio Oviglia in 2012.
TOPO: Hotel Supramonte, Gole di Goroppu, Sardinia