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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???

Where do you live?GB.-Cattaino
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 else?! Booh!

How did you discover Sardinia?
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 back often?
14 times up till now.

Do Sardinian 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.

Would you 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.

Which place impressed you the most?
Enzo Lecis’s gym at the Amsicora stadium!

Is 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 cool route.

And a route that you would like to repeat?
“Metafisica della Qualitŕ“ with the approach at that time!

Where wouldn’t you return?
At the Finanzieri office at the Porto Torres port - but I think that also next time I will have no choice ...

What would 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 …

Too many 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 way.
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!!