Maia – 5 pitches, 5c 178 m. | Multi Pitch Climb in Katafyki Ravine – Ermioni

The rock climbing around Ermionida and generally the Argolis region is all on excellent solid grey limestone. The majority of the routes are single pitch sport climbing routes, though there are some trad climbing routes as well.

In Katafyki ravine there are more than 70 sport climbing routes and a handful of multi-pitch routes. Most of the routes were established around 2000-2001 from Jim Titt.

Recently and with the active involvement of the local climbing community, the need of easier and well protected multi-pitch routes arose and in April 2022, a new route was established and bolted by Vertical Art Greece.

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Enjoying the first meters of the entire route

Maia 5c 178 m. | 5 Pitches

Maia (5c, 178 m) was established and equipped in April 2022 by Vertical Art Greece, and first ascent was claimed by K. Grafanakis and Olympus Mountaineering on May 1st 2022.

Maia (5c, 178 m) follows the characteristic ridge which is located on the west wall in the ravine of Katafyki, and specifically, between the Katafyki Main Crag and the Petrogerakas Crag.

Maia (5c, 178 m) is 5 pitches long and it is fully equipped with bolts along its entire length so that the use of portable protection (nut, cams etc.) is not necessary. Anchors have been fitted to each belay station.

The quality of the rock is good, but there are also some spots that need attention for eventual loose rocks.

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The Route – Maia 5c 178 m.

Download for free the complete route description and Topo map

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Download FREE Guidebook

Approach

Approaching Kranidi from the north, you will come across an intersection. Follow the signs to Ermioni and drive along the long straight section until you reach an inconspicuous stone chapel on your left and a small sign towards Katafyki Gorge (oriented towards the opposite direction

so it’s easy to miss!). Take a hard left and follow the tight tarmac road for about 3 km. until you come to an agricultural dirt road with a sign pointing to Katafyki to the west.

Another 500 m. of well trodden dirt road among olive groves and you are at the crag.

Park the car at the St. Nicholas chapel and follow the trail that goes under the bridge. From that point, you will have a clear view of the ridge and you have to follow the cairn (pile of stones). 

From the parking spot till the beginning of the route, you will need about 15 minutes of hike.

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Beginning of the approach trail
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Take the trail under the bridge
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Approach hike
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Hiking to the beginning of the route
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Approach

The Route: Maia 5c 178 m. | 5 Pitches

Pitch 1 (5c – 35 m.)

The first pitch, and specifically the first 10 meters of the route, are perhaps the most demanding of the entire 178 m. of the climb. 

The route starts with a slight negative slab, but there are good holds and plenty of options for the feet. In addition, this first part, and generally the entire route is well equipped and very friendly to all type of climbers.

After the 4th bolt, you have to do a small traverse towards the left, so make sure to place an alpine quickdraw there (4th bolt), so you will minimise the rope drag while you will be climbing higher up.

Upon the traverse, the climb becomes easier (about 5b) and as soon you reach the ledge, you will easily spot the anchors. 

ATTENTION: On the first ascent, about 2 meters left from the belay station, we spotted a hole with a Viber Berus snake in it. So, should you want to climb in the summer time, and on R1, pay a bit extra attention.

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Beginning of the route
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Let’s go!
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First 2 bolts of Maia Multi Pitch route
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Climbing up

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Pitch 2 (5b – 25 m.)

The second pitch starts right above the R1 and moves with a small traverse to the left until you come on the slab. Like on Pitch 1, also for Pitch 2 the crux (5b) is at the beginning, thus you have to pay a bit attention while traversing.

As soon we reach the slab, the climb again is easier (around 5a) and we have to follow the ridge till the obvious ledge where another anchor point is placed.

The belay station is very comfortable and from that point and on you start to enjoy the stunning views bellow at the ravine of Katafyki.

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Climbing up
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Anchor point

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Climbing up
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Rest point

Pitch 3 (5b – 30 m.)

The third pitch is continues in the same style as the last part of Pitch 2, which basically consists of following the ridge by climbing from a boulder to boulder with some small ledges till we find a slab with a bit negative start. 

Before you enter the slab, there is a bolt that will make you feel safe and although it might seem a bit difficult to climb on top of the slab, there are enough holds for the hands. Upon that, we end up in another ledge, where R3 is located.

