Mountain Leader Seminar on Mount Parnassos

Few weeks ago, on Panachaiko (Vodias) mountain, there was the kick off weekend for the Mountain Leader Seminar that was organised by Patras Mountaineering Club.

As a mountaineer, besides training on the various fields of choice, it is very important to update regularly the skills and to learn new techniques. This is exactly what I have decided to do for the month of March. I will be following a “Mountain Leader” course that will provide all necessary set of skills in order to be a “Mountain Leader”.

For the last part of the seminar, Mount Parnassos was selected and we spent two fully scheduled days going through many different mountaineering subjects.

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Trail to the Defner mountain hut

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Alpine Climb on Parnassos Mountain – Gerontovrachos and Touborachi

Greece, besides picturesque islands and beautiful shores, is a mountainous country with plenty of different mountains and hundreds of peaks above 2.000 meters. One of the greatest mountains of central Greece, is Parnassos (Parnassus) mountain.

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.

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Trail Sign

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Panachaiko (Vodias) Mountain Winter Hike

Mountaineering is the set of activities that involves ascending mountains. Mountaineering-related activities include traditional outdoor climbinghiking, winter climbing, Skiing and traversing via ferratas.

As a mountaineer, besides training on the various fields of choice, it is very important to update regularly the skills and to learn new techniques. This is exactly what I have decided to do for the month of March. I will be following a “Mountain Leader” course that will provide all necessary set of skills in order to be a “Mountain Leader”.

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Driving towards the Parking Lot

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Winter Hike and Climb on Dirfi Mountain

One more weekend was approaching and the initial plan was to go and climb one of the famous gullies of Gerontovrachos, on Mount Parnassos. Though, last minute unforeseen changes, forced me to change my plans and join the -excellent- company of other two experienced mountaineering guys, and all together to go and climb the central couloir of Mount 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.

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Evening sun between the fog

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Winter Hike on Mount Helicon (Elikonas)

It has been quite some time since the very first post here on the Olympus Mountaineering blog, and so far it has been a really nice “journey”.

I personally, enjoy all kind of outdoor activities in Greece, from Winter Mountaineering, Rock Climbing, Wild Camping up to Thru-Hikes and I am certainly glad when people from abroad get in contact with the Olympus Mountaineering blog in order to receive various information for the Greek mountains.

Few days ago, a person from Poland got in touch with us and kindly asked if it would be an option to join us on our next mountaineering activity. Although, I rarely accept to go on the mountains with people I do not know, after a short chat, I understood this person was serious enough and had enough knowledge for a winter mountaineering activity.

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Beautiful Landscape on Mount Helicon

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Alpine Climb on Mount Xerovouni via Central Couloir

One more weekend arrived, and it was time to hit the trail once again. We had plenty of options in our mind, such as Alpine Climb on Gerontovrachos (mount Parnassos), Dirfi mountain or the continuation of Dirfi, Xerovouni mountain.

Xerovouni is a limestone mountain in central Evia and is essentially a continuation of Dirfy mountain complex. Its highest peak, Portaris, is 1,453 m high.

Although Xerovouni is not a very high mountain, due to its proximity to Athens, many hikers and climbers visit it. In addition, in Xerovouni there are plenty of trad climbing routes, that during winter time most of these routes become the perfect playground for rock & ice climbing activities.

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Beginning of the trail towards Xerovouni

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Winter Hike on Mount Parnitha

It was a beautiful sunny morning just after Christmas and just before the end of 2018 and I took the decision to go for a training hike on Mount Parnitha. The previous days there was a quite heavy snowfall and due to rather low temperatures I was able to hike on snow (in the north side of the mountain) and on dry conditions from the east/south side of Mount Parnitha.

Mt. Parnitha is located in Attiki province, 25km North from the city of Athens. It is one of the 4 mountains(the others are Immitos, Penteli and Aigaleo) that surround the circular plain,in which the city of Athens is built. Mt Parnitha is the talllest and more impressive among the mountains that surround Athens.

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Flabouri Mountain Hut

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Winter Mountaineering Climb in Strogoula via Agrofylakas Couloir (Tzoumerka-Athamanika)

It’s almost Christmas time and also the end of one more exciting mountaineering year here in Greece. This past year, we have been to many different mountain peaks and mountain range, but one of the few that we have never visited before, were Athamanika or Tzoumerka Mountains.

Athamanika mountains, also known as Tzoumerka,  are part of  Pindos mountain range located at the boundaries of the regions of Thessaly and Epirus. Both the physical landscape and the traditional settlements set Athamanika mountains as one of the most popular tourist destinations in Greece.

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Stroggoula as seen from the refuge of Pramanta

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Winter hike and mountaineering climb on Gardiki Peak (Arête of Chelmos/Aroania)

Winter is back! And we are very happy for this for the simple fact that most, if not all, the high mountains of Greece, are fully covered with this beautiful water vapour frozen into ice crystals, Snow!

It was beginning of December, and as first winter mountaineering climb, we have decided to visit the third consecutive peak of the Arete of Chelmos (Aroania), Gardiki.

Gardiki (2.182 m), is part of the Aroania (Chelmos)   mountain complex. Aroania/Chelmos (2355m), stands proud with its biggest section extending to the Kalavrita area. Is the third highest mountain in the Peloponnese and its natural beauties, the rare species of plants, birds and animals make it stand out. Its rich biotopes are protected as a Natura 2000 site.  The mount attracts a large number of visitors mainly due to the ski-center that is situated in Vathia Lakka, 14 km. east of Kalavrita and the climbing routes. It offers an unsurpassed experience since there nest landscapes of unique beauty, traditional settlements, archaeological areas, caves and rivers. The mountain is suitable for excursions round the year.

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Startin Point – Zarouchla village

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Winter Mountaineering Activities | Season 2017 – 2018 Summary

Winter is gone, spring has come. One more season of winter mountaineering activities have been concluded in Greece and this is a short summary post with the highlights of this year’s Winter Mountaineering activities. If you wish to see the individual posts which contain detailed information and more photos, you can click to the following links:

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Vardousia Mountain

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