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MICHEL PIOLA

Michel needs no introduction, he is one of the best contemporary alpinisti, certainly one of the most popular. Precursor and innovative, Michel was one of the first to use spits on mountains, with thriftiness, to create masterpieces which are today esteemed by climbers all over the world. What moves Michel is an extraordinary and endless passion for opening. In fact, he has opened hundreds of routes on rocks all over the world and he obviously could not avoid expressing himself on Sardinian rocks too. That is how he left us a nice gift on the Giradili rocks, one of the best long routes on our island!

Michel Piola
Where do you live?
In Geneve, in Switzerland, at the feet of the other part of the Alps.

Do you love your homeland or would you want to live somewhere else?
It isn’t bad, there are many things to do, but the climate is horrible! There is fog 4 months each year!

How did you discover Sardinia?
My friend Manlio Motto talked to me about it.

Do you come back often?
Easter 2003 will be the fourth time!

Do Sardinian rocks have something special?
They are the most beautiful and varied in Europe!

What if there wasn’t the sea in Sardinia?
You would have to invent it! For the landscape, because the water is always cold and it dampens the rocks.

Would you like to live on the island?
I would miss the height, the mountains…

Which place impressed you the most?
The enormous stalactites in the “Grotta dei Nasi lunghi” at San Nicolò (where Michel opened several spectacular routes, editor's note)

Is there a route which is worth a trip to Sardinia alone?
I would say mainly a wall, Punta Giradili!

And a route that you would like to repeat?
I would like to go at the Gorroppu Gorges, but the routes are too hard!

Where wouldn’t you return?
I would prefer to come back every year, if I could!

What would you do if you lived on the island?
I would open, open, open new routes!

Too many routes damage or increase the value of a place?
If routes have a “soul” and they respect the ones opened previously, I would say there are no problems.

Do you think that there is enough space for everybody on Sardinian rocks?
The island is very large, you only need to walk a bit and you are completely alone.

And how long will this last?
For a long time…