Mount Giona is a mountain in Phocis, Central Greece. It is located between the mountains of Parnassus to the east, Vardousia to the west, and Oeta to the north. Known in classical antiquity as the Aselinon Oros (‘moonless mountain’), it is the highest mountain south of Olympus and the fifth overall in Greece.
In the fall of 2014, we wanted to try to climb Mount Giona in central Greece. We have gathered a small group of three (3) and we started the long journey on the highway towards the base of the mountain. On our way to Giona, we have paseed Mount Parnassos and Mount Oeta (Iti, Oiti). We had to drive through provincial roads, through beautiful forests and the whole driving towards Aselinon mountain was great.
The first 2 hours we walked though gravel roads and hiking trails, though the woods and on beautiful valleys. Suddenly, we looked up in the sky and we have seen Pyramida, the highest peak of Aselinon mountain at 2,510 metres. The fact that we could now see our destination gave us strength and extra motivation.
After 5 hours in total, and a couple of breaks for water and snacks we have managed to reach the top of Mount Giona. It’s always great feeling to achieve the goal while everyone is safe and everyone enjoyed the ascent. The view from the top was fabulous and we could see several other mountain peaks such as Parnassos, Vardousia, Oiti, Aroania and also Olympus.
Due to sudden weather change, we did not stay for long on the peak, and we decided to descent quite rapidly to find the refuge of the mountain. The refuge was closed and we had to set our tents just in the nearby area where we had access to fresh water. That day, the mountain reminded us that a beautiful sunny day can rapidly change to a very stormy one and we should always be prepared to take action.
The morning after, we woke up quite early, prepared the usual Mountain Sheppard’s tea, had a small breakfast and we went downhill to the area we had left the car. Giona has many other peaks and some of them area great for climbing as well.