The third day of this amazing thru-hike, started after a good sleep and rest in the mountain refuge of Astraka. Although, day one and day two we had to carry a heavy load, we were very excited to carry on with our adventure and exploration of Mt. Tymfi.
For this third and last day on the mountain, we had as first goal to go through the Davalista pass which is located NW from the Astraka refuge, and as a final destination to get back to Konitsa where we had parked our car.
Following a rather good night of sleep in the “secret” log cabin, we woke up with a unique and mesmerising morning view. The early morning sun beams were gently hitting the high peaks of Mt. Tymfi and specifically Gamila peak. The contrast of the rock and the clear blue sky was great and there was clearly visible a line, which happens to be one of the most repeated trad-climbing routes of Gamila, Tsekouri.
Although this second day we had to cover quite some distance and to climb up Karteros’ pass, we took it rather easy with our breakfast. We enjoyed our morning coffee and talked about past mountaineering activities and climbing routes.
Few years ago, I have visited the magnificent Mt. Tymfi from the south side and I was amazed by the beautiful landscape, villages and hiking routes had to offer. The past winter, Greece was under strict lockdown and it was rather difficult -and illegal- to visit Mt. Tymfi from another area. Though, nowadays, it is possible again to travel within Greece and therefore we have decided to visit again this magnificent mountain, but this time to reach the high peaks via the north side hiking routes.
Specifically, we decided to start from Konitsa, then hike towards Moni Panagias Stomiou, Sadi Mygas, Karteros Pass, Loutsa Robozi, Xeroloutsa Tsoumani, Astraka Refuge, Davalista and return back to Konitsa.
Last few months, I was mainly focused on sport climbing and mountaineering routes, though, finally once again I hit the trail for a great hike to the Methana Volcano.
Geologically speaking, Methanais a very interestingregion: a long time ago, it was veryvolcanic and nowadays, it counts no less than 32ancientcraters.One can also see some ancient lava flows, but it isthe volcanolocated in the north-west, not far from the village ofKameni Chora(= burned village), that is the most spectacular witnessof this volcanicpast – over here, one can really imagine oneself in a truelandscape ofvolcanoes.
The last few years, and mainly in the last decade Climbing and specifically Sport Climbing has gone from niche sport to worldwide sensation, and here in Greece this is the rule too. As a result, more and more new climbing crags have been spring up like mushrooms all over mainland Greece, in the Greek islands (ex. Kalymnos), but especially in Peloponnese many new climbing areas have been established. For example in Peloponnese one can climb in Corinth, in Leonidio, in Ermionida, in Nafplio in Asini and from now near Kandia too.
Charamos Crag was spotted by S. Konstadakopoulos, who proceeded to bolt most of the routes on the left side of the rock face. C. Rigas was also invited and bolted several routes, focusing on the right portion of the crag, while E. Chroni, among others, contributed with cleaning some routes and generally supporting the bolting process. Most of the routes are quite demanding and on the upper scale of the climbing grades.
Due to the fact in Greece there is a national lockdown (covid-19), the opportunities to visit high mountains are very limited and therefore the past 6 months we did not have the chance to go for any winter mountaineering activity. Though, our passion and pleasure for outdoor activities, lead us to explore previous unexplored areas, and this is what we have done this time.
In the Argolis region, there is a magnificent Biotope with the name Thermisia Lagoon. Thermisia lagoon is an important habitat of rare migratory birds. It is a serene and unique lagoon surrounded by a breathtaking landscape.
A quickdraw (also known as an extender) is a piece of climbing equipment used by rock and ice climbers to allow the climbing rope to run freely through bolt anchors or other protection while leading. The straight gate carabiner is clipped to the protection; a bent gate is used for the rope. Quickdraws are manufactured with either a solid carabiner gate or a wire carabiner gate for its lighter weight.
In the past years we have been climbing in various areas, mountains and crags and therefore we gained experience in the various forms of climbing. With this post, we would like to share with you a free climbing guidebook from the first established routes in Profitis Elias of Asini, which is located nearby Nafplio.
The rock climbing around Argolis region is all on excellent solid grey limestone. The majority of the routes are single pitch sport climbing routes, though there are some trad climbing routes as well. The Argolis area claims to receive over 3,000 hours of sunshine per year and is a popular holiday destination. It also means that it is possible to rock climb virtually all year round in the Argolis region.
During the past few years, while I have been constantly getting better in climbing, I have been tempted to try and test different kind of climbing shoes. My first pair as a beginner was La Sportiva Tarantula, which was a great pair of shoes for my first “baby steps” in the climbing activities. Upon that, I have tried various other models, such as the Anasazi VCS by 5.10 and the Simond Rock+. While I have been extremely happy and satisfied with the Simond Rock+ i wanted to try a pair of shoes a bit more aggressive and upon several months of research, I have decided to get my feet on the Otaki, by La Sportiva.