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

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Climbing the North-East Rigde of Mount Hymettus (Prosilio Ridge)

Rising majestically to the east of the city of Athens, this sacred mountain is home to ancient Athenian temples and holy places. Despite human activity, Mount Hymettus remains an important natural habitat filled with diverse wildlife and vegetation.

The height is 1,026 m at Evzonas and the length is 16 km (9.9 mi) between Athens and the Saronic Gulf and 6 to 7 km from east to west. In the ancient times, the highest point was known as Mega Ymittos and the southern Elattona (Ελάττονα) and Anydro Ymitto (Άνυδρο Υμηττό). Once upon a time, mount Hymettus was noted for its thyme honey and Marble.

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Hymettus Ridge

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Simond Rock+ Climbing Shoes Review

My personal evolution, i.e. the gradual development of my mountaineering activities, always leads me to search and test the most appropriate gear in order to perform better and most of all in full safety.

As described on my previous gear review post, the 5.10 Anasazi VCS, although very famous amongst the climbing scene, were not fitting me well. Therefore, I have searched for an alternative, which came out of Decathlon.

Decathlon is a French sporting goods retailer. With over 1,500 stores in 49 countries, it is the largest sporting goods retailer in the world. Amongst many brands, Decathlon, also offers a line dedicated for rock climbing, alpinism and winter mountaineering.

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Simond Rock+ Climbing shoes

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Multi-pitch climb on Kokkinovrachos – Leonidio – Mignonette

Leonidio (Greek: Λεωνίδιο) is a town and a former municipality in Arcadia, Peloponnese, Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the municipality South Kynouria, of which it is a municipal unit. The town of Leonidio, with a population of 3.826, emerges from a spectacular landscape, bound by two abrupt mountainsides enclosing the town from the north and south.

The River Dafnon passes through the town, and its banks are linked with three bridges. The town is capital of the Tsakonia region, notable for its cultural and linguistic particularities, and the settlement itself offers striking and picturesque architecture; now a protected architectural site, there are very strict regulations for building within the town’s limits.

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Kokkinovrachos as seen from Leonidio

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5.10 Five Ten Anasazi VCS Long Term Review

I have been involved in the various mountaineering activities for few years now and climbing is a major part of it. Part of climbing, is sport climbing and is a great way to practice for difficult mountaineering ascents. Like in any other sport and/or outdoor activity, the proper gear and correct use of it can provide extra advantages to the user.

My first climbing shoe was the La Sportiva Tarantula, and although is a good climbing shoe for beginners, is not of high performance. Having used the La Sportiva Tarantula for quite some time, I then got in my hands a more advanced climbing shoe by Five Ten, the Anasazi VCS.

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5.10 FiveTen Anasazi VCS Climbing shoe

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Hiking in Tzoumerka (Athamanika) – Skala Stamati – Katafidi

Summer time in Greece can be rather hot and the best way to escape the heat wave is not to follow the masses and go by the sea side or to a beautiful Greek island, but to move towards the north of the country and specifically in one of the high peaks of Central and/or North of Greece. This is actually how I have planned to escape the 40 C degrees heat wave and specifically to go for a nice hiking trip in the stunning Athamanika Mountains (Tzoumerka).

Tzoumerka together with the mountains Kakarditsa and Lakmos are the most important mountains of the region. Its peak, Katafidi, reaches at an altitude of 2.393 meters. The steep slopes are its main characteristic that cover the biggest part of the western side. Its eastern side is mild and easier for hiking in winter. Like in the rest of Pindos, in Tzoumerka there are some of the biggest and most rare mammals of Greece.

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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

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Climbing in Acharneis – Athens

Athens is the capital of Greece. It was also at the heart of Ancient Greece, a powerful civilization and empire. The city is still dominated by 5th-century BC landmarks, including the Acropolis, a hilltop citadel topped with ancient buildings like the colonnaded Parthenon temple. Although there is plenty cultural and historical sights in and around Athens, a climber has 2.000 more reasons in order to visit this magnificent city.

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.

In the past, we have visited some other crags which are located near Athens, such as Etos Spata, Pano Alogopetra, Epos Fylis and Korakofolia.

This time though, we have visited one of the most famous crags of Athens, the Acharneis crag.

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Rock in Acharneis

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Traverse of Arête of Chelmos/Aroania Mountain Pt. 02 | Gardiki – Arête – Neraidalono – Kalavryta Ski Centre

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.

See Part 01 of Traverse of Arête of Chelmos here

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.

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Early morning moon

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Traverse of Arête of Chelmos/Aroania Mountain Pt. 01 | Lake Doxa – Karavi – Nisi – Madero

The previous couple of months I was extremely busy and therefore, besides some rock climbing I was not able to dedicate enough time to new mountaineering adventures.

Though, in my calendar, I had booked a specific date that the Mountaineering Club of Athens (EOS Athinon) would organise the famous long Traverse Arête of Chelmos (Aroania)

Aroania, also known as Helmos or Chelmos, is a mountain range in Achaea, Peloponnese, Greece. At 2,355 m elevation, Aroania is the third highest mountain of the Peloponnese, after Taygetus and Kyllini, and the highest in Achaea. The largest town near the mountain is Kalavryta. The municipal unit Aroania took its name from the mountain.

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Lake Doxa and Mount Penteleia (Dourdouvana)

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