Hallelujah! Alleluia! Hooray! Yahoo! Yippee!
Finally, after two years of extreme lockdown measures in Greece, we are back for some Winter Mountaineering activities! The past two years, due to the coronavirus restrictions, I was not able to visit the mountains while there was snow on them. In fact, last time I have been on a Winter Mountaineering trip was in Vardousia on February 2020.
Few days ago, I got in contact with a good mountain buddy of mine and we agreed to arrange an easy ascent on Mount Dirfi.
Dirfi is the highest mountain of Evia. Although Evia is technically an island, it is considered part of mainland Greece because it is only separated by a narrow channel. It stretches from NW to SE, with Dirfi rising in the middle.
Its highest peak Delphi 1,743 meters, is the highest mountain of all the Greek islands after the mountains of Crete. The mountain has pine trees, chestnuts, oak trees, fir trees, many steep parts and a rich fauna. Each year there is a lot of snow on its high peaks and for this reason it has so many springs of flowing waters, which are bottled. You should also see the aesthetical forest of Steni and the famous Dragon Houses on the mountain. The hut of the mountaineering association of Chalkida, is located at an altitude of 1.150 meters above sea level.
See previous ascents on Mount Dirfi here:
- Dirfi Mountain – Winter Climb via Central Couloir
- Dirfi Mountain – Winter Mountaineering Ascent
- Mount Xerovouni via central Couloir
- Winter Hike and Climb on Dirfi
Even though its height is moderate, Dirfi is popular for two reasons: The proximity to Athens (making a day trip possible) and the challenging conditions. Being exposed to the winds of the Aegean Sea, Dirfi often has weather conditions normally found on much higher mountains. The route to the peak is a walk-up but the weather can still make you turn back. Its slopes also attract Ski-Mo activities. What is strange about Dirfi is that its peak looks like a volcano crater, which is why some people call it “Greek Fuji”. There are some steep couloirs near the peak but they are too short to be considered routes.
Dirfi Parking Lot – Dirfi Mountaineering Hut
In order to reach the mountaineering hut of Dirfi, use the E-75 highway (joining Athens with northern Greece) and exit to Chalkida. The city is located on the East side of the channel.(77km from Athens).
After passing the bridge don’t enter the city, instead turn left following the signs to northern Evia and Artaki. In Artaki (5km) turn right and follow the signs to Steni. Steni is a village at Dirfi’s base and the usual trekking start. (27km from Chalkida).
When there is not snow, the dirt road that leads to the mountaineering hut is clear and visible, though, when there is snow, is not very easy to identify.
The path towards the mountain hut is rather easy and even an unexperienced hiker can reach the refuge. The saddle on which the refuge is located at an altitude of 1.150 meters above sea level. Also, The saddle on which the refuge is located is also a good camping site.
The visitor of Mount Dirfi, will enjoy the views towards the north, and especially towards the south-east that can easily see and identify the fabulous Xerovouni Mountain.
Dirfi Mountain Hut – Dirfi Peak
Our initial goal was to climb to the top of mount Dirfi via the central couloir. The central couloir is not a difficult climb, but it is very demanding for unexperienced mountaineers and therefore it is highly suggested to go and climb this couloir with experienced alpine climbers.
Though due to the high north winds, we decided to go via the normal route, because in any case our goal was to enjoy this sunny day on the mountain and not to go for some high performance activities.
After about 2 hours and 55 minutes from the moment we started hiking from the parking spot we have reached the summit of mount Dirfi and we were able to enjoy the surrounding environment and other mountain peaks such as the following ones:
Furthermore, from the summit, we were able to see and enjoy the blue Agean sea and this is one of the nicest parts of climbing at the top of mount Dirfi.
As soon we have reached the peak of Mount Dirfi, we have had some water and a snack, we took a couple of photos and then, due to high winds we moved rapidly towards the descent.
One more wonderful mountaineering ascent was concluded and this time with some great company too.
How to reach Dirfy Mountain from Athens
Use the E-75 highway (joining Athens with northern Greece) and exit to Chalkida. The city is located on the East side of the channel.(77km from Athens).
After passing the bridge don’t enter the city, instead turn left following the signs to northern Evia and Artaki. In Artaki (5km) turn right and follow the signs to Steni. Steni is a village at Dirfi’s base and the usual trekking start. (27km from Chalkida)
Where to Stay
There is a hut maintained by Chalkida Alpine Club. It is usually open on weekends (in the winder only if the road is cleared) for food and warm drinks. You can make reservations there, by contacting the club. The hut sleeps 50, has a fully equipped kitchen and shower with hot water.
The surrounding environment can also be used for tents.
Details of the climb:
- Location: Dirfi Mountain
- Starting Point: Dirfi Hunter’s Col
- Ending Point: Dirfi peak, Delfi 1.743 m.
- Trail Signs: partly signed path (when there is no snow)
- Minimum Elevation: 915 m
- Maximum Elevation: 1.743 m.
- Total Distance: 9,5 km
- Difficulty: Medium
- Water Features: No
Bellow you can see the route we have followed on a map and on 3D:
Gear & Equipment
For this trip, I was carrying the following main gear:
- The North Face Verto 27 Backpack
- Mammut Wallrider Helmet
- Petzl Altitude Harness
- Garmin Dakota 20 GPS device
- Quechua Tech-Fresh 50 T-shirt
- Cumulus Incredilite Endurance jacket
- The North Face Verbera hiking boots
- Petzl Quark Ice Axe
- Rock Empire Mackki crampon
- Olympus Outdoor Snow Anchors
- Rab Spark Waterproof Jacket
Below: This map marks all the mountaineering adventures that have been featured on Olympus Mountaineering so far, including several Sport climbing crags – Select full screen to expand, zoom in for more detail, or click on a marker for a link to the post.