It was around 5.30 in the morning when I woke up in this beautiful landscape, right bellow Madero and Gardiki peaks. As soon I opened my eyes I enjoyed the stunning rock that was just above us. It was from there we abseiled the night before. The moon was just above that rocky face and from the east I could see the first sun beams of this new day.
It was very silent with a lovely morning breeze and while I was enjoying the views, I was thinking our wonderful moments of the previous day.
While the sun was rising, the rest of the team was waking up and getting ready for the second day of the long Traverse of Arête of Chelmos. This second day would be even more demanding with many different technical and exposed climbs.
The route covers an altitude difference of 800m, it is alpine and is several kilometers long. The difficulty of the entire alpine climb is about III+, depending the actual circumstances, and the general difficulty of climbing is AD +. This means that the traverse of “Arête of Chelmos” is fairly hard, with rock climbing up to UIAA grade III+, belayed climbing in addition to a large amount of exposed but easier terrain. Significant objective hazard.
Madero Col – Gardiki Peak
It was around 6.40 when we started our hike towards the core of Arête of Chelmos, but prior of reaching that specific part of the climb, we first had to reach Gardiki peak 2.182 m.
Just before reaching the long ridge that leads to Gardiki peak there is an exposed rock that one has to abseil. Though, there is an alternative option that leads to a small trail and one can avoid this rock and of course to abseil too. There are trail signs that lead to this “secret” path and most probably is used by goats that want to pass from Madero to Gardiki.
Once this secrete passage is done, then we hike on the ridge that leads to Gardiki peak. Here, the terrain is very different compared to the terrain of the previous day. There is no green, no grass. Just rocks and stones.
Core of the Arête of Chelmos – Neraidalono
As soon we have reached Gardiki, we soon moved on, because we had ahead the core of the Arête of Chelmos, which is the most demanding and difficult part of the entire route.
The core of the Arête of Chelmos, is a stunning ridge that offers a great alpine climb to the greek mountaineering community. If done carefully, it can be done from anyone that has some climbing experience, though it can become very dangerous mostly because the rock and the terrain is mostly loose.
Neraidalono – Kalavryta Ski Resort
We have been climbing and down climbing on that ridge for about 6 hours non stop. The views were breathtaking and the whole experience magnificent. Though, I was also happy enough that I have completed this alpine climb 100% safe and sound.
On Neraidalono, we had to wait for few minutes the rest of the team and from that point and on we would descent towards Kalavryta Ski Resort.
Being the second largest ski resort in Greece, it is located in a breathtaking fiery alpine landscape. Due to its close proximity to Athens and to its first-class facilities many skiers visit it throughout the ski season. Here, the famous black and red runs of Styga challenge even the most expert skiers.
Kalavryta ski resort boasts 12 ski runs (2 difficult, 2 intermediate, 6 easy & 2 very easy) of 20km in length, 2 chair lifts and 5 ski lifts, special grounds for snowboarding and extreme games, and other winter attractions, such as a special moguls ski run, and a snowboard park. Visitors at Chelmos (Helmós) mountain can also find coffee shops, snack bars, restaurants, ski rental facilities and sporting goods, organized ski school and First Aid Station.
While descending, we were also able to see Aristarchos too.
The Aristarchos telescope was constructed and was inaugurated in the summer of 2007. The field of view is about 10 arcmin in diameter at the sideport, and 1 degree diameter at the Cassegrain focus. The telescope can reach a limiting magnitude of V~24 in an hour of observation on a dark night, while the limiting magnitude for spectroscopy is about V~19 with the low resolution ATS spectrograph.
As of November 2015, the Aristarchos telescope has become a full member in the Trans-National Access program of the Optical Infrared Co-ordination Network (OPTICON), funded by FP7 and Horizon 2020.
Details of the Climb and Hike:
- Location: Aroania / Chelmos
- Starting Point: Madero-Gardiki Col
- Trail Signs: Enough trail signs
- Minimum Elevation: 1.690 m
- Maximum Elevation: 2.295 m.
- Elevation Gain: 1.200 m.
- Total Distance: 12.7 km
- Difficulty: Difficult
- Water Features: One (in the last section of the hike)
Bellow you can see the route we have followed on a map and on 3D:
This post was the entire second day of the long traverse of the Arête of Chelmos.
If you wish to see the first day of this long traverse, feel free to check out the following link:
See more Winter Mountaineering ascents in the Peloponnese region here:
- Winter Mountaineering climb on Nisi peak (Arête of Chelmos)
- Mount Kyllini (Ziria) Winter Ascent
- Small Mount Kyllini Ziria
- Mount Oligyrtos
- Taygetos Winter Mountaineering ascent
- Aroania Mountain Winter Mountaineering Ascent