Traverse of Arête of Chelmos/Aroania Mountain Pt. 02 | Gardiki – Arête – Neraidalono – Kalavryta Ski Centre

It was around 5.30 in the morning when I woke up in this beautiful landscape, right bellow Madero and Gardiki peaks. As soon I opened my eyes I enjoyed the stunning rock that was just above us. It was from there we abseiled the night before. The moon was just above that rocky face and from the east I could see the first sun beams of this new day.

See Part 01 of Traverse of Arête of Chelmos here

It was very silent with a lovely morning breeze and while I was enjoying the views, I was thinking our wonderful moments of the previous day.

Early morning moon


Sunrise in Madero – Gardiki col

While the sun was rising, the rest of the team was waking up and getting ready for the second day of the long Traverse of Arête of Chelmos. This second day would be even more demanding with many different technical and exposed climbs.

The route covers an altitude difference of 800m, it is alpine and is several kilometers long. The difficulty of the entire alpine climb is about III+, depending the actual circumstances, and the general difficulty of climbing is AD +. This means that the traverse of “Arête of Chelmos” is  fairly hard, with rock climbing up to UIAA grade III+, belayed climbing in addition to a large amount of exposed but easier terrain. Significant objective hazard.

Madero Col – Gardiki Peak

It was around 6.40 when we started our hike towards the core of Arête of Chelmos, but prior of reaching that specific part of the climb, we first had to reach Gardiki peak 2.182 m.

Just before reaching the long ridge that leads to Gardiki peak there is an exposed rock that one has to abseil. Though, there is an alternative option that leads to a small trail and one can avoid this rock and of course to abseil too. There are trail signs that lead to this “secret” path and most probably is used by goats that want to pass from Madero to Gardiki.

Once this secrete passage is done, then we hike on the ridge that leads to Gardiki peak. Here, the terrain is very different compared to the terrain of the previous day. There is no green, no grass. Just rocks and stones.

This is from where we did the rappel the night before
“Secret” Passage avoiding to rappel
Beautiful ridge line that leads to Gardiki peak
Beautiful ridge line that leads to Gardiki peak
Our route


Gardiki Peak 2.182 m.

Core of the Arête of Chelmos – Neraidalono

As soon we have reached Gardiki, we soon moved on, because we had ahead the core of the Arête of Chelmos, which is the most demanding and difficult part of the entire route.

The core of the Arête of Chelmos, is a stunning ridge that offers a great alpine climb to the greek mountaineering community. If done carefully, it can be done from anyone that has some climbing experience, though it can become very dangerous mostly because the rock and the terrain is mostly loose.

Arête of Chelmos
Break to wear our helmets


Down climb


Rocky passage III+ UIAA


Loose and exposed terrain


Part of the ridge
Route towards Neraidalono
Scrambling III+ UIAA


Exposed passage
Traffic on the ridge
Exposed and dangerous traverse. Very loose terrain


Route we have covered on the second day
Finally reached Neraidalono. In the opposite side we can see Aristarchos and Neraidorachi

Neraidalono – Kalavryta Ski Resort

We have been climbing and down climbing on that ridge for about 6 hours non stop. The views were breathtaking and the whole experience magnificent. Though, I was also happy enough that I have completed this alpine climb 100% safe and sound.

On Neraidalono, we had to wait for few minutes the rest of the team and from that point and on we would descent towards Kalavryta Ski Resort.

Being the second largest ski resort in Greece, it is located in a breathtaking fiery alpine landscape. Due to its close proximity to Athens and to its first-class facilities many skiers visit it throughout the ski season. Here, the famous black and red runs of Styga challenge even the most expert skiers.

Kalavryta ski resort boasts 12 ski runs (2 difficult, 2 intermediate, 6 easy & 2 very easy) of 20km in length, 2 chair lifts and 5 ski lifts, special grounds for snowboarding and extreme games, and other winter attractions, such as a special moguls ski run, and a snowboard park. Visitors at Chelmos (Helmós) mountain can also find coffee shops, snack bars, restaurants, ski rental facilities and sporting goods, organized ski school and First Aid Station.

While descending, we were also able to see Aristarchos too.

The Aristarchos telescope was constructed and was inaugurated in the summer of 2007. The field of view is about 10 arcmin in diameter at the sideport, and 1 degree diameter at the Cassegrain focus. The telescope can reach a limiting magnitude of V~24 in an hour of observation on a dark night, while the limiting magnitude for spectroscopy is about V~19 with the low resolution ATS spectrograph.

As of November 2015, the Aristarchos telescope has become a full member in the Trans-National Access program of the Optical Infrared Co-ordination Network (OPTICON), funded by FP7 and Horizon 2020.

Psili Koryfi


Beautiful Green fields


Water Feature
Gravel road that leads to the Ski Resort
Almost at the Ski resort

Details of the Climb and Hike:

  • Location: Aroania / Chelmos
  • Starting Point: Madero-Gardiki Col
  • Trail Signs: Enough trail signs
  • Minimum Elevation: 1.690 m
  • Maximum Elevation: 2.295 m.
  • Elevation Gain: 1.200 m.
  • Total Distance: 12.7 km
  • Difficulty: Difficult
  • Water Features: One (in the last section of the hike)

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

3D View
3D View
3D View

This post was the entire second day of the long traverse of the Arête of Chelmos.

If you wish to see the first day of this long traverse, feel free to check out the following link:

See more Winter Mountaineering ascents in the Peloponnese region here:

One thought on “Traverse of Arête of Chelmos/Aroania Mountain Pt. 02 | Gardiki – Arête – Neraidalono – Kalavryta Ski Centre

  1. Pingback: Climbing the North-East Rigde of Mount Hymettus (Prosilio Ridge) – Olympus Mountaineering

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