Climbing in Sibligades, Penteli – Athens

Athens is the historical capital of Europe, with a long history, dating from the first settlement in the Neolithic age. In the 5th Century BC (the “Golden Age of Pericles”) – the culmination of Athens’ long, fascinating history – the city’s values and civilization acquired a universal significance. Over the years, a multitude of conquerors occupied Athens, and erected unique, splendid monuments – a rare historical palimpsest. In 1834, it became the capital of the modern Greek state and in two centuries since it has become an attractive modern metropolis with unrivalled charm.

A large part of the town’s historic centre has been converted into a 3-kilometre pedestrian zone (the largest in Europe), leading to the major archaeological sites (“archaeological park”), reconstructing – to a large degree – the ancient landscape.

Although Athens is rich in historical and cultural sites, Athens area offers more than 2000 single pitch bolted lines in more than 40 crags and new routes are constantly popping up. In addition there are 4 multi pitch walls with trad lines, plenty of bouldering and a lot of potential for deep water solo.

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Climbing on Red Wall

In the past, we have visited some other crags which are located near Athens, such as Etos SpataPano AlogopetraEpos Fylis,  Korakofolia and Acharneis.

This time though, we have visited another great climbing area, Penteli and specifically, the Sibligades crag.


About Mt. Penteli

Mt. Penteli presides over the beautiful town of Pendeli, east of Athens. It also happens to be the site at which marble was quarried to build the Acropolis and other ancient Greek monuments. The quarry is long-since abandoned, but several sport routes as well as a handful of gear/mixed lines have been put up, making for an interesting outing on a very unique rock type. While hardly worthy as a destination area, Mt. Penteli is a worthwhile outing for a day, particularly for climbers who are in Athens for a few days waiting for connecting flights.


Access

The quarry itself is located at 38.07381 N, 23.87208 E near the Aghios Ioannis Latomos Shrine.

From the town of Penteli:

From here it is about a 1 hour walk, but it is a pleasant and relatively easy hike. Follow Georgiou Papandreou east until you hit Frigias. Hang a left on Frigias, and keep going until you hit Papaflessa. Hang a left and head uphill, with the road quickly turning into a rough dirt road (ATV/4×4 possible?) Hang a left at the first fork, then a right at the next major intersection. In another 1.3 Km take a left at the T intersection. Keep following the road and it will dead end at a T immediately in front of the cave. There are a handful of harder routes outside the cave, and the easier quarry is about a couple hundred yards to the west along the road.

From the parking lot, which is indicated on the map above, there is an easy 10 minutes hike that leads to the stunning old quarry.

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Trail which leads to Sibligades
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View of East Athens from the trail
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Trail path
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Ancient marble. Perhaps that was originally shaped for the temple of Athena? 

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Entering in Sibligades

About Sibligades Crag

The Sibligades crag offers 33 routes, each route is secured with 10 bolts, and for climbing are needed only 10 quickdraws. Sibligades crag have three sections, the positive slab, the north wall and the red south wall. At the base of each route the climber can see the name and the difficulty of the route in UIIA rating . Care should be taken that the rating are rather strict, especially with regard to positive slab. Indeed, the positive slab paths (between 5a and 6a +) move in positive field with only small grip and friction and may initially look more difficult than stated. This contributes to the necessary confidence in friction and their relatively sparse insurance in relation to route insurance in other sports fields.

All the routes were given female names from the beginning, which was followed faithfully. Thus, spouses, daughters, friends, friends, mums, aunts, etc. were honored, among them a “Scylla” and “Harby” directly connected with the “Symplegades“.

The Symplegades (Greek: ΣυμπληγάδεςSymplēgádes) or Clashing Rocks, also known as the Cyanean Rocks, were, according to Greek mythology, a pair of rocks at the Bosphorus that clashed together whenever a vessel went through. They were defeated by Jason and the Argonauts, who would have been lost and killed by the rocks except for Phineus’ advice. Jason let a dove fly between the rocks; it lost only its tail feathers. The Argonauts rowed mightily to get through and lost only part of the stern ornament. After that, the Symplegades stopped moving permanently.


Positive Slab Sector

Name

Grade

Meters

Dexia

6a

20

Aristeri

6a

20

Virginia

5c+

25

Nini

5a

25

Giota

5a

30

Ivi

6a

30

Konstantina

6a

30

Aggela

6a+

30

Aleka

5c+

30

Eleni

5c

30

Leonie

6a

25

Prasinomata

5a

27

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Positive Slab
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Positive Slab
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Positive Slab
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Positive Slab
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Positive Slab
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Climbing in Positive Slab
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Climbing in Positive Slab

North Wall Sector

Name

Grade

Meters

Mikri

6a+

15

Cleo

6b

20

Chrtistianna

6c

20

Demetra

7a

22

Aura

6c

18

Ioli

6a

22

Sofia

6b+

22

Kaiti

6a+

22

Anastasia

6a

22

Bro

6a

22

Skylla

5c

22

Maria

5c

22

Charivdi

5c

18

Artemisia

6a+

22

Ilianna

5b

22

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Red Wall Sector

Name

Grade

Meters

Mia

6b

20

Kai I allí

6b

20

Roza

6b

20

Anna

6b

17

Anita

6b

15

Kopsi (ridge)

5c

15

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Red Wall Kopsi 5c
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Red Wall
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Red Wall Anna 6b

Once again, I have had a really nice day climbing nearby Athens though this crag is very tough and is for advanced climbers and I would not recommend it for beginners.


If you liked this post, see more rock climb activities on the links bellow:

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