posted by dpm on 05/07/2012
On Saturday April 28th, Caroline Ciavaldini and James Pearson completed the first repeats of the 10 pitch, 350m Aria, one of the wildest, most exposed routes on the Italian isle of Sardinia. With a maximum technical difficulty of 8a+ (5.13c), Aria is not to be taken lightly, yet it is not the difficulty that creates the challenge of the route but the minimalist and bold nature of the bolting.
James and Caroline first attempted the line a few weeks ago, on-sighting the majority of the route yet unable to make a full ascent due to conditions in one of the two crux pitches. Caroline describes the pitch on her blog as “a frog party, absolutely soaked! Damn, it will not even be possible today!”
James and Caroline on Aria (8a+/5.13c)
The couple hoped to return as soon as possible to free the complete line, yet sustained bad weather on the island made things seem unlikely. Fortunately, the route came into condition a few days before their scheduled departure, allowing the two to make successful ascents on their 2nd overall try. James was able to climb every pitch on his first attempt of the day, while Caroline needed just one more try on the 6th pitch (8a+/5.13c), after breaking a small crimp in the crux section.
Aria was equipped in 2006 by Pietro Dal Pra, and freed by Pietro 1 year later. The route tackles the wildly overhanging face of Punta Plumare and is currently the only route on this impressive wall. Opened completely from the ground, and featuring very run-out protection, Aria is one of the proudest and most demanding creations from Pietro, a person known for his strong ethics and even stronger courage. With pitches up to 45m in length, yet only requiring a maximum of 6 quick draws per pitch, its easy to see where Aria got its name! (Aria means 'air' in Italian. Perhaps this eludes to the exposure or maybe the flight time you'd experience if you fell off?)
Aria, Punta Plumare, Sardinia
Opened by - Pietro Dal Pra (2006), First Free Ascent - Pietro Dal Pra (2007)
10 pitch, 350m, 8a+, EXPO
On top, Caroline and James celebrate with first ascentionist Pietro Dal Pra, who joined them on the ascent.