Page Type: Mountain/Rock
Lat/Lon: 40.26240°N / 9.45910°E
Elevation: 3763 ft / 1147 m


Punta Cusidore photo_id=89821

How high does a mountain have to be to be impressive enough to be posted to SP?. This is a question I have been asking myself ever since I joined in November 2003, especially when I considered submitting low ones like Monte Gozzi or Rotenfels. Having spent a fortnight on the mediterrenean island of Sardinia (Sardegna in Italian) I finally know the correct answer: it doesn't matter.

Being the second largest island of the Mediterranean Sardinia is known to most as a country with beautiful bays and beaches with high plain inlands. Great on the coast but somehow boring otherwise. Yes there are climbers - Italian and German - who know that the island is a climbing paradise but regularly the common (and ignorant) question you get after returning is: "Sardinia? Is it called so because there are lots of Sardines?"

Punta Cusidore is a case in point. Not even by island standards is it a large mountain. With 1147m it is only almost half as high as the island highpoint, Punta La Marmora (1833m). Even the surrounding summits of the Supramonte Group, to which Punta Cusidore belongs are higher with the exception of Bruncu Nieddu, its direct neighbour to the east.

But 500m of these 1147m are (almost) vertical limestone wall. Impressive, when you stand at its base, even more so when you stand on the summit and everywhere you look there is a drop of at least 200m! Either way you are strongly reminded of the Dolomites - the rock is similar (though limestone, not Dolomite) but generally of a more solid composition. The huge gravel, boulder and debris slopes you find in the Dolomites here are already covered with oak forrests - the creation of the summits just dates back a longer time.

In all this makes the mountain one of the main climbing attractions of the island. To be sure: the beautiful climbing crags on the east coast are far more crowded but then: not everyone is able to do a multihour climb up a 300m pillar. Even the normal route is quite demanding. The first half is a regular hike up a large, steep and gravelly couloir, the second half has some easy climbing stretches (class II) strewn in between.

Due to the lack of height the summit views are not quite what makes the summit stand out. You have quite nice views of the Monte Albo chain in the north and towards the surrounding neighbouring Supramonte summits. Farther away all you see is hill country.

Gola su GorropuMonte CorrasiPunta CarabiddaPunta Ortu CamminuPunta sos NidosPunta CusidoreBruncu Nieddu

Interactive overview Map of Supramonte. The summits (and gorges) which have been submitted to SP are marked in red.

Climbing Punta Cusidore

Punta Cusidore photo_id=90119

The Supramonte region of Sardinia is among the most attractive climbing locations on the whole island. There are some six routes on Punta Cusidore ranging in difficulty from 6a - 7b+ with a length of up to 370m). Also on neighbouring Monte Maccione you can chose among 30 short routes and almost 20 long ones, difficulties up to 8a/b.

For more information visit the following sites:
  • Punta Cusidore
  • Punta Cusidore western wall
  • Monte Maccione
  • Supramonte climbing (very good with handdrawn topos)
  • Sardina overview

    Views from the summit

    Getting There

    Sardinia can be reached either by plane or by ferry. The main ports are Porto Torres and Olbia in the north and Arbatax and Cagliari in the south. Airports are at Alghero and Olbia in the north as well as (again) Arbatax and Cagliari in the south. For exploring the northeastern part of the island where most of the mountains are the best entry point is Olbia, which is where most flights go anyway.

    Approaching the mountain from Olbia airport
    Get on motorway SS 131 south in the direction of Siniscola / Nuoro. At the exit Lula / Dorgali get off and turn on SP38 south (again direction Dorgali). Shortly before you reach the town turn right on SP46, direction Oliena. Take this road up to a sign leading to the chapel of Nostra Signora di Monserrata. Here turn off left.

    The following description is a little hard to understand on paper - nevertheless it is quite accurate. Follow the country road for 100m, then turn left. After another 600m turn right and head directly for Punta Cusidore. At an intersection the road turns left again and you follow it for another 600m. Here the asphalt ends and a gravel road takes you to a little fount. From here start to look for spaces to park your car. The road goes on for another 500m before the ascent trail (still a dirt road) starts climbing steeply upwards to the right.

    Capo d'OrsaPunta CugnanaMonte LimbaraPunta MaggioreCala LunaPunta GiradiliMonte AlboSupramonteGennargentuCodula della LunaBaccu Maore

    Interactive map of Sardinia and its mountain regions. Click on the regions, red triangles (mountains) or stars (gorges).

    Red Tape

    Fortunately in Sardinia there is absolutely no red tape to be found. Keep in mind that at the base of the mountain there are orchards, vineyards etc so leave your car in a place which leaves enough room for the farmers to do their work.

    Also Punta Cusidore belongs to the Parco Nazionale di Gennargentu / Golfo di Orosei, so behave as in any natural park. You will see from the section below that there are lots of orchids in the area. These flowers are generally protected all over Europe so please leave them where they are!

    When To Climb

    Sardinia is a all year round location. Naturally weather turns worse in late autumn and winter but hiking - even climbing - is possible even then. The Gennargentu mountain range (according to its name which means "Silver Back") can be covered in snow. It even boasts a ski lift with two short downhill courses. But everything else is low enough not to be disrupted by snow.

    The best seasons are spring and autumn, summer being far too hot in most of the places. I personally would recommend late spring since we encountered gazillions of flowers on the high plains and karst plateaus.

    Sea of Flowers

    Punta Cusidore photo_id=89866

    In spring the plateaus of Supramonte and Monte Albo turn into a sea of flowers. I have never seen as many different types of orchids as there. Everywhere you step you must be aware of crushing something beautiful. On the other hand the best way to go is to hop from stone to stone anyway: everything up there is covered with rocks and stones of all sizes. Be sure to wear boots with thick soles otherwise you'll regret it afterwards.


    Accomodation... rather easy to find. Since all the interesting mountaineous regions are on the north and east coast - which is where the largest beaches are - you can book hotel rooms and appartments from any tourist office. The region around the town of Siniscola should be the best staying place since it is rather central to most of the interesting locations. If you prefer climbing on the coast head for Cala Golone.

    ... is also easy to find in the vicinity of the beaches. Look for locations, using Free camping is frowned upon so only do it in remote areas. At the base of Mont Maccione above Oliena there is the restaurant "Monte Maccione" in the garden of which you can place your tents after asking the proprietor.

    Weather Conditions

    Go for the following link, which is in Italian but with ALL the information you might want to have on weather on the island:

    Head for the "meteo" button and then on the "Bollettino dettagliato" link in the left frame.

    Maps 'n' Books

    As for Maps I used only a road map scale 1:200000 since the guidebook I used has maps and is really quite good. Don't be fooled by the durations they state, you'll be much faster but the "getting there's" and "route description's" are very good.

    The book is:
    Sardinia (Sardegna / Sardinien)
    M. Omidvar
    Rother Verlag
    ISBN: 3-7633-4800-X (English)
    ISBN: 3-7633-4143-9 (Italian)
    ISBN: 3-7633-4023-8 (German)