The view from R3 is really wonderful with a clear view of both Katafyki crag and Petrogerakas crag.

The maximum difficulty of this pitch is around 5b.

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Pitch 3
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Pitch 3
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Anchor and belaying
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Enjoying the views while climbing
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Climbing up
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Amazing view towards Katafyki Climbing Crag from R3

Pitch 4 (5b+ – 48 m.)

The fourth pitch is again a very nice pitch where the difficulty is again at the beginning. In the first few meters, we have to climb in a dihedral and at some point we have to do a small traverse (2-3 steps) to the left in order to enter and continue our climb on the slab.

Upon that, we continue to climb right on the ridge and this makes the climb to feel very special.

This is the lengthiest pitch and like the previous pitches is well equipped. Due to the fact this pitch is about 48 meters long, make sure to add some alpine quickdraws in order to minimise the rope drag.

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Checking out the beginning of Pitch 4 (from R3)
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at R3 – Pitch 4 starts from here
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Rest point
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Climbing
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After the crux of Pitch 4
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Climbing up as second
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View from R4
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R4

Pitch 5 (5a – 40 m.)

The fifth  and final pitch of this great route, although is the easiest pitch, is perhaps the nicest too with a lovely “surprise” at the end. I won’t describe much of this pitch, in order to not spoil the nice finishing of the Ridge 

Though, what I can certainly attest, is that the view from R5 is simply majestic. Stunning views towards Ermioni, Hydra, Dokos, Dardiza, Spetses and of course a great “bird’s eye” view towards the Katafyki Climbing Crag.

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Beginning of Pitch 5
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First part of Pitch 5
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View towards bellow while climbing the final pitch
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Last few meters of the entire route
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R5
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second climber in view
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Almost at the end
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Almost at the R5 – few meters left
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At the top of the route – R5

Views from the Top of the Route

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View towards Ermioni (drone view)
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Stunning view from R5
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View from the top towards Katafyki crag

Return from the Route

In order to return, you have to follow direction south east to the obvious tarmac road that is leading to Katafyki Crag. There is not obvious trail for the return, but if you start descending towards the east and later on you get direction to the south you won’t have any difficulty to reach again the parking spot. 

For the return you will need about 25-30 minutes of hike.

ATTENTION: On this route is not recommended to return via abseiling. Should you will to abseil down the route, make sure to climb with 2 half ropes of at least 60 meters. Best way to return is as described above.

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Great views while descending
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Return from the route
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Return from the route
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Descent – Almost at the road which leads to the parking spot

Recommended Gear

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


Details of the Climb

  • Location: Katafyki Ravine
  • Route Name: Maia
  • Grade: 5c
  • Length: 178 meters
  • Pitches: 5
  • Approach: 15 minutes
  • Climbing time: 2 hours
  • Return: 25-30 minutes
  • When to Climb: Late Autumn, Winter, Early Spring
  • Water Features: None

Download for free the complete route description and Topo map

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Before you leave this blog check out the following map

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.

13 thoughts on “Maia – 5 pitches, 5c 178 m. | Multi Pitch Climb in Katafyki Ravine – Ermioni

  1. Hello!
    Another amazing climb and absolutely beautiful guide book. I am impressed! I think I could do the lower section but the upper looks more technical.
    I noticed you use a different climbing grade scale. I just looked it up and saw that there are 6 different grading systems! Who knew?
    Alisen

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Alisen,

      Thank you for your comment and for your kind words and compliments for the guidebook. Much appreciated.

      With regards the climb, if you would do the lower section, then I’m sure you would manage the upper section easily. No doubts about it.

      Concerning the grading systems, indeed, it’s a kinda mess, isn’t it?

      Here in mainland Europe, we mostly use the “French” system for sport climbing and the UIAA for trad climbing.

      Again, thank you for reading this post and for your comment.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I feel your pain 🙂 I am very much used to different systems. In Canada, we use a mix of metric and imperial. For example, on a hike I will travel distances in KM, but will measure elevation gain in feet. I am trying to get better at metres for elevation. It is coming, but I have to do mental conversions every time.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Climbing in Ermionida, Argolis (Greece) Guidebook Edition 2022 – Olympus Mountaineering

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