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Sardiniaclimb – FAQ

CRAGS

1) Where are the best crags in Sardinia?
The key climbing sites in Sardinia are without doubt: Cala Gonone, Jerzu, Isili and the Iglesiente (the area around Iglesias and Domusnovas)

2) Which are the busiest crags, where I can always find other climbers?
The busiest crags are Isili, Domusnovas and Cala Gonone

3) Which are the best Sardinian crags for a low-grade climber (grade 5 e 6)?
Bearing in mind that “best” is a very subjective judgement:

  • Masua (Castello dell'Iride): good rock, many easy routes, nice sea views.
  • Domusnovas (Puerto escondido): nice grey rock, pleasant and warm setting.
  • Domusnovas (Castilandia): a small crag, but busy and very popular.
  • Iglesias (Punta Pilocca): a famous crag, brilliant rock, good also for climbers in low 7’s.
  • Isili (Pietra filosofale): not super-easy but the easiest of the Isili crags.
  • Jerzu (Castello): good rock, plenty of room, the routes aren’t super-easy but it’s the most accessibile crag at Jerzu
  • Villaggio Gallico (Baunei): good rock, the easy routes, although not many, are very good and are climbed a lot.
  • Cala Gonone (La poltrona): famous slabs, always busy
  • Cala Gonone (Budinetto): slab with easy routes on great rock, a little bit repetitive
  • Cala Gonone (Buchi Arta): A recent find, and a great success.

4) And for a medium-level climber? (grade 6 e 7)?

  • Buggerru (Gutturu Cardaxius): recently-bolted crag, good rock, bolts quite close together, medium-level routes
  • Domusnovas (Sherwood/Animal House): grey rock, climbing at times strenuous, but routes for all tastes.
  • Domusnovas (Technicolor): for those who love crimpy walls.
  • Isili (Corvo Spaziale): one of Sardinia’s busiest crags, overhangs.
  • Jerzu (Palazzo d'inverno): wide choice of technical climbs on good rock.
  • Jerzu (Isola del tesoro): top quality routes, great views, not busy.
  • Ulassai (cascata): fine wall climbs, grade 7.
  • Ulassai (Canyon): easier routes than at the Cascata, it stays cool.
  • Cala Gonone (Thailandia): busy and cool even in summer.
  • Cala Gonone (Arcadio): nice rock, wide choice of routes, easy access.
  • Oliena (Lanaitto): nice rock, beautiful natural setting and hardly anyone there.
  • Osilo (la Muraglia): wide choice of routes at Sassari’s preferred crag.
  • Rocca Doria Monteleone: great setting, breathtaking, beautiful routes. At times the rock is a bit fragile, wide variety of types of climb.

5) And for the higher grades (grade 7 e 8)?

  • Domusnovas (Bronx e Tana delle Tigri): preferred crags for today’s specialists of steep climbing
  • Domusnovas (Ruota del tempo): historical crag, overhanging enough to not be considered a slab and technical enough to put off some lovers of steep stuff. Has always been one of the most popular crags
  • Quirra: fine high-grade crag, with the only drawback of being climbable only in winter.
  • Isili (Urania): benchmark crag for steep hard routes.
  • Baunei (Braccio di ferro): small crag, but with interesting estreme pitches.
  • Cala Gonone (Scalette e Raoni): the “temple” for hard routes in this area.
  • Millennium: one of Europe’s finest crags, were it not for the difficult approach and being dependent on weather conditions.

6) What’s the bolting like?
The Sardinian crags are bolted to a high standard and quality. In most places you find glue-in bolts, the stances are in good condition and periodic maintenance is carried out.

7) The routes seemed too close together, which holds are considered valid to use?
Sometimes routes are very close together, other times a route’s grade is given for using holds quite a long way from the line of the bolts. Provided you can still clip, it’s OK to move away from the line of the bolts, but without exaggerating and ending up on the adjacent route. Use common sense and/or ask the local climbers (hoping that they use their common sense :-)

8) Is it true that Sardinian grades are generous?
Some people have spread this opinion. Realistically, you can say that the grading at Sardinian crags are not tough and most times are in line with those of Europe’s major climbing centres. They are more generous than those of places known for tough grading, but on several occasions it has been decided not to match these tough grades.
Moreover, many routes have few repetitions, which means more time needed to arrive at a correct and reasonably-agreed grade.


9) Why are the grades tougher for slab climbs? Are the guidebook writers better on slabs?
This impression may be the result of the tendency not to climb slabs, so they seem harder. In reality, today’s grades for slab climbs are derived directly from the historic grades of the Eighties. There’s a certain tradition of technical climbing in Sardinian, and the historic grades have remained the reference point, so today’s 7b was a 6c in the past. The same thing didn’t happen with steep routes, for which there wasn’t a tradition, and the grading was set by visitors to the island.

10) How come certain routes at certain crags have really hard grades?

One reason could be that they are historic routes, graded in the Eighties and the grades haven’t been changed. Or they can be complex routes with a hidden trick move. The routes are graded for an “on sight” ascent but if there are non-obvious ways to make the moves easier, the grade takes this into account.

(Thanks to the British climber Peter Herold who lives in Ogliastra for the translation. Contact Peter for more info www.peteranne.it)