End of November the first snowfall of this season (2016-2017) took place in Greece and covered almost all Greek mountains with the beautiful white powder. We did not have a second thought and we organised a single day mountaineering ascent on mount Kyllini (Ziria).
Mount Kyllini or Mount Cyllene (or Ziria), is a mountain on the Peloponnesus peninsula in Greece, famous for its association with the god Hermes. It rises to 2,376 m (7,795 ft) above sea level, making it the second highest point on the peninsula. It is located near the border between the historic regions of Arcadia and Achaea—in the northeast of Arcadia, and entirely within modern Corinthia.
Much of the mountain is barren and rocky, although the area below 2000 m (6500 ft) is largely forested. There is an observatory at 908 m (2979 ft), at 22.67 east longitude and 37.97 north latitude. From the top a large portion of northeastern Peloponnesus is visible, including the eastern part of Achaia and Chelmos, the Gulf of Corinth and most of Corinthia, the southern part of Corinthia and parts of northeastern Arcadia. The nearest mountain ranges are Oligyrtos to the south and Chelmos/Aroania to the west. Roads pass near the southern and western slopes, but there are not many on the mountain itself, as much of the mountain is part of a park. The municipal boundary of Stymfalia–Feneos–Evrostini and Xylokastro passes through the mountain.
The first snow appeared on altitude 670 m (above sea level) and a bit higher everything was beautifully covered by snow. We crossed the Trikala (of Corinth) village with the great hospitable atmosphere and we left our car on Ziria Ski Centre.
Once we have reached the Ziria Ski Centre, we wore our boots and gloves and we moved towards the path that leads to the top of the second highest peak of Peloponnesos. At the beginning we have crossed some goat farms that are usually used in summer time and we enjoyed a lot the surrounding environment.
The total distance of the route is 5.1 km and although is not a difficult route, our difficulty was the fresh snow. Out legs were sinking deep into the snow and sometimes we were sinked above knee level.
After a 30 minute walk we have reached the refuge of EOS Corinth. It is a small refuge, located in a good spot, because the path is crossing the refuge.
Moving up from a couloir we have reached the ridge of the mountain and from there we took west direction. The scenery was beautiful and the views breathtaking.
Although weather conditions were really good, at some point a North-West wind of about 40 km/h started hitting us. It was nice refreshing and we soon took our windproof jackets on and we enjoyed this sudden wind-blast.
We also had a cup of tea and enjoyed the surrounding peaks
Overall, it was a great and very pleasant first winter ascent for this new season (2016-2017). Although, we were fully equipped, we did not need to use any of winter mountaineering equipment, such as crampons and ice axes. Perhaps on our next adventure.