Hiking and Scrambling on Oligyrtos’ peak Chionotripa

Oligyrtos is a mountain located at the junction of Arcadia, Corinthia and Argolis in the northeastern Peloponnese in Greece. The mountain diagonally stretches from southwest to northeast, with about 35 km length and 15 to 20 km breadth. Its highest point is the peak Skipiza, at 1,935 m elevation. Other peaks are Gkrimini (1,831 m), Parnias (1,800 m), Skiathis (1,777 m) and Mavrovouni (1,695 m).

Neighbouring mountain ranges are Kyllini (Ziria) to the north, Mainalo to the southwest, Mount Trachi to the south and Chelmos (Aroania) to the northwest. Local flora consists mostly of grasslands and bushes. Pine trees and barren lands are found in higher areas. It is drained towards the Lake Stymphalia (which is located nearby Lake Doxa) to the north, and towards the plain of Kandila to the south.

Starting point of the route. Lafka Village – Saint Athanasios Square.

Oligyrtos is renown for its green slopes and panoramic views. It boasts a fir forest of 21,250 acres and 24 animal species, including several kinds of woodpecker, the rare golden eagle, six species of mammals and 14 different amphibians.

If you wish to read other hiking and climbing adventures on nearby mountains check out the following ones:

We have started our route from the central square of a village named LafkaLafka is a village in Stymfalia in Corinth in the Peloponnese Region of Greece. Lafka is also a Mountain resort. Lafka is at an altitude of 680 meters. In the central square of Lafka there is an old church with the name Agios Athanasios (Saint Athanasios) and a water feature with fresh running water.

Lafka village – Agia Sotiria chapel

The first 600 meters of the route is done on a local dirt road and we can see a small chapel with a small house. From that point and on, the actual trail starts in a beautiful pine forest. Our first scheduled stop is predefined for a beautiful small chapel of Agia Sotiria which is located about 2.5 km of trail from Lafka.


Nice trail
Hiking in a beautiful forest

We have been hiking for about 45 minutes when we came across the Agia Sotiria church. The trail signs till that point are very good and the first thing the hiker will notice is a water feature. Though, unfortunately on this time of the year there was not any running water and therefore our decision to carry more water since the beginning was a wise one.

Mount Kyllini in the background
Beautiful forest
Trail signs
Agia Sotiria Church
Water feature in Agia Sotiria

Agia Sotiria – Goupato Plateau – Chionotripa

After a very short break in order to have some water, we have soon moved towards higher elevations. Until the point we reached the Goupato Plateau the trail is moving between the beautiful pine forest and impressive cliffs.

Also, on this section, there are many trail signs, which have been placed from EOS Elefsinas. From that point and on we have been gaining elevation in a fast pace and therefore we came above the tree line and on the alpine level.

While hiking higher and higher we came across to a rock where a cross was placed. There is a local legend that a kid had disappeared and found dead on that rock, but this has to be yet confirmed.

As soon we reached the Goupato Plateau, we were able to see the highest peak of Oligyrtos, Skipiza (1.935 m), but also the beautiful pyramid shape peak that we wanted to reach, Chionotripa.

Trail signs


A cross on top of a cliff
Chionotripa peak
Chionotripa peak


Chionotripa (literally translated as “snow hole” in English) is a deep and steep depression with a width of more than 40 meters. The main feature of this snow hole is the altitude at which it is located at 1.700 meters.

In order to reach the actual Chionotripa, we had to scramble carefully, because there was quite a void and a long fall in case of a wrong movement.

As you can see from the photos bellow, there is a deep and steep depression and at one point there is another “hole” where it was even deeper. After a small scramble, we reached the Chionotripa and to our surprise we have seen a male goat (buck) looking at us with the same curiosity as we have been looking at him too. Having introduced ourselves to our new friend, we asked for permission to take him a photo and after that we left him in his own peaceful world.

Chionotripa from far
Steep clifs
Actual hole
A male goat is looking at us from within the Chionotripa

Chionotripa Peak – Unnamed Peak – Agia Sotiria – Lafka

The snow hole “Chionotripa” is located at an altitude of around 1.700 meters above sea level, though the Chionotripa peak, is located at an altitude of 1.794 meters. In order to reach the peak, there is the easiest route where you can just follow a small trail created by the wild goats of the mountain, or to reach the peak via scrambling (grade 2). We, of course, chose for the scrambling option because we wanted to incorporate a bit more fun and adventurous conquest of Chionotripa peak.

Finally, and about 2 hours since we ledt Lafka village, we reached the highest level of Chionotripa, 1.784 m. From that peak, we were able to enjoy beautiful views and surrounding mountains and peaks such as the following ones:

Once we have reach Chionotripa peak, we had another short break for a snack and some water and we have decided to follow the mountain ridge towards the peak of Gkimbrini. The ridge line was so inviting, that we could not refuse to go till the next unannamed peak which is at an altitude of 1.786 meters above sea level.


Almost at Chionotripa peak
Chionotripa peak
Unnamed peak 1.786 m.
View from Chionotripa peak
View from Chionotripa peak
View from Chionotripa peak
View from Chionotripa peak
Ridgeline towards unnamed peak


On the ridgeline
Skipiza peak from far
Ridgeline from Chionotripa


Details of the Hike:

  • Location: Olygirtos Mountain
  • Starting Point: Lafka village
  • Ending Point: Lafka village
  • Trail Signs: Partly yes. Large part of the route was off trail
  • Minimum Elevation: 680 m
  • Maximum Elevation: 1.794 m.
  • Total Distance: 14.5 km
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • When to Hike: October – May
  • Water Features: One but at the end of April there was not water

Bellow you can see the route we have followed on a map and on 3D:

3D view of total distance
3D view of alpine level

If you wish to read other hiking and climbing adventures on nearby mountains check out the following ones:

One thought on “Hiking and Scrambling on Oligyrtos’ peak Chionotripa

  1. Pingback: Hiking on Mount Mainalo – Tzelati Peak – Olympus Mountaineering

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