The Best Alternatives to the Needle in Cala Goloritze

Punta Caroddi (aka "La Guglia" or "The Needle") in Cala Goloritze is a great climb, that is sure, it has a fantastic view, that's true, and the beach below is a unique spot in the Mediterranean, that's unquestionable. 

Anyhow.... in our opinion, Cala Goloritze has become a little bit "too popular". The tiny beach, once a destination for sporadic adventurers, is nowadays crowded with hundreds of tourists, walking every day up and down the steep path that was rebuilt by the local administration. What used to be an offsite and quiet rocky beach, currently looks like London's Oxford Street on Black Friday. 

In the same way, what used to be a remote climbing destination sees every morning queues (yes, queues, literally) of climbers attempting its easiest routes. The easiest one (Easy Gymnopedie, 6c max) has hundreds of repetitions per year and its most difficult passages have now become so polished it's like climbing on glass. Many beginners ask us information how to access and climb in Cala Goloritze, our advice is usually "be confident on polished 6c and be there at sunrise" 

Thus, this article wants to reestablish some balance with other equally great multipitches in the area,  and to ease some pressure on poor old Cala Goloritze. What follow is a list of truly beautiful multipitches we have chosen for their spectacular view, short approach and sturdy equipment. The maximum grade is always below 6c, making them a perfect alternative especially for beginners. 

Marinaio di Foresta

Marinaio di Foresta, multipitch, Pedra Longa, Baunei, Italy
This is probably the best multipitch in the area. It is located in Pedra Longa (Baunei), only 5 minutes walk from the parking and still immersed in a wild and adventurous scenery. 

How to get there

From Baunei follow directions to Pedra Longa and reach the parking at the end of the road. Descend the stairs starting in front of the restaurant and when at the bottom turn right and walk around the sea stack Pedra Longa. 

DIFFICULTY: 6a+, 5c obbligatory

HEIGHT: 190 m

BOLTS:  fix stainless steel 12 mm Petzl

ROCK: superb! It is sometimes TOO SHARP. 

EQUIPMENT: 60 meters rope, 12 quick-draws and some slings

WAY BACK: once at the top, walk a little towards west, to find a 30 meters abseil. You will easily reach the base of the stairs 

 

BIG WARNING: the route goes spiraling around the sea-stack. This makes escape impossible. The only possible escape is through two abseils from the fourth anchoring point. A 20 meters abseils brings to a juniper tree, from here an additional 60 meters abseil takes to a ledge by the sea level. Walk north. It will become increasingly more difficult until a hard 5c traverse that takes back to the starting point. Anyhow, this escape is unthinkable of in case of big waves. 

 

Cromosomi Corsari

Cromosomi Corsari, Pedra Longa, Baunei, multipitch italy

This is the second problem that was equipped on Pedra Longa. With many exposed and athletic passages, and grades up to 6b+, Cromosomi Corsari is a harder and better than its little bro Marinaio di Foresta. Some passages require special carefulness as the rocks may move.

This route is always exposed to the sun. It is better to avoid during the summer. Many pitches can cause dangerous swinging to the second climber. Climb it only if comfortable on 6b grade. 

ACCESS: from the parking lot in Pedra Longa follow a path leading south, to a narrow ledge on the south side of the sea-stack. At the end of the ledge abseil to the beach below, where the route starts.

DIFFICULTY: 5c+ - 6b - 6b+ - 4c - 5b - 6b - 6b

HEIGHT: 175 meters

ROCK: from bad and unstable rocks to superb grey slabs

EQUIPMENT: one single or 2 half ropes. 12 quick-draws and slings

BOLTS: stainless stees inox 316L. Close distanced spits

WAY BACK:

BIG WARNING: although difficult, escape via abseil is possible only until the third anchoring point. After this point is advisable to walk back following the return path of Marinaio di Foresta.

The Sound of Silence

Sound of Silence, multipitch, rock climbing, surtana
In the years that followed noteworthy routes include "The Sound of Silence" by Paolo Pezzolato from Trieste and "Paradise" by Swissman Louis Piguet who bolted this line from above. Talking of paradise: it's interesting to see how often this word recurs in the Surtana route names... More recently, there have been numerous interesting new additions by the partnerships Pibiri - Erriu and Bruno Vitale - Giorgio Mallucci (two Romans once again!).

New routes have been established on a regular basis over the last few years - proving how important this magnificent area is for European climbers - and despite there being more than 50 routes there is still plenty of potential for new stuff. It is with this in mind that I'll now introduce four new routes climbed not long ago, two on the easy and obvious north pillars, strangely (and probably) never climbed before, and another two on the XII and XII south pillars.

DIFFICULTY: 5c - 5c - 6a - 5b - 5b

HEIGHT: 140 meters

ROCK: superb grey limestone, lots of big holds

EQUIPMENT: one single or 2 half ropes. 12 quick-draws and slings

BOLTS: stainless stees inox. Distanced spits

WAY BACK: same line

 

Dillosauro

dillosauro tertenia sardegna
Easy and spectacular needle climb in a very remote area. The panorama is superb and it seems really like being in the Jurassic era. 

Reaching the crag takes one hour. Watch the map below for precise location

ACCESS: from Marina di Tertenia follow directions towards Porto Santoru. From the end of the asphalt keep driving 4 km on a dirt track until you find a parking spot and the road gets so bumpy only 4WD can continue. Walk 25 minutes on the same road until you notice the crag on your right'hand side. Pass a dry river bed and find a path, it leads to a wider bendy uphill path. Eventually find your way among the bushes, keeping in mind where you saw the crag. 

DIFFICULTY: 6b - 6c

HEIGHT: 50 meters

ROCK: granite, superb. Avoid hot days with the humid south wind

EQUIPMENT: one single 70 m rope. 10 quick-draws 

BOLTS: stainless stees inox 

WAY BACK: on the same line 

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