Vardousia Mountains Alpine Climb via Lion’s Couloir

Vardousia (Greek: Βαρδούσια) is a mountain in northwestern Phocis and southwestern Phthiotis, Greece. Its highest peak, Korakas (Greek: Κόρακας) reaches 2,495 m (8,186 ft) above sea level, making it the second-tallest summit in Central Greece after Giona. It is a southern extension of the Pindus mountains. It is divided into three main parts: Northern Vardousia, whose highest peak is Sinani at 2,059 metres (6,755 feet), the very steep Western Vardousia, whose highest peak is Soufles at 2,300 metres (7,500 feet), and Southern Vardousia, with the highest peak of Korakas. The whole range measures about 25 kilometres (16 miles) from north to south.

The Vardousia is drained by tributaries of the river Spercheios to the north, the Mornos to the east and south, and the Evinos to the west. The Panaitoliko mountains are to the west, Tymfristos to the northwest, Oeta to the east and Giona to the southeast.

Mount Aselinon (Giona) while driving to Vardousia Mountains

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Winter Mountaineering climb on Nisi Peak (Arête of Chelmos/Aroania)

We are already in beginning of March and the short winter mountaineering season in Greece will be concluded in about a month from now. Therefore, for this climb, we have decided to do a more demanding winter mountaineering ascent in the non-famous peak of Nisi (paradoxically the meaning of Nisi in Greek is “island), which is located nearby Lake Doxa, and is actually the beginning of the famous alpine route “Arête of Chelmos“.

Nisi is the first high peak of the Arête of Chelmos” route and the highest point is at 2.042 meters above sea level. It has a very steep ridgeline and there are 2 main ways in order to reach the peak. The first option is to hike up from Lake Doxa towards the “hunter’s col“. This is the same route that also leads to Mount Pentelia a.k.a. Dourdouvana and is a beautiful and relatively easy route. The second option is to start from the Monastery of St. George, which is located on a beautiful plateau overlooking Lake Doxa, and to each the “Madero Col“. From St. George Monastery till “Madero Col” the route is rather easy crossing small creeks, a beautiful pine forest and parts of a local dirt road.

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Dirfi Mountain Winter Climb via Couloir

For one more time, due to weather conditions we were forced to change our initial plans and instead of Vardousia mountain, we have decided to visit the beautiful mountain of Evia, Dirfi.

Dirfi is the highest mountain of Evia. Although Evia is technically an island, it is considered part of mainland Greece because it is only separated by a narrow channel. It stretches from NW to SE, with Dirfi rising in the middle.

Its highest peak Delphi 1,743 meters, is the highest mountain of all the Greek islands after the mountains of Crete. The mountain has pine trees, chestnuts, oak trees, fir trees, many steep parts and a rich fauna. Each year there is a lot of snow on its high peaks and for this reason it has so many springs of flowing waters, which are bottled. You should also see the aesthetical forest of Steni and the famous Dragon Houses on the mountain. The hut of the mountaineering association of Chalkida, is located at an altitude of 1.150 meters above sea level.

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Parnassos Mountain Winter Mountaineering Ascent

Located at the center of Greece, Parnassus (Parnassos) is one of the biggest and most beautiful mountains of the country. Its highest part is Liakoura peak at 2.457 m. and Tsarkos (2.415 m.) and Gerontovrahos (2.389 m.) peaks follow.

Mount Parnassus is a great area which extends to the municipalities of Boeotia, Phthiotis and Phocis.

Since 1938 a big part of the forest area of the mountain, has been declared as a National Park, which along with the one on Olympus were the first ones that were established in Greece. The Mountain of Apollo, as it also called, is known from the ancient times, as there are many myths connected to it.

Sunrise view

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Mount Kyllini (Ziria) Spring Ascent with Snow

It was end of November when we last visited the peak of Mount Kyllini (Ziria). That was our first winter mountaineering ascent for the 2016-1027 season. Now, end of April, and following up our ascent to Doussias peak of the so called “small” Mount Ziria, we decided to reach the second higher peak of Peloponnese.


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Spring Ascent on small Mount Kyllini (Ziria)

End of April in Greece, usually is not just spring weather, but we are entering the “summer” temperatures. Though, this year, on the 22nd of April we had one more and perhaps the last snowfall for this season. Due to the weather conditions, we took the chance to hit the road and travel towards Mount Kyllini.

Small Mount Kyllini within the clouds

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Taygetus Mountain Winter Ascent

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.

The Taygetus Massif is about 100 km (62 mi) long, extending from the center of the Peloponnese to Cape Matapan, its southernmost extremity. It contains the tallest mountain in the Peloponnese, the Profitis Ilias summit, reaching 2,407 m (7,887 ft); this is probably the classical Mount Taléton mentioned by Pausanias.The summit is an ultra prominent peak.


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Winter Ascent on Mount Oligyrtos

Oligyrtos is a mountain located at the junction of Arcadia, Corinthia and Argolis in the northeastern Peloponnese in Greece. The mountain diagonally stretches from southwest to northeast, with about 35 km length and 15 to 20 km breadth. Its highest point is the peak Skipiza, at 1,935 m elevation. Other peaks are Gkrimini (1,831 m), Parnias (1,800 m), Skiathis (1,777 m) and Mavrovouni (1,695 m).

Beginning of the route from Lafka Village

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Winter Ascent 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.


According to Pausanias, a sanctuary dedicated to goddess Artemis, patron of hunters and wild nature, used to sit on its peak. The Roman traveller mentions the sacred grove of Itamoi, a European Yew that is very toxic, and according to mythology, the goddess used it to poison her arrows; unfortunately, the grove has not survived. Today, very few fir trees survive. The river Inachos has its spring on the mountain, its mouth in the Argolic gulf, and is one of the few springs that can be used for those who decide to climb the mountain.

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Winter Ascent on Mount Mainalo

The Mainalo, named after the mythical Maenalus, son of Lycaon, is a mountain range that spans about 15 to 20 km from north to south (southwest of Tripoli to northeast of Vytina) and from east to west from 5 to 10 km (from Zygovisti to Kapsas).

The mountaintop which is also known as Ostrakia elevates at 1,860 m is in the northwest central part. Mainalo is also the tallest mountain in Arcadia. The highest mountaintop is named Profiti Ilia and the height is 1.981 meters above sea level. The entire area is also a parkland.

Trees, Snow and blue Sky

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