DAY 1 Arrive and transfer from Olbia airport to the Refuge at Monte Maccione high above the mountain town of Oliena. We will have a light meal on arrival of local Sardinian food and wine. The Refuge will also provide breakfast and a packed lunch for the next day.
DAY 2 Leaving Monte Maccione Refuge we ascend to Scala ‘e Pradu, a col on the western rim on the Supramonte mountains. From here a vast, wild limestone plateau opens up before us and we start our descent towards the Lanaitho valley. We spend the afternoon engaged in a series of spectacular abseils that allow us to pass through the Pentomas Canyon and gain the valley floor where we camp for the night.
DAY 3 We start early, heading south deeper into this limestone labyrinth. We visit the famous bronze age cave settlement at Tiscali which is accessed through a cleft in the mountains leading to an airy limestone ledge, then continue on our journey into the heart of the Supramonte. We pass through wide upland meadows, shaded holme oak forests, pass traditional shepherd huts and the ruins of several prominent towers from the ancient Nuraghic civilisation before arriving at Sedda Ar Baccus our camp for the night.
DAY 4 Today we have several options for how to gain our camp for the night at Genna Silana a col at over a thousand meters and the only road access of our journey. The most challenging option is to descend the Flumineddu canyon which has some standing water and requires a short section of swimming. For a lighter option we can choose to descend only the final section of this canyon before passing through the entire length of the famous Goroppu canyon, one of the deepest and most impressive gorges in Europe. Finally on tired legs we ascend to the Genna Silana col and celebrate our half-way point with a well deserved shower and shepherd’s meal.
DAY 5 Fully refreshed we start, accompanied by our first views of the Sardian coast as we descent a wild wooded gorge into the start of Codula Luna. After a short break we then reascend, using a shepherd’s passage through a hole in a cliff band, and past another traditional shepherd’s hut to a remote location where we camp out underneath the stars. (Cloud cover permitting)
DAY 6 We start by descending into the upper reaches of Bacu su Orruargiu which are shaded by numerous ancient Holme oak trees. The highlight of the day is our traverse of the locally famous S’Istrada Longa, a narrow and exposed ledge which cuts clean across a vertical band of cliffs for almost a kilometer before allow access to Codula Sisine far below. A head for heights and a good memory (or camera) are essential for today’s adventure. Once we reach Codula Sisine we ascend northwards to our final overnight camp, overlooking the sea at Bacu Padente.
DAY 7 Our journey culminates in series of challenging and exposed abseils which allow entry to a hidden cave system through which we reach the sea. Here we have one final choice… to make the journey home to Cala Gonone by sea-kayak or by boat- depending on the sea state and how much energy we have left!
We start the week with three nights in Cala Gonone, which is in the same commune as Dorgali, the first of our famous wine-producing areas. Mid-week we move south via the incredible sea cliff multi-pitch climbing at Pedra Longa for a few nights at Ulassai and Jerzu, the second important wine producing area of our tour. For our final two nights we head back to Cala Gonone via the mountain towns of Marmoiada and Oliena, the third and final (and arguably the best) wine region of the week.
I can run this trip at a ratio of 1:1 or 1:2 because the emphasis is on multi-pitch climbing. We aim to complete at least 3 long and unforgettable multi-pitch routes, with several more mellow single pitch venues. There will be 4 1/2 days of fully guided instruction.
Cost: 1 client: £1700, 2 clients: £900 per person
If you have a private group of up to 6 climbers interested in a week visiting similar venues but focused on single pitch sport climbing then I can help you- please get in touch for further information and prices.
DAY 1 When you arrive we will organise transport for your from Olbia airport to Cala Gonone, a small town nestled below the mountains at the north edge of the Gulf of Orosei. Here we spend our first three nights in Bed and Breakfast accommodation on the hillside above the harbour.
