Sardinia, Punta Giradili, 'Beauty will save us'

"Beauty will save us"

I want to tell a different story: not a chronicle of the usual new route, the highlights, the difficulties, the grades encountered and the free ascent. I want to tell you why I do certain things, what drives me to always seek new projects and new stimuli in my existence.

Mountaineering in recent years is more and more conditioned by performance in numbers, some want to call it 'sport' but I am increasingly convinced that this word is not very appropriate for what we do in the mountains.

Sports performance, in my opinion, makes you lose focus on what should be the most important thing in our activity i.e. it makes us lose focus on the 'Magnificence' in which we move.

Our not succeeding in a performance puts us in a bad mood and directs our attention towards negative feelings. Let us take the case of climbing: if we have a good day of climbing with a good performance, we feel fulfilled and happy with the rest of the things we do in life, forgetting that we may have been in a bad place and the routes were not even good. In the opposite case, on the other hand, a bad day with poor performance puts us in a bad mood and the fact that we were perhaps in a beautiful place falls into the background. In short, performance affects us, making us happy or depressed as if everything depended on it!

I would like to point this out because perhaps our happiness and activity should draw motivation from a very different value system than from mere achievement. Our challenges should turn towards 'learning'. In the face of a challenge, what counts is learning something new, and by new I mean a series of components that are always present in our activity: the beauty of the rock and the environment, our friends, the gesture of climbing and moving in a harmonious manner in pursuit of a hypothetical sequence of holds, etc. If we only seek gratification and praise based on results, our well-being will be extremely conditioned and ephemeral.

I have returned two years later to Punta Giradili in Sardinia because the place has bewitched me; the sea like a swimming pool reflects the shadow of Pedra Longa, in the distance the Gulf of Arbatax with its beaches is the backdrop to the postcard of our eyes and all around the scent of Supramonte invades us.... What more could you want?

-Simple - One of the most beautiful walls in the Mediterranean and a logical route to open!

Logic? You will say that for a route on a wall to be logical it must follow a series of cracks or an obvious rock structure such as an edge or dihedral. I, on the other hand, want to be a little more far-sighted and I want to say that for a route to be logical it does not have to follow the above rules but instead it must follow a series of holds that naturally make a wall go up. What could be nicer for an opener than to find. on a wall, at first sight impossible, a series of holds that lead him climbing up it!? The logic comes from nature and our psycho-technical background in finding the right sequences.

On the Giradili there were two of us, Davide and I, I was more experienced and navigated, and he was a novice climber. Precisely for this reason we do not want to give grades and performances (although someone will publish them sooner or later!) and we hope that in the future those who repeat our route will think less about performance and more about what God has given us on this 'Wonderful Earth'!

Roberto Vigiani, September 2009



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