Olympus Mountain Autumn Ascent

Time has come for the Autumn ascent. After the initial planning, it was that time of the year to visit again the Mountain of the Greek mountains, Olympus.

Olympus is the highest mountain in Greece and the second highest mountain in the Balkans. It is located in the Olympus Range on the border between Thessaly and Macedonia, between the regional units of Pieria and Larissa, about 80 km (50 mi) southwest from Thessaloniki. Mount Olympus has 52 peaks, deep gorges, and exceptional biodiversity. The highest peak Mytikas, meaning “nose”, rises to 2,918 metres (9,573 ft). It is one of the highest peaks in Europe in terms of topographic prominence.

olympous_2016_52
Throne of Zeus (Stefani)

Olympus was notable in Greek mythology as the home of the Greek gods, on the Mytikas peak. Mount Olympus is also noted for its very rich flora with several species. It has been a National Park, the first in Greece, since 1938. It is also a World’s Biosphere Reserve.

Climbing Mount Olympus is a non-technical hike, except for the final section from the Skala summit to the Mytikas peak, which is a YDS class 3 rock scramble. It is estimated that 10,000 people climb Mount Olympus each year, most of them reaching only the Skolio summit.

For this ascent, we decided to follow the route from Refuge Krevatia, to Barbalas peak via Papa Rachi and the final alpine path towards the Refuge Apostolidis. Bellow a diagram of the route we followed:

Olympus_Preparation_2016

This is a route following the North Face Ridge. It is 8,6 kilometres and within this distance one should cover 1.700 meters of altitude. We have managed to cover this distance in about 5 hours and 45 minutes with only a couple of stops. Though, this route has some small climbing involved and is not recommended for beginners.

Refuge Krevatia – Barbalas

We started at 6.30 in the morning, while the sky was still covered from stars. Hence, our head lamps where on and with slow pace we moved towards the first peak of the day, Barbalas peak 1.842 meters. Trail was well signed and clean from bushes and therefore it was a great morning trek. We have also seen the sunrise from Barbalas peak.

olympous_2016_23
Trail to Barbalas Peak (from Krevatia Refuge)
olympous_2016_24
Barbalas Peak as seen from lower altitude
olympous_2016_06
Barbalas Peak 1.850m 

 

Barbalas – Papa Rachi

Having reached the Barbala peak, we had a small break for a snack and refreshments while observing the high peaks of Olympus mountain, such as Stefani and Profits Ilias. Although the view from that point was beautiful, we had to move on quickly towards the Papa Rachi. This was not a very steep trail, but it was equally stunning.

olympous_2016_09olympous_2016_08

olympous_2016_18
The famous “NAOUM” ridge
olympous_2016_19
Papa Peak 1.865 m.

 

Alpine Area of the Krebatia – Barbalas – Papa Rachi – Plateau Mouson route

One of the most beautiful part of this route, was the last 2,6 kilometres. It was a pure alpine rocky route with a lot of rock scrabble that in parts was a bit exposed as well.

olympous_2016_10
Traverse

olympous_2016_32olympous_2016_33olympous_2016_30

Arriving at the Plateau Mouson

After almost 6 hours on the trail, we have finally reached the plateau of Mouson. There one can find 2 refuges (C. Kakalos, Apostolidis) and of course the magnificent Throne of Zeus (Stefani). This is perhaps one of the nicest spots of Greece and for sure in the top-list of the world.

olympous_2016_47olympous_2016_52olympous_2016_38

Towards the Top of Greece. Mytikas Peak 2.918 m.

Once we have reach the Mouson Plateau, we had a short break of 30 minutes and then we soon moved towards the couloir (louki) of Mytikas. Climbing to the top is not very technical, but for the reason is relatively exposed, one has to be concentrated on how to climb up or climb down.  This route is a YDS class 3 rock scramble.

 

At the Top of Greece. Mount Olympus. 2918 m.

olympous_2016_03olympous_2016_07olympous_2016_41olympous_2016_42olympous_2016_44

Camping at Mouson Plateau

Having achieved our ascent to the highest point of Greece and second highest point of the whole Balkan region, we moved back towards the Mouson Plateau where we decided to camp for the night and stair to the 100% clear night sky.

olympous_2016_48olympous_2016_45olympous_2016_46olympous_2016_15

olympous_2016_50

The morning after

olympous_2016_17olympous_2016_51olympous_2016_52olympous_2016_16olympous_2016_main

Descent towards Gortsia via Petrostrougga

Maps and Technical Information

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “Olympus Mountain Autumn Ascent

  1. Pingback: Climbing on Flabouri Ridge in Parnitha – Olympus Mountaineering

  2. Pingback: Quechua Forclaz 900 Men’s Hiking Trouser – Long Term User Review – Olympus Mountaineering

  3. Pingback: Autumn Ascent on Mount Aselinon (Giona) via Karagiannis path – Olympus Mountaineering

  4. Pingback: Agrafa Mountains Svoni Peak Expedition Preparation – Autumn 2017 – Olympus Mountaineering

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s