DAY 2 We will head to the local single-pitch venue “Buchi Arta”. It is accessed by an unpaved road which winds upwards into the beautiful Supramonte mountains with breathtaking views out over the sea. This is a great place to unwind and adjust to Sardinia. A opportunity to get familiar with the wonderful limestone rock and for us to make sure that all necessary skills are in place for us to enjoy our week together safely. We’ll return to Cala Gonone for you to take a late lunch wherever you choose. The afternoon is free for you to enjoy the beach and fully recover from traveling.
DAY 3 We head to the tranquil and timeless Dolverre di Surtana, a narrow valley that links the valleys of Oddoene and Lanaitto below Dorgali. It is a special place characterised by its wild beauty. It has relatively easy access and numerous moderate multi-routes for us to choose from. It’s an ideal place for our first multi-pitch route together and we follow it by a multi-pitch abseil descent.
In the afternoon we retrace our steps to the car and drive to the local Dorgali Cantina for an introduction to the excellent wines of this local region. If you prefer, as an alternative, we can arrange in advance to visit the locally famous Poderi Atha Ruia where a small supplement for visit and tasting is charged. Finally we head back to Cala Gonone for the evening. We need to ensure that we get a relatively early night as we have to start early the next day.
DAY 4 We start with about an hour’s drive south to the coast and the challenging multi-pitch adventure sport-climbing venue of Pedra Longa. Here we have a choice of several routes both with crux pitches at 6a+ (but which can be made a little easier with firm rope support.)
The climbs are about 7 pitches long and require a little scrambling and short abseils on the descent. We aim to finish for a late lunch and quick swim in the gorgeous water below before continuing our drive south. In just less than an hour we reach Ulassai, a new and exciting mountain rock-climbing venue and home for the next two nights. If we have time and energy we’ll head into the famous Ulassai Canyon for a few single pitch routes before finishing up for the day. We spend the night in the local climbing community Bed and Breakfast”Nannai Climbing Home“. There is a great energy here and we’ll be able to relax and recover our strength… and you may well find that you don’t want to leave…
DAY 5 We spend the whole of the fifth day exploring the single pitch crags of Ulassai and Jerzu, the neighboring mountain town. We have an immense wealth of climbing at our fingertips and we aim to make the most of a full morning before finishing for lunch in the early afternoon. In the afternoon we aim to visit the famous Jerzu Antichi Poderi Cantina which produces some of the best wines from this up and coming region. The region is most famous for its red wines, with some excellent Cannonau wines, but also produces fine Vermentino white wines. We make sure that we have a relaxing evening at the Nannai climbing home and that we’ve packed and prepared our equipment for the next morning.
DAY 6 For our final day climbing we need to get an early start if we want to climb a long mountain route. If energy levels and weather/winds permit the aim is to climb the beautiful, long but moderate NW ridge of Punta Cusidore. This mountain stands at 1147m above the Sardinian mountain town of Oliena. From Ulassai we drive about an hour and a half north to a 4×4 track and the start of our walk in. From here it is about an hour to the base of the route. The ridge itself gives 15 pitches of varied and immensely enjoyable climbing at UIAA grade III to V+. There are some very memorable and photogenic pitches high up on the route and a short section of alpine ridge terrain where we may choose to move together.
This beautiful summit stands majestically over the rolling mountain plains below and gives views far out to sea. The descent is mostly walking, though there are a few short exposed sections where we must take care. The descent to the car takes about 2 1/2 hours, so the day will be full- expect around 10 hours after the drive; but it will also be immensely rewarding and a real highlight to the week- so we’ll try to make it possible. When we finish we’ll call in for a celebratory refreshment at the nearby Su Gologone bar. This is a cool and secluded spot close to an impressive resurfacing of a cold groundwater supply. Finally we make the 30 minute drive back to Cala Gonone and our home for the final two nights to celebrate with a fine glass of Nipente of Oliena.
DAY 7 The last day is spent at your leisure in Cala Gonone… to rest, relax and recover.. If you still have energy there are numerous outdoor activities available, and if you find you just want to chill out, no problem- the beautiful local beaches provide a great place to swim or read a book as you choose.
DAY 8 Finally, on Saturday we’ll arrange a transfer back to Olbia airport for you at the start of your journey home.