Also in This Area
Also in This Style
Posted on: September 1, 2003
Rolando Larcher climbing through the bad to get to the good on the 7c (5.12d) first pitch of Spirito Selvaggio. It was the one thousandth new route Larcher's partner, Maurizio Oviglia, had established. [Photo] Maurizio Oviglia
To ensure that the passion for new routes remains alive, it is imperative to avoid repetition. Rolando Larcher and I are both quite familiar with this particular truism of alpinism, and that is why we share a certain affinity in the objectives we try. Clearly, from a technical perspective, I am not quite as capable as he, but that is not so important as long as the project is done together, from its conception to its first redpoint ascent, and if each one of us gives our best.
It was Rolando who found this little jewel. In May 2002 he walked alone into the solitary Codula di Luna in search of the walls of his dreams. He almost fell to his knees when he came across a smooth shield of limestone perched right above the steep overhangs of a cave shaped like a heart. "Would this line go?" he asked himself. Perhaps, he thought, but he wasn't so sure... This doubt lingered for over a year while he waited for a chance to return. Emotion and energy, the fuel necessary for any good ascent, grew as the time passed. A few photos and some enthusiastic words were all that was needed to convince me... and so it was that we made a plan for May 2003.
Why should Codula di Luna be the location chosen for this superb new route? Why not return to Gorroppu or other places a bit more known that would warrant more media exposure? The response for me is quite simple: to climb new routes is in essence an exploration. It implies following one's own instinct. Returning to a familiar place decreases the possibility of living new magic. Codula di Luna is one of the wildest places in all of Italy. To leave our traces here, spending intense days on end battling with hooks and the splendid, pocketed Sardinian limestone, without crossing paths with any living thing, and then to be able to contemplate "our" invisible line... yes, what else could we wish for from this our life?
Last but not least, our route, Spirito Selvaggio (V 8a+ [5.13c], 280m), represents a very special birthday for me, being the thousandth candle on a big cake made of many adventures as well as numbers, but more than anything containing the many partnerships that have arisen since that day in 1982, when this passion first sparked within me.
Thanks to all the partners who have given me the possibility of such a wonderful existence: this particular birthday is dedicated to you.
Editor's Note: The route was redpointed on May 28. On June 9, Maurizio Ovigilia turned forty. Spirito Selvaggio was his one thousandth new route.
— Maurizio Oviglia, Cagliari, Italy (translated by Rolando Garibotti)
Here at Alpinist, our small editorial staff works hard to create in-depth stories that are thoughtfully edited, thoroughly fact-checked and beautifully designed. Please consider supporting our efforts by subscribing.