Climbing the Ridge of Horned Owl – Mount Pateras (Kopsi Boufou)

I have been seeing and passing by Mount Pateras for several years now, but I never had the chance to pay a visit to this mountain. Pateras is a mountain of West Attica, Greece, with an elevation of 1,131 meters. Its highest peak is named Leontari. It is situated between the plain of Eleusis and the plain of Megara, and stretches between the Gulf of Corinth at Aigosthena and the Saronic Gulf near Eleusis.

It is separated from its northern neighbour Cithaeron by the plain of Vilia. The mountain is covered with woods with Aleppo pine and Mediterranean maquis. In the tops of the mountain, that belong to a CORINE biotope, there are firs, of species Abies cephalonica.

View of the Horned Owl Ridge – Kopsi Boufou

On mount Pateras there are some hiking routes that lead to the highest peak, Leontari, though our goal was climb the south ridge that has been named as the Ridge of Horned Owl (Kopsi Boufou – Κόψη Μπούφου)

See other activities in the nearby area::

Ridge of Horned Owl – Kopsi Boufou | IV UIAA – 150 m.

The Horned Owl Ridge (Kopsi Boufou – Κόψη Μπούφου) is mainly a scrambling type route. It requires some technical knowledge, but can prove to be demanding for the less experienced climbers due to the exposed movement in two parts of the route.

The Horned Owl Ridge (Kopsi Boufou – Κόψη Μπούφου) was firstly climbed by  M. Manoloukos and D. Vitsas in 2006. Since then, there are not many registered repeats and therefore there are not many info available about this route.

The Route

The climb for most of the part is III UIAA. The beginning of the route is a 35 meters IV UIAA pitch and actually is also the crux of the route.

Elevation gain is 150 meters.

The route marked in Red (the exact ridge is just beneath the red line and not on the edge)


From Athens one needs to drive towards Eleusis and from there should follow the road to Kadili. As soon we see the .

Total distance from Athens: 48 km

As soon we arrive to the observatory of the special forces of Greek military (38.05444, 23.40836), we can leave the car and start the approach hike.

The approach hike is an easy hike of about 5 minutes.

The approach hike is about 5 minutes in total. We start from the observatory of the Greek army and we follow the trail towards the south. The Horned owl ridge is the second ridge we see as we come from the observatory of the Greek army.

Pay attention, there is not any clear sign that indicated the beginning of the route.

The Horned Owl ridge as seen from the road


Greek Military (special forces) observatory.
Approach Hike
Approach Hike

Ridge of Horned Owl – Kopsi Boufou | IV UIAA – 150 m.

As soon we reached the base of the ridge, we had to get organised with our gear. Our harnesses, quickdraws, nuts, friends, ropes, helmets etc.

The first view of the ridge is rather stunning and the first pass is about IV UIAA. This first pitch is about 35 meters and it can be well protected by using any kind of gear. I have personally used nuts and slings, but there are plenty of options for friends too. For the entire 35 meters pitch, I used 6 pieces of pro gear.

Although the climb on itself is not difficult, one, should be very careful for loose rocks. In fact, one of my fellow climbers, while was climbing up got a loose rock on his hands. Fortunately, he was not leading so he was rather safe.

Once reached the top of Pitch 1, I created a solid belay station with a sling around a large block and a friend.

Scrambling III UIAA till we reach the first IV UIAA passage
Scrambling III UIAA till we reach the first IV UIAA passage
From the top of the Crux IV UIAA
Great view
Belay station
Belaying the seconds
Belaying the seconds
Belaying the seconds
Belaying the seconds

As soon we all climbed the first IV UIAA passage, we had another IV UIAA passage that was about 4 – 5 meters. Again, the climb was not difficult and actually can be done without any protection (if done carefully), though, as usual, I always prefer to be safe.

Therefore, I lead this part too and I placed only one protection (nut Nr. 7). The climb is easy but again the climber should be aware and very careful for any loose rocks.

From the top of the second IV UIAA passage
Magnificent view
Kadili Ridge as seen from the Horned Owl Ridge

As soon the rest of the fellow climbers reached the second belay, we removed the rope and we climbed the rest of the ridge un-roped. From that point and on the route is rather easy of a maximum III UIAA. The view from the ridge is really nice, because one can easily see the Eleusis bay.

The Horned Owl Ridge (Kopsi Boufou – Κόψη Μπούφου) is pleasant for anyone that wants to enjoy a hike with a “twist”, though, if someone is looking for a real climbing experience i personally do not recommend it.

Uphill movement
III UIAA climb
III UIAA climb
III UIAA climb
III UIAA climb
III UIAA climb | Almost at the top
Great view of the ridge in the opposite side
Last III UIAA climb
View from the top of the Horned Owl Ridge


As soon we reached the end of The Horned Owl Ridge (Kopsi Boufou – Κόψη Μπούφου), we took a short break in order to collect and order our gear inside our backpacks. After that short break we moved north and north-west towards the dried creek that is located just next to the road that we parked our cars.

There is not any clear trail for the return and actually, the return is quite tough because one needs to pass through the bushes with horns and branches. Nevertheless, about three hours since we started the ascent, we reached again the parking lot.


Recommended Gear

For this multi-pitch climb, I used the following gear:

Details of the Climb

  • Location: Mount Pateras
  • Starting Point: Kadili
  • Ending Point: Kadili
  • Trail Signs: No
  • Minimum Elevation: 279 m
  • Maximum Elevation: 602 m.
  • Total Distance: 2.7 km
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • When to Hike: Autumn, Winter, Spring
  • Water Features: None

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

Route in 3D
Route in 3D
Route in 3D

See other activities in the nearby area::

6 thoughts on “Climbing the Ridge of Horned Owl – Mount Pateras (Kopsi Boufou)

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  2. What a great looking ridge route. I was in Greece over 25 years ago, but it looks like a return trip is in order. Thanks for highlighting all the amazing routes. Greece has so much more to offer. Sun, sea, history and climbing!


    1. Thank you for taking the time to read this post and indeed, Greece has a lot to offer for outdoor activities.

      Of course, historical and cultural sights are the number one reason to visit Greece, but there is plenty of Hiking, Climbing, general and winter mountaineering activities.

      With regards the climbing, besides the world famous Kalymnos island, one can either visit Leonidio ( )
      or the Ermionida region ( )

      Finally, in case you might visit Greece again, and you will need any info, feel free to get in contact.


      1. Thank you so much for the two areas to visit. I will check out your links – very much appreciated!

        I was lucky enough to visit many of the amazing cultural sights when I was there. Since then I’ve learned a lot more about Geeek mythology so a return trip would mean so much more.

        Thank you for your kind offer. Same goes if you come to my corner of Canada. So much to see that a few tips will go a long ways!


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  4. Pingback: Fantastic 4 V+ UIAA 200 m. – Trad Climbing in Kantili – Mt. Pateras – Attica – Olympus Mountaineering

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