Climbing in Athens – Pano Alogopetra

As already described on a previous post, Greece is not only a sea, sun and cultural destination, but is also a great destination for mountain activities, including sport climbing too. Specifically, 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.

This time, we decided to visit Pano Alogopetra. Pano Alogopetra (Greek for “Upper Alogopetra”) is a cluster of rock faces in the northern side of the Alogopetra peak, over the village of Fyli. Pano Alogopetra sits on an elevated balcony with grand view over the Fyli valley. On a clear day the eye can wander from the edge of Gkoura canyon down to the Elefsina coast on the south west and the city of Athens on the southeast. This is a great spot to enjoy a fiery winter sunset after a full day of climbing.

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Alogopetra

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Climbing near Athens Airport – Etos Spata

Greece is a very popular summer and cultural destination, but Greece has to offer much more than sea and sun. 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. The Acropolis Museum, along with the National Archaeological Museum, preserves sculptures, vases, jewelry and more from Ancient Greece.

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. Limestone in Athens comes in a surprising variety of shapes and colors and can create climbing wonders ranging from sheer desperate slabs to highly featured, tufa infested walls. Tufa climbing has a strong presence in the area. In fact, the city’s best sport climbing crags can certainly rival those of Kalymnos’ in tufa climbing goodness. Undisputed king among the tufa kingdoms of Athens is the lost world of Mavrosouvala, a totally otherworldly place in the middle of nowhere. The craziest thing about this majestic stalactite forest is that very few Athenians actually know about its existence.

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Limestone rock

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Climbing in Katafyki Gorge – Ermioni, Argolis

About 4 km away from Ermioni there is a great hiking opportunity in Katafyki Gorge. This route is suitable for all the family due to the easy trail of only 2,5 kilometres. The wild beauty of this gorge will astonish you. Of course, this route can be extended up to 7 kilometres if one wants to hike from Katafyki Gorge up to the village of Fournoi.

Katafyki gorge is a beautiful natural landscape, located between the villages of Fournoi and Ermioni. It consists of a protected area of outstanding beauty and a wild life refuge that attracts the most demanding visitors. Hikers can leave their car in Ermioni and take the path that passes through the dense vegetation of pines, laurels, myrtles, shrubs and other endemic plants. The sound of the running water and the presence of rare animals and wild birds give the impression of an earthly paradise. The imposing rough rocks host mysterious caves, one of which is said to consist of the entrance to the underworld, the point from where Hercules found Cerberus. The locals narrate stories of various offenders that used the caves as refuge.

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Good Dag 6a+

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Trad Climbing on Artemisio Mountain

Artemisio mountain is on the border between Arcadia and Argolis, in the Municipalities of Argos-Mycenae and Tripolis respectively. It forms part of the mountain range that connects the Argolic Gulf with the Corinthian, and as such, it borders with Lyrkeio mountain on the north and with Ktenia mountain on the south. On its west is the plateau of Mantineia. Its tallest peak is 1,771 metres in height.

We have visited this mounted on different occasions either as a winter mountaineering activity, or for scrambling on the Arete of Artemisio and each time we have great adventures. Though, for this ascent, we wanted to try something more extreme and relatively more dangerous, and that was the trad climb of the rocky north face of Artemisio.

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Starting point of the trail

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Climbing in Pillars of the Wind – Argolis, Greece

While we are on tour climbing in the region of Argolis, we have decided to go and check a rather unvisited crag, the Pillars of the Wind (Τα πιλλιέ των ανέμων). The Pillars of the Wind is a beautiful rock between Mount Didimo and Mount Ortholithi.

Pillars of the Wind, is an interesting rock formation giving the impression that a giant hand has thrust a lump of rock through the surrounding soil leaving shattered pinnacles and crazily leaning giant boulders. Very reminiscent of a Dartmoor for except it is made of limestone.

Pillars of the Wind is a very friendly venue with good access, a good variety of routes and great quality rock.

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Pillars of the Wind as seen from the parking lot

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La Sportiva Tarantula Climbing Shoes Review

It is not secret that I have a preference for high quality – great performance gear and when it comes to footwear I always want to have the best possible shoes. This is the case for my first pair of climbing shoes, the La Sportiva Tarantula.

Prior of deciding which climbing shoes I wanted to use for my climbing, I have searched on various brands, but once again, I ended up buying a product from La Sportiva.

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La Sportiva Tarantula Top View

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Climbing in Franchthi Caves – Argolis

Although now it’s officially autumn, the weather in Greece is still rather hot and therefore we took the opportunity to go an climb to one of the most interesting climbing crags in Greece, in Franchthi.

Franchthi cave or Frankhthi cave (Greek: Σπήλαιον Φράγχθη) is a cave overlooking the Argolic Gulf opposite the village of Koilada in southeastern Argolis, Greece. The cave was occupied from the Upper Paleolithic circa 38,000 BCE (and possibly earlier through the Mesolithic and Neolithic periods, with occasional short episodes of apparent abandonment. Last occupied around 3,000 BCE (Final Neolithic), it is one of the very few settlements in the world that shows nearly continuous human occupation for such an extended period of time, and is one of the most thoroughly studied sites from the stone age in southeastern Europe.

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Prehistoric cave of Franchthi sign

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Taygetus Mountain E4 path – Teygetus Mountain Refuge – Anavriti

Once again, in one of the most mythical mountains of Greece, Mount Taygetus (Taygetos). The slopes of Taygetus have been inhabited since at least Mycenean times. The site of Arkina, near the village of Arna, contains three beehive tombs and is still unexplored. Taygetus was important as one of Sparta’s natural defenses. The Spartans threw criminals and “unfit” (weak, sickly, deformed, or mentally retarded) infants into a chasm of Taygetus known as Ceadas.

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ESO Spartis Mountain Refuge

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Taygetus Mountain Crossing Pentadaktylos (Five Fingers) – Anavriti – Tsarkos – Spanakaki – Sidirokastro – Athanati Rachi – Profitis Elias – EOS Refuge

It has been quite some time since the last update on Olympus Mountaineering blog. This summer was rather busy and rather hot, so the high peaks had to wait for the beginning of the Autumn. As first mountaineering adventure for this new season was -once again- selected the beautiful mountain of Taygetos (or Taygetus).

Taygetus, is a mountain range in the Peloponnese peninsula in Southern Greece. The highest mountain of the range is Mount Taygetus, also known as the “Profitis Ilias”, or “Prophet Elias”. The name is one of the oldest recorded in Europe, appearing in the Odyssey. In classical mythology, it was associated with the nymph Taygete. During Byzantine times and up until the 19th century, the mountain was also known as “Pentadaktylos” which means “five fingers” in Greek. The name was related to the 5 peaks of the mountain range.

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Starting point Anavriti Village

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Climbing in Nafplio

Nafplio is located in a protected bay of the Argolic Gulf, just 1.5 hours by car from Athens. The crags of Nafplio are in fantastic seaside locations; for the most part, the cliffs are solid limestone featuring slightly overhanging red, yellow, and white rock. Nafplio itself is very lively, and its Old Town is a popular weekend destination teeming with quayside cafés, restaurants and hotels. Thanks to Nafplio’s location and layout, you can easily navigate it on foot, and go climbing, jogging or swimming within minutes. Lastly, Nafplio has a very mild climate, which makes it one of the best venues in Greece for winter climbing.

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View from Anatoli crag towards Karathona beach

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