Not very long time ago, I wanted to purchase a new harness in order to substitute my old -and loved- harness, the Mammut Ophir. In that time, I wanted to have an all around harness, with emphasis on trad and multi-pitch climbing and therefore I got the Petzl ADJAMA.
Although the Petzl ADJAMA is a great and very comfortable harness, due to the fact most of the days I spend them on sport climbing crags, I also got the new Hirundos model by Petzl.
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+ and the La Sportiva Otaki. Till this day, most of the times I use the Simond Rock+ and I have been extremely happy, though after a long testing period, I can not say the same about La Sportiva Otaki. Therefore, once again, I did an extensive research, mainly via my network of fellow climbers. My choices where the following two, the La Sportiva Katana Laces (2022 model) or the La Sportiva TC Pro.
During the winter time, I mostly enjoy to go for Winter Mountaineering activities and the initial plan for the first outdoor trip of 2023, was to visit and climb Mt. Olympus. Though, this year, here in Greece we had minimum snowfalls so far and taking also into the account the high temperatures (for this time of the year), we decided to change our plan and instead of visiting Mt. Olympus for Winter Mountaineering, to visit Mt. Varasova for Trad Climbing.
Our plan was to climb as many multi-pitch routes, in traditional style, thus we selected route in the range of V UIAA and VI UIAA.
Every now and then I try to visit one of my favourite outdoor locations of Greece, and specifically Mt. Parnitha which is located just 30 minutes far from Athens city centre. Mt. Parnitha is located in Attiki province, 25km N from the city of Athens. It is one of the 4 mountains(the others are Immitos, Penteli and Poikilo) that surround the circular plain, in which the city of Athens is built. Mt Parnitha is the tallest and more impressive among the mountains that surround Athens.
Autumn in Greece is a lovely season and especially for outdoor activities such as rock climbing. Recently, I got again the chance to go to explore a newly established route in the area of Ermionida and specifically by Katafyki Ravine. On May 2022, I had the opportunity to climb a beautiful multi-pitch route, MAIAwhich is located on the west wall in the ravine of Katafyki, and specifically, between the Katafyki Main Crag and the Petrogerakas Crag.
In Katafyki ravine there are more than 70 sport climbing routes and a handful of multi-pitch routes. Most of the routes were established around 2000-2001 from Jim Titt.
Recently and with the active involvement of the local climbing community, the need of more multi-pitch routes arose and after MAIA one more new route was established and bolted in a crag named “Pleiades“. The name of this new route is Taygete.
Once upon a time, back in the 2000’s, a climbing revolution occurred in Ermionida, East Peloponnese. The British climber, Jim Titt, and the German Inge Zaczek went and equipped more than 200 routes on the area’s excellent limestone rocks, with stainless steel bolts. They spent a lot of their time, money and effort for the development of sport climbing in the area and we are thankful for it.
In 2021, the local climbing community, with the aid and support of the Municipality of Ermionida and Tripolis Mountaineering Club, carried out maintenance works on the various crags and replaced several anchors, with new high quality and certified material.
In 2022, a new crag (the 8th in the region), Petrogerakas crag was developed near Katafyki Gorge. In addition, three new sectors were bolted in Castle Thermisia (Orias’ Wall, Leon’s Wall and Byzantine Wall) and several more routes in the crags of Ermionida.
It has been quite some time since my last visit in the area of Meteora, and due to the fact the Hellenic Federation of Mountaineering & Climbing was organising the annual meet up of the climbing community of Greece, I did not loose the chance to join the festivities and be part in of the most spectacular areas of Greece.
Meteora includes about 170 conglomerate summits of various shapes and types, as massive mountains, rocky pinnacles, minor peaks and spires, some of which are truly amazing and bizarre. The range overlooks the village of Kastràki and the town of Kalabàka and features about 850 multi-pitch and single pitch routes. Due to their singularity and a bit of mistery surrounding the place, in addition to the presence of various monasteries, the towers of Meteora are quite famous all over the world.
Summer time in Greece, means sun and high temperatures and most of the people visit the seaside and the islands of the country. Though, for me, summer time means a visit to one of my favourite -amongst others- areas of mainland Greece, Tzoumerka (or Athamanika).
Like every time I visit the area, I use as a base the Pramanta Mountain Refuge which is located few kilometres far from the village of Pramanta and under the Strogoula peak. One of the nicest things of that location, is that you can use your tent surrounded by the beautiful forest, with stunning view of Strogoula and by having all the comforts of the mountain refuge.
One of my favourite locations in Greece for outdoor activities is Mt. Parnitha which is located just 30 minutes far from Athens city centre. Mt. Parnitha is located in Attiki province, 25km N from the city of Athens.It is one of the 4 mountains(the others are Immitos, Penteli and Poikilo) 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.
Every now and then, I try to visit the area of Mt. Parnitha either for hiking or climbing activities. Though, for quite some time now, I had in my bucket list to visit the area of Kato Flabouri and climb the first ever route that was climbed in the area. This route is known as Klassiki (classic) or by the names of the first ascenders – Michailides, Tsamakides, Liagos, Idosides.