Jerzu / Ulassai

13th May 2016

Ulassai Canyon

Vision Crack – 6a+ – Lead

What a strange day for Sardinia. We set off heading for the hills and hoping for some spectacular scenery and good climbing. We did get this, but it didnt always look like it would come good.

Team not very good at timing the camera??

Team not very good at timing the camera??

The biggest problem on this day was the wind and as we rose higher and higher into the mountains we realised this would  have a big effect on where we climbed. The drive up to Jerzu is beautiful, winding up through farmland and broken hill country. Eventually you spy Jerzu perched on the side of a hill with a number of Limestone outcrops jutting out around it. It is spectacular. So was the drive through the town centre which goes through a maze of roads barely wide enough for a car, all signposted, but not recognisable as a main road??. Thought we were going to get well and truly stuck.

Some of the stunning scenary around Jerzu

Some of the stunning scenary around Jerzu

We drove down a dirt track initially and finished up at the end of a lane leading up to the crag. The problem with the golf is its low clearance, so off road is not a good outing. Still this one held up and off we went on a walk through some of the most beautiful countryside I’ve seen in Sardinia. Strange rock formations, stunning wild flowers and lush greenery greeted our walk in and out. It was worth going just for the walk.

DCIM100GOPROGOPR2292.

DCIM100GOPROGOPR2292.

The crag did look pretty awesome, but unfortunately the wind was just too strong and climbing would be impossible. so we decamped to Ulassai in search of the canyon. This proved a bit more difficult to find. Yet another narrow set of roads lead to a parking spot by a church and despite Chris advising the correct way to go I led everyone off on a wild goose chase to the back of the canyon. Still it allowed me to try an unknown route there which eventually spanked me, but which was entertaining enough.

Top section of Vision Crack

Top section of Vision Crack

When we did find the entrance to the canyon, it was to a spectacular narrow gorge, with a number of routes. The one that immediately caught my eye was the crack ‘Vision Crack’ and I set my sights on this. I wasnt disappointed. The crux looks like it is high up on a traverse section, but in reality it is quite low down and is the move onto the ramp. Its powerful but ok (unless you Z clip it). After this the climbing is just maga fun.

DCIM100GOPROGOPR2299.

DCIM100GOPROGOPR2299.

The continuous detonation of rockets in the valley was off-putting but it turned out this was in aid of a religeous festival ( we past the parade on the way out of the village). Strill it did seem strange with a random guy in a white van shooting rockets above a football pitch. ????

Chris high on Vision Crack

Chris high on Vision Crack

So not a full day of climbing, but well worth while for the views and an insight into moutain village life. it is a beautiful region and this particular area needs a lot more exploring. One for the next trip.