Considering all the
Germans there are in Germany, did
God really have to send us Ralf? Joking
apart, Ralf is really the nicest “Kraut”
I have met in Sardinia, and his Sardinian-Italian-German
bears witness to this! Ah, I forgot,
Ralf is also a great photographer
and the photo below was taken by him
during an almost 100 m fall from the
Grottone di Biddiriscottai. He was
obviously tied to an elastic, otherwise
how could he have developed it???
do you live?
I live in Munich, in southern
Germany, but I was born near Stuttgart.
Do you love
your homeland or would you want to
live somewhere else?
I have been living for
more than 10 years in Munich and although
it is a large town it is pretty nice.
I am 80 km from the Alps, the place
is calm, (every October there are
many Italians willing to confirm this),
you can climb, you can bike, you can
ski, there are things to do all year
round - I like this a lot. But do
I love it?! Would I like to live somewhere
How did you
It was 96. At the time
I really wanted to live somewhere
else - I had already changed a lot:
work, town, people - I just wanted
to run away... So I decided to go
climbing for six months, that’s it.
The idea was to climb long, alpine
routes on Monte Bianco and in Wenden,
Sardinia was supposed to prepare me,
as a beginning of the season. I decided
to come to the island because I saw
pictures of the Aguglia on the cover
of Pietra di Luna - if you see a photo
like this and you don’t want to climb
it you are not a real climber!! I
came down with my mythical purple
van, planning to stay for four or
six weeks on the island. Then I met
Enzo Lecis and his zoo - and I stayed
for almost five months!
Do you come
14 times up till now.
rocks have something special?
Eeeh, what can I say? I have never
been a great climber, but I have been
doing it for 16 years. I have travelled
a lot in these years, and I have seen
many rocks. Verdon is definitely more
historical than Regno dei cieli; Kaiser
more alpine than Punta Cusidore and
in Frankenjura there are many more
pitces to throw than in Isili... still
Sardinian rocks have no comparisons.
What if there
wasn’t the sea in Sardinia?
It wouldn’t be the same thing. But
it wouldn’t be bad anyway.
like to live on the island?
I would like to have a Supramonte,
Cala Gonone, Masua or Isili really
near to my home. If it weren’t for
the money I would spend several months
each year on the island. But money
is a problem, so you have to decide.
Somebody says that Germany is a nice
place to work but not to live in.
Although I disagree with the latter,
the first thing is certainly true,
at least comparing to Sardinia.
impressed you the most?
Enzo Lecis’s gym at the
there a route which is worth a trip
to Sardinia alone?
He, ho, don’t exaggerate!
I don’t think there is someone who
comes to Sardinia for one route, then
goes back home and says it was worth
it - at least at my climbing level.
Apart from holds, I remember a route
because I experienced something special
while I was climbing it, and this
is deeply connected to persons. In
this sense I may say “Sole incantatore“
which I climbed with Flady and the
first time on “Oceano mare“ with Enzo.
Then I would maybe add that “In qualche
luogo nel tempo“ at Arcadio is a really
And a route
that you would like to repeat?
“Metafisica della Qualitŕ“
with the approach at that time!
At the Finanzieri office
at the Porto Torres port - but I think
that also next time I will have no
you do if you lived on the island?
I have always tried to
avoid the Oktoberfest, but at that
point I think I wouldn’t miss it anymore
routes damage or increase the value
of a place?
There are some places where routes
are so close that you fear someone
may step on your fingers. That is
not the best. I believe a route is
nice when it is logical. And if all
logical lines in a sector or region
are equipped, that can only be nice.
Or am I wrong?
Do you think
that there is enough space for everybody
on Sardinian rocks?
Bou, ok - let’s say that Sardinia’s
climbing space is really so big that
also ten „Maurizi Ovigli“ would find
enough routes and not bother each
other - and this could go on for at
least the next twenty years. Obviously
there is place for everybody. But
we must also consider the fact that
there are different climbing styles
which require separate spaces. For
example „traditionalists“ who climb
with nuts and friends vs. „sports“
who look for spits.
That’s where the problems start! I
have always appreciated the fact that
in Sardinia you almost always find
well-equipped routes, and you can
climb safely and in a relaxing environment.
When I started climbing there were
few spits and you had to protect yourself
with nuts ands friends. You maybe
didn’t do it with pleasure, but the
ethics at the time (not everywhere
in Germany, but in the sandstone on
Palatino) was that to plant a spit
was the last ratio, you couldn’t absolutely
plant it from the top, you couldn’t
use magnesite, in the end climbing
was considered the devil - in other
words an ethic discussion between
„traditionalists“ and „sports“ which
was really a pain in the neck.
Now that there are more spits and
my nuts and friends should be cleaned
off of musk, sometimes I think I have
become a less complete climber.
There are some climbers in northern
Sardinia who give up spits, apart
from the fact that nobody is emphasizing
ethical problems - it takes balls
to do that! On the other side, they
don’t seem to be exceptional climbers,
so if they want to keep entire Northern
Sardinia as a “clean-zone”, I think
that is an exaggeration.
And how long
will this last?
In theory our grand-children should
think about this. If it will be so
only depends on climbers themselves.
A bit of tolerance would make everything
easier: if you are really scared of
repeating a route with nuts and friends
it won’t get better with a spit, but
you should just look for another route.
Vice versa you can’t go breaking the
balls of who uses spits because you
found a route nearby which can be
maintained clean. I really hope you
can solve these problems in a peaceful
A „spit war“, in the sense of: finding
a spit on a route of yours which was
“once-clean“, or finding your spits
have been broken at the beginning
of the route - only because a smart
ass thought he could show you how
to do it - is not a feeling you need
to experience. And you can believe
this because in Germany we have been
doing it for several years - it is
not worth repeating the same things!!