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.
We initiated our ascent from the nearby Ski Centre which is located at an altitude of around 1.500 m. The route is not steep, is quite straight forward and pretty much easy. Though, in winter conditions, although this is not a technically difficult mountain, many dangers can occur with the worst possible example of the deadly accident in 2005 that 5 people lost their lives from an avalanche.
Ascending from the south face of the mountain, we did not have the chance to feel the sunlight on our bodies, but after a certain point, sun appeared from the peak of Ostrakina and gave us extra motivation to proceed further toward the top.
About 30 minutes since our departure and in an altitude of about 1.700 meters above sea level, the snow was not soft anymore, but rather icy and therefore we have decided to get the help of our crampons.
After almost an hour on the track, we came across with the point where the disastrous and deadly accident took place few years ago. A block of snow was detached and created an avalanche where 5 people left their last breaths on this mountain. We payed some respect to the mountain on that point.
After a small break where we discussed about the deadly accident, we continued towards the peak of Ostrakina and specifically the Profitis Ilias (Prophet Elias) peak point.
Once we enjoyed the breathtaking views from the surrounding mountains, we moved towards another nearby peak and from there we had a better view towards Mount Parnonas and Mount Taygetos.
At this point, we enjoyed a home made sideritis tea with cinnamon and cloves and after that we started our descent towards the Mainalos refuge, where our mountaineering day was concluded.
Bellow a map and the elevation profile of the route fromMainalos Refuge to Profits Ilias -Ostrakina (Peak of Mount Mainalos).