Ascent of Punta la Marmora on 2009-10-11

Climber: Rob Woodall

Date:Sunday, October 11, 2009
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Punta la Marmora
    Elevation:6017 ft / 1833 m

Ascent Trip Report

See below for Sardinia trip summary

I noted the normal Bruncu Spina trailhead (N40:01.994 E9:17.960), 1km before the road ends at the ski-lift station, but decided to cut out some distance by starting at the road end (N40:01.366 E9 18.264). There are 2 trail signs. The higher trail has a notice "Bruncu Spina, Punta Paulinu". This goes through a small copse then splits. I suspect the main trail is the one zigzagging upwards but I followed a lower one then when it ran out, took an upward traverse following the GPS pointer in the direction of La Marmora, ascending easy slopes to reach the summit ridge E of Bruncu Spina. The path (by a fence) crosses the B Spina E top (1810m GPSr), then descends, bypassing the SE top (Punta Paulinu) and descending to the col "Arcu Gennargentu 1659m" (N40:00.105 E9:19.164) which is on the Italian Way. Following a path, cairned, rocky, I crossed the NW top of La Marmora (1825m/P42, Punta Sciusciu). A rocky descent leads to a saddle then a path leads to the highest summit, passing a summit which has a large cross and is 1-2m lower.

On the way back I visited La Marmora N top (1826m), omitted Punta Sciusciu (the main path bypasses it) but added Punta Paulina (1795m/P25) and Bruncu Spina (1829m/P160m). The latter has a number of ski-related structures on the flattish summit, and a cairn with a small cross. A couple had driven to the top in a 4WD. As I left, the first of the day's hikers were arriving via the same wide trail which the vehicle had used. I ran down easy mostly-grassy slopes directly back to the car. 1.5h up, 1h down (running most of the way on good trails).

NB my GPS had Bruncu Spina as higher than Punta La Marmora. However Petter Bjorstad's report has Bruncu Spina as 1829m (my GPSr read 1837). La Marmora is 1834m (my GPSr read 1830 but on a rising trend: initially recorded 1829m at the slightly lower "cross top" then the expected 1834m when I called back there 5 mins later. From experience my GPS is usually within 5m of the expected value but the 8m error on Bruncu Spina is perfectly feasible.

Trip summary: a brief tour of Sardinia's Ultra, 6 Majors and a near-Major. See individual peaks for detailed reports.

Sat a.m. 10 Oct flew into Cagliari from Luton, UK

Sat p.m. Punta Serpeddi 1067m/P650. Drive-up.

Sat pm Monte Ferru 875m/P590(c.) Drive-in on rough track then 1 km / 240m ascent.
Drove to La Marmora trailhead, slept there

Sun a.m. 11 Oct Punta La Marmora 1834m/P1834. Usual approach from Fonni direction, shortened by starting at skilift station, 3.5 km each way, 485m ascent (including a number of summits visited en route).

Sun pm: Monte Senes 862m/P630. 1 km, 215m ascent.

Sun eve: Monte Limbara 1359m/P1070 Drive-up but the summit is a granite tor with a class 4 move.

Mon a.m. 12 Oct Monte Rasu 1259m/P770. Drive-up (decent dirt road, picnic site).

Mon midday: Monte Linas 1216m/P1190. Mostly-good (steep) dirt road to 2km from summit, 350m ascent.

Mon eve: Monte Caravius 1116m /P970m. I attempted it late pm from pass to south, but the trail is overgrown, obscure and collapsed and rather thin in places. I got to about 900m when darkness fell, then turned back.

Tue a.m. 13 Oct. A quick bag by the obvious track shown on aerial photos, which led to the (lower) SW summit of Caravius.

Tue midday: plane home from Cagliari.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:2113 ft / 644 m
    Total Elevation Loss:2113 ft / 643 m
    Round-Trip Distance:4.3 mi / 7 km
    Grade/Class:YDS 2
    Quality:7 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Unmaintained Trail
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:1588 ft / 484 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 932 ft / 284 m; Extra: 656 ft / 199m
    Loss on way in:656 ft / 199 m
    Distance:2.2 mi / 3.5 km
    Route:Bruncu Spina route
    Start Trailhead:Bruncu Spina ski station  5085 ft / 1549 m
    Time:1 Hours 30 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:1457 ft / 444 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 932 ft / 284 m; Extra: 525 ft / 160m
    Gain on way out:525 ft / 160 m
    Distance:2.2 mi / 3.5 km
    Route:Bruncu Spina route
    End Trailhead:Bruncu Spina ski station  5085 ft / 1549 m
    Time:1 Hours 

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