A mixed climbing attempt on Profitis Elias 2.257 | Mount Kyllini (Ziria)

First time I have visited Mount Kyllini (Ziria), it was during the first snow-fall of 2016. It was a very exciting day, and since then I have visited this mountain various other times but I was always reaching the highest point of Mount Kyllini (Megali Ziria), Simio.

During the last winter season, I had spotted a very nice alpine route on a lower peak of Mount Kyllini, Profitis Elias Peak (2.257 m.). As I always like to explore new alpine routes, and due to the fact I did not find any relative info for that part of mount Kyllini, I have decided to set up my gear and to go and explore the climbing possibilities of the North-West face of Profitis Elias Peak (2.257 m.).

Hiking_Climbing_Kyllini_Ziria_Profitis_Elias_Peak_103200_166
Mount Kyllini – Megali Ziria as seen from St. Nicholas chappel

Mount Kyllini (Ziria) 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.

 

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.


Plan to climb the North-West face of Profitis Elias

In order to reach Profitis Elias peak, there are two trails. One starts from the village of Goura and via Farmakilas creek you can reach Profitis Elias and the second one is by starting from the Ziria Ski Centre.

For our explorative ascent, we did not follow any of these two trails, but we have started our ascent from Agios Nikolaos chapel which is located just above the Skafidia plateau at an altitude of about 1.500 meters above sea level.

Our plan was to reach Agios Nikolaos by car and from there to carry all our climbing gear and try to explore potential routes to the peak of Profitis Elias.

From our study via maps and google earth we have identified few options of different difficulty. The decision was to climb the NW Couloir of this face, but due to poor snow coverage, we had to change our plan and we decided to try and climb the Central Couloir of the NW face of Profitis Elias.

Hiking_Climbing_Kyllini_Ziria_Profitis_Elias_Peak_MAP
Our planned trail
Hiking_Climbing_Kyllini_Ziria_Profitis_Elias_Peak_NWCouloir_02
NW Couloir of Profitis Elias
Hiking_Climbing_Kyllini_Ziria_Profitis_Elias_Peak_NWCouloir
NW Couloir of Profitis Elias
Hiking_Climbing_Kyllini_Ziria_Profitis_Elias_Peak_Central_Couloir
Central Couloir of Profitis Elias

Agios Nikolaos – Profitis Elias Peak 2.257 m.

We have reached the Agios Nikolaos chapel at around 9.30 in the morning (that was quite delayed), and as soon we got ready with our boots, we soon started the approach hike towards the base of the North-West face of Profitis Elias.

The first part of the approach hike goes through the plateau of Skafidia and quite soon we reach the base of the cone of Profitis Elias.

The terrain was a mix of snow and gravel and with such terrain the approach hike in combination with the stiff La Sportiva Spantik, was rather tiring. In addition, as we were getting closer to the North West face, we understood that the NW couloir was rather dry from snow and therefore we have soon decided to change our plans and instead of climbing the NW couloir, to climb the Central Couloir.

Hiking_Climbing_Kyllini_Ziria_Profitis_Elias_Peak_103218_993
Profitis Elias Peak 2.257

Hiking_Climbing_Kyllini_Ziria_Profitis_Elias_Peak_103244_534

Hiking_Climbing_Kyllini_Ziria_Profitis_Elias_Peak_103306_969
Skafidia Plateau
Hiking_Climbing_Kyllini_Ziria_Profitis_Elias_Peak_103342_773
Skafidia Plateau

Hiking_Climbing_Kyllini_Ziria_Profitis_Elias_Peak_104453_093

Hiking_Climbing_Kyllini_Ziria_Profitis_Elias_Peak_104521_970
Approach Hike
Hiking_Climbing_Kyllini_Ziria_Profitis_Elias_Peak_104557_711
Approach Hike
Hiking_Climbing_Kyllini_Ziria_Profitis_Elias_Peak_104619_032
First view of the NW face of Profitis Elias
Hiking_Climbing_Kyllini_Ziria_Profitis_Elias_Peak_104646_610
NW face of Profitis Elias with various potential climbing routes
Hiking_Climbing_Kyllini_Ziria_Profitis_Elias_Peak_104713_328
NW face of Profitis Elias with various potential climbing routes

The more we were getting closer to the NW face of Profitis Elias, the more we were understanding that unfortunately, the snow conditions were not right. Actually, it is quite uncommon for this period of the year to have such low snow coverage on mount Kyllini.

Nevertheless, we did not give up and we carried on in order to “attack” the central couloir.

For such mixed climbing attempt, I had the following equipment:

Hiking_Climbing_Kyllini_Ziria_Profitis_Elias_Peak_104754_339

Hiking_Climbing_Kyllini_Ziria_Profitis_Elias_Peak_104815_024
We have followed this line
Hiking_Climbing_Kyllini_Ziria_Profitis_Elias_Peak_104840_293
Via the central couloir
Hiking_Climbing_Kyllini_Ziria_Profitis_Elias_Peak_104908_971
fitting crampons 
Hiking_Climbing_Kyllini_Ziria_Profitis_Elias_Peak_105015_669
To the mixed climbing zone

Hiking_Climbing_Kyllini_Ziria_Profitis_Elias_Peak_105059_469

The more we were climbing higher, the more we could feel that the snow conditions were not right at all. The snow was pulpy and therefore it was not ideal for mixed climbing. In addition, as soon we came closer to the pick, we realised the climb would not be that difficult and therefore we decided to not carry on.

Though, due to the fact our spirit was high, we tried to find some boulders and do some easy dry tooling and also exercises  of alpine belays. As soon we were done with such activities, we started our descent towards the Plateau of Skafidia and Agios Nikolaos.

Winter mountaineering ascents, and especially explorative attempts are not always successful. Though, it is important that we always keep in mind that we have to learn something from each different mountaineering trip.

Hiking_Climbing_Kyllini_Ziria_Profitis_Elias_Peak_105146_429
Descent from the central couloir

Hiking_Climbing_Kyllini_Ziria_Profitis_Elias_Peak_105750_532

Hiking_Climbing_Kyllini_Ziria_Profitis_Elias_Peak_105814_080
Skafidia Plateau
Hiking_Climbing_Kyllini_Ziria_Profitis_Elias_Peak_105829_822
Skafidia Plateau
Hiking_Climbing_Kyllini_Ziria_Profitis_Elias_Peak_105850_195
wild horses on Skafidia Plateau

See other activities in the region of mount Kyllini here:

3 thoughts on “A mixed climbing attempt on Profitis Elias 2.257 | Mount Kyllini (Ziria)

  1. Pingback: Wild Camping in Lake Doxa (family friendly) – 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 )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google 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 )

Connecting to %s