Trad Climbing in Varasova

Not far away from the estuary of river Evinos, the dominating Varasova rocks emerge right where the peaceful valley of Etoliko meets the sea. Plain beauty of the scenery, exceptional solidity of the rock, easy access and sea joys were the obvious advantages which have established Varasova, as one of the most important climbing areas in Greece.

Varasova is a limestone massif near the sea, just opposite of Patra and has a height of 917 m. There are three summits of almost the same altitude. Varasova flanks, drop abruptly into the sea on the south and Southwest and this is the location of the most important walls, just between Vasiliki and Kryoneri villages.

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Varasova as seen from Kryoneri

The limestone rocks of Varasova have earned a good reputation due to their Spupolitidy. “Hidden” holds and secure nut placements, make climbing in Varasova particularly enjoyable.

 


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The three peaks of Varasova rise to nearly identical elevation. The rock is very solid, relatively sharp, mostly gray or yellow limestone of outstanding quality. It is generously featured and teeming with variety: compact walls, steep slabs, corners and vertical cracks, jugs, flakes, chickenheads, incut edges, and a surplus of hidden holds and footholds which make for sublime climbing over a remarkably blue sea.

The approximately 200 routes of Varasova include single- and multi-pitch sport routes. There are also several mixed-character ‘adventure’ routes with as many as 18 pitches and, although these usually have a few bolts per pitch (mainly on solid sections of rock) plus fixed belay anchors, they will also require placement of nuts or other trad gear (usually in cracks). In spring, many features are obscured by vegetation, so be prepared to do some ‘gardening’. Some parts of the multi-pitch routes have runout, but most anchors are bolted and set up for rappelling.

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Varasova Pyrgos route
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View from the crag to Kryoneri

Approach

Varasova, has perhaps the easiest and rather effortless approach in Greece.

Varasova is 240 km away from Athens. The location is 30 km away from Antirio. Turn left, before the bridge of Evinos river exactly on the junction for Galatas and Krioneri.

As soon we arrive to Krioneri village, we move towards the last house and right there we can find a small beach with grass field. There is the parking lot and for many, the camp site.

Coming from Athens, one should follow the instructions provided in the map bellow.

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Camp site and Parking Lot
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View from the camp site and parking lot

Description

Rocks and climbing
Routes in Varasova can be divided, more or less, into the following three categories:

  • a) Sport Climbing routes
    These are the routes of high technical difficulty, which have been established during the last few years. You need, mostly, only quickdraws in order to repeat these bolted routes. Most of these climbs have seen their first ascent by means of abseiling from the top of the routes and placing the in situ belays.
  • b) Adventure routes
    The majority of the routes belongs in this category. They practically offer sparse in situ belays. In order to repeat these climbs, you need a full set of nuts and Friends but no pitons or hammer. On most of them, there are not even anchors at the belay points, so you must fix your own belay points. Please note that the possibly rusty and old pitons that you may encounter are of dubious safety.
  • c) Instructive routes
    There are some routes, which have been bolt, protected every three or four metres, so that they can offer safety to young climbers. For the time being, these climbs are very few.

Many of the adventure routes should become training ones, in our opinion, in order to create training possibilities along the whole range of technical difficulty.

  • Rocktype: limestone
  • Number of Routes: 200
  • Grades: 4c-8b
  • Angle: vertical/slab
  • Climbing: Sport climbing/Multi-Pitch/Trad Climbing
  • Best time to visit: October – May
  • Guidebook: Greece Sport Climbing: The Best Of  by Aris Theodoropoulos

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Flower’s way 5- UIAA | Multi-pitch mixed trad climbing

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Pyrgos Sector

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Multi Pitch Mixed Trad: Pyrgos (Tower) V+ 130m.

Pyrgos (Tower), is one of the most climbed multi pitch mixed trad routes in Varasova.

It is rated as a V+ UIAA and it partly bolted.

  • Pitch 1 – V+ , 25 m.  2 bolts
  • Pitch 2 – IV , 20 m.  1 bolt
  • Pitch 3 – IV , 125 m.  1 bolt
  • Pitch 4 – V+, 30 m. 6 bolts
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Pyrgos – Route
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Pyrgos Pitch 1
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Pyrgos Pitch 2

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View from R2
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View from R3

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Beautiful view from Pyrgos route
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Pitch 4 V+

 


Recommended Gear

For this multi-pitch climb, I used the following gear:

  • Mammut Wall Rider Helmet
  • Simond 20 lt. Back pack
  • 5 lanyards 60 cm
  • 1 lanyard 120 cm
  • 4 locking carabiners
  • 1 HMS carabiner
  • Petzl Altitude Harness
  • Simond Climbing shoes
  • 6 Quickdraws
  • Cordelette for prusik
  • 2 60 m. half ropes
  • 4 carabiners
  • Reverso
  • 1.5 lt of Water
  • 1 energy bar
  • Rock Nuts

See other hiking and climbing activities:

4 thoughts on “Trad Climbing in Varasova

  1. Pingback: Climbing in Meteora – Doupiani Rock – Pantocrator’s Ridge (Ostkante/East Ridge) – Olympus Mountaineering

  2. Pingback: Climbing in Meteora – Sudostwand Doupiani – Southeast Wall – Plaka – Olympus Mountaineering

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