Mixed and Alpine Climbing in Vardousia Mountain | Aris II 2 M2 – 400m.

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.

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Gioni Plai as seen from Profitis Elias

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Alpine Climb in Gerontovrachos – Parnassos

This winter in Greece, is rather dry so far and therefore we did not have many chances to enjoy winter mountaineering activities like the previous years. Nevertheless, last week there was some snowfall and in combination with low temperatures, we decided to go and climb one of the many couloirs in Gerontovrachos – Parnassos.

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.

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View from Gerontovrachos peak

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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.).

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

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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 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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