Cala Goloritz /Aguglia

Awe In-Spire-ing

6th June 2014

Sinfonia dei Mulini a Vento – 6b – Alt Lead (dgd to hell)

There’s always a main event on any trip and this was it for Sardinia. And the one thing you should always do is fully prepare when you know the day is going to be challenginging and long….

Our first view

Our first view

….like fill the car up with petrol or spend the entire journey through twisty mountain roads (with no petrol stations) wondering if you’re going to run out of fuel.  Lucky for us Baunei had a station open early which aleviated our worries.

….. like not fall out of your bunk bed the night before and damage your arse. It hurts!

…. like pick the uprotected and severely polished trad route when there is a perfectly good bolted route next door.

Back up the valley and one of the upper pitches

Back up the valley and one of the upper pitches

These issues aside it turned out to be a great day with adventure heaped on adventure and I have to thank Joe for taking the sting out of the route by leading all the hard pitches and encouraging me through some desperate sections.

Joe coming up the final pitch

Joe coming up the final pitch

To start at the beginning Joe and I turned up at a neat little car park for the walk in not realising it was an hour on hard descent. As you approach it suddenly becomes apparent what we were undertaking as the spire materialised through the trees.

Happy Joe

Happy Joe

Unhappy Ian

Unhappy Ian

First problem was finding the start of the route, but having found the polished nastyness that was the opening moves we realised what was to come. The moves wernt hard but with massive polish they morphed into very difficult sequences. Finding the first belay was tough too and Joes subsequent lead up a smeary unprotected groove was excellent. It had to be or we would have been stopped in our tracks there and then.

The most tricky part of the whole climb was the slanting chimney which was very polished and resulted in an outstanding bit of climbing from Joe. The consequences of falling off were horrific, as it would result in getting jammed in the crack with little opportunity for rescue. Still Joe made it and I unusually for this route cleaned this pitch with much swearing and muttering.

Long way down

Long way down

More polished pitches and a tough crack pitch  lead eventually to easier climbing to the top. And what a feeling it was to make it finishing on a small platform with the most incredible view. Joe and I ate a deserved lunch of nuts and mint cake (sorry Joe. Didnt realise there was only one bit!) We spent a while up on top. Deservedly so as it was some effort by Joe to get us up there.

The beach

The beach

The ab off was full of possible pitfalls, but we managed it without getting the ropes tangled – phew. And so for a swim in the most beautiful cove in turquiose waters. This cooled us down prior to the slog out. As it was we both burned up the walk out without too much fuss. Possibly adrenaline residues helped. Ice creams and cokes replenished our sugar levels at the conveniently placed cafe next to the car park.

The Spire

The Spire

The final drive back was much more relaxed and we returned to find the rest of the crew in good spirits after a day out at a local crag. What an adventure and I am so glad to have done this.

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