Our last visit to the most visited mountain of Greece (next to Olympus) was during winter time. It was a beautiful but relatively easy ascent. This time, we have decided to visit the famous climbing rout of Parnitha, the Flabouri Ridge.
Hiking is a very popular activity in Parnitha. Two climbing associations, along with the Forest Service of Parnitha have created a dense network of trails, that covers the whole mountain range. Numerous paths pass along springs, thick forests and pastures. There are many options, according to the altitude difference that someone intends to cover (0 -800m.), the distance (500-5,000m.) and the time needed (30΄- 6 hours). Several routes give the opportunity to observe different vegetation types: firs, pines, oaks, junipers, plane-trees, phrygana.
The most important trails are indicated either by simple red signs on rocks and trees or by red tapes or finally, by special signs for each path, such as red triangles, red squares, yellow rhombs etc. In this way, following the same shape and colour of the signs, one can find the path and follow it to its end.
Furthermore, there are two mountain refuges, one at Mpafi, owned by the Hellenic Alpine Club of Athens, and the other one at Flampouri, belonging to the Hellenic Alpine Club of Acharnes. Both shelters are available for resting and sleeping.
Our climbing ascent started from the edge of the Thrakomakedones suburb. We have to follow the blue signs and soon the ascent is very steep. about 1 kilometre further on we have the first rocky passages where we need to either climb or scramble. The climbing part is up to IV degree, so not extremely difficult, but nevertheless is an exposed climb.
The Flabouri ridge besides being a beautiful route, provides amazing view towards the mountain, but also towards the city of Athens. Actually, on a clear day, it is easy to see the sea side and the port of Pireas.
We have managed to move rather fast on the rock and within 1 hour we were already in the refuge of Flabouri where we enjoyed a freshly made Greek coffee. Having enjoyed the coffee, we moved back towards our starting point.
It was a very nice day where we were able to do some training and sharpen our climbing techniques.