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Sardiniaclimb – FAQ

WEATHER FOR CLIMBING

1) Which are the best seasons for climbing in Sardinia?
The best periods are without doubt the spring and autumn, but it’s possible to climb in summer and winter, paying attention to the wind and the temperatures.

2) Does it often rain in winter?
Sardinia is one of the driest regions of Italy. The rains are concentrated in brief periods and only rarely last for long. During a rainy day, usually there are breaks which, with a bit of experience, you can use to climb. If possible, avoid periods when there’s a depression over Sardinia or just to the south (such situations sometimes are found in the winter).

3) Can you climb in summer or is it too hot?
The months from June to September are the hottest but it’s not possible to generalize and say which days are the hottest of the summer. During the summer, there can be good periods to climb (in the shade) and there are periods when it’s best to go to the beach. Much depends on the humidity. In the shade it’s always possible to climb, but those looking for the best friction for hard projects would do best to choose other seasons, unless there are unusual situations, for example a strong Maestrale (NW wind).

4) Which are the coolest areas in summer?
Without doubt those not at sea level. The Jerzu/Ulassai area, for example, is at 700-900 amsl and early in the morning or late in the evening it is the coolest area. In Supramonte the crags of Genna Croce (950 m) and Serra Oseli (800 m) are the coolest in the afternoon.
In the south of the island, Punta Pilocca (700 m) in the afternoon.


5) Is it true that the wind is of fundamental importance?
In Sardinia knowing which wind is blowing and how it will change in the next few hours is of fundamental importance for climbing, because it affects the friction. You can laugh, but often with a southerly wind the rock can become slippery and unclimbable. On the contrary, battling with the Maestrale in winter on an exposed crag is not an experience you will easily forget.

6) When do you find the best friction?
The Maestrale gives the best friction. In winter, also with the Grecale (NE wind) and Tramontana (N wind) and in the sun. These winds however are fairly uncommon, while the Maestrale is quite common in Sardinia. The Maestrale usually blows for 1-3 days and can be very strong. It is a cold wind but, even in winter, the temperature rarely goes below 10°C. In summer it is a life-saver, because it dries out the rock and makes for perfect climbing conditions.

7) What are the areas to avoid with the Scirocco (SE wind from Africa)?
In general all the crags by the sea made of yellow rock. When the Scirocco or Libeccio (SW wind) blow the air is very humid. Red rocks becomes brown, handholds becomes slippery and climbing is unpleasant. The only solution to be less affected is to climb on grey rock. A good alternative is the crag of Rocca Doria which, being in the north, suffers less from the humidity of these winds since they lose some of their moisture as they cross the island.

8) And with the Maestrale?
Climbing with the Maestrale should be avoided in winter on exposed walls and in particular on the long multi-pitch routes such as those of Punta Giradili, the Aguglia, Punta Cusidore and Gutturu Pala. When the Maestrale is particularly strong, even on sheltered walls it can create turbulence and interfere with climbing.

9) What are the ideal conditions to climb by the sea?
Climbing by the sea is not recommended with southerly winds. In general the best conditions are found with the Maestrale or high pressure and low humidity. With the Maestrale, on exposed sea cliffs (Masua, Capo Caccia), be careful of waves that can be dangerous as well as wetting the rock.

10) Where can you climb when it rains?

In general you can go to all the caves, but you need to see what the humidity’s like to know if you can actually climb. There’s rain and rain... it can rain loads and inside the cave the rock remains dry,…... it can rain a little and the rock can be unclimbable. Check the wind direction. In general the crags where you can climb when it rains are: Chinatown, Rifondazione, Canneland, Bronx, Tana delle Tigri and Ruota del Tempo at Domusnovas; Corvo Spaziale, Corvo Solitario and Urania at Isili; Quirra and Lecorci Ulassai in Ogliastra; Millennium and the odd route in Codula Fuili at Cala Gonone; Rocca Doria.


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