Kalydonios Kapros V+ UIAA, 100 m. | Trad Climbing in Varasova

During the winter time, I mostly enjoy to go for Winter Mountaineering activities and the initial plan for the first outdoor trip of 2023, was to visit and climb Mt. Olympus. Though, this year, here in Greece we had minimum snowfalls so far and taking also into the account the high temperatures (for this time of the year), we decided to change our plan and instead of visiting Mt. Olympus for Winter Mountaineering, to visit Mt. Varasova for Trad Climbing.

Our plan was to climb as many multi-pitch routes, in traditional style, thus we selected route in the range of V UIAA and VI UIAA. 

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View of the Rock

About Varasova

Not far away from the estuary of river Evinos, the dominating Varasova rocks emerge right where the peaceful valley of Etoliko meets the sea. Plain beauty of the scenery, exceptional solidity of the rock, easy access and sea joys were the obvious advantages which have established Varasova, as one of the most important climbing areas in Greece.

Varasova is a limestone massif near the sea, just opposite of Patra and has a height of 917 m. There are three summits of almost the same altitude. Varasova flanks, drop abruptly into the sea on the south and Southwest and this is the location of the most important walls, just between Vasiliki and Kryoneri villages.

The three peaks of Varasova rise to nearly identical elevation. The rock is very solid, relatively sharp, mostly gray or yellow limestone of outstanding quality. It is generously featured and teeming with variety: compact walls, steep slabs, corners and vertical cracks, jugs, flakes, chickenheads, incut edges, and a surplus of hidden holds and footholds which make for sublime climbing over a remarkably blue sea.

The approximately 200 routes of Varasova include single- and multi-pitch sport routes. There are also several mixed-character ‘adventure’ routes with as many as 18 pitches and, although these usually have a few bolts per pitch (mainly on solid sections of rock) plus fixed belay anchors, they will also require placement of nuts or other trad gear (usually in cracks). In spring, many features are obscured by vegetation, so be prepared to do some ‘gardening’. Some parts of the multi-pitch routes have runout, but most anchors are bolted and set up for rappelling.


Kalydonios Kapros (Καλυδώνιος Κάπρος) – V+ UIAA, 100 m.

Kalydonios Kapros (V+, 100 m) first ascent was claimed in April 1999 by A. Theodoropoulos, T. Michailedes and P. Kotronaros.

Kalydonios Kapros (V+, 100 m) is located on Mt. Varasova and specifically in Krioneri village. The route can be found by at the“Spasmena” sector and the approach is very easy.

Kalydonios Kapros (V+, 100 m) is 3 pitches long and partly equipped with bolts, thus the portable protection (nut, cams etc.) might be necessary. For experienced climbers, that can climb easily such grades, the bolts might be just enough, otherwise, the use of portable protection will be very helpful. 

Anchors have been fitted to each belay station. The quality of the rock is excellent and one of the best it can be found.

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The Route – Kalydonios Kapros V+ UIAA 100 m.

Download for free the complete route description and Topo map

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Download FREE Guidebook
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Download FREE Guidebook

Approach

Varasova, has perhaps the easiest and rather effortless approach in Greece.

Varasova is 240 km away from Athens. The location is 30 km away from Antirio. Turn left, before the bridge of Evinos river exactly on the junction for Galatas and Krioneri.

As soon we arrive to Krioneri village, we move towards the last house and right there we can find a small beach with grass field. There is the parking lot and for many, the camp site.

Coming from Athens, one should follow the instructions provided in the map bellow.


Route description

R0 – R1 | IV+ UIAA – 30 m.

The first pitch is the easiest of the entire route and starts with a short slab. Upon that the climber has to move from boulder to boulder without any particular difficulty. In addition, in this first section we can find a bolt and plenty of opportunities to add some additional gear. At about 15 meters from the ground there is a slight vertical slab that we have to climb, but there is well placed bolt, thus we can climb it without problem.

We continue to climb until we come across a ledge where the first belay station is placed. There are two anchors and the belay position is rather comfortable.

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Getting ready for the climb
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First meters of Kalydonios Kapros
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Looking for the first gear placement

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First bolt of the route
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Almost at the Crux of Pitch 1
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At the Crux of Pitch 1
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Climbing up
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At R1
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The route is equipped with new anchors
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View from R1

R1 – R2 | V+ UIAA – 40 m.

The second pitch starts right above the R1 and initially move straight up from the belay. Having passed the second bolt, we have to move slightly to the left and to climb an overhang (V+ UIAA), which is the crux of pitch 2 and of the entire route.

As soon you climb the crux, there is a positive slab with tiny holds, but the climb on that part is a bit easier (around 5b). In this slab there are 4 additional bolts, and it is rather difficult to find good placements for additional gear. Thus, the lead climber should be very precise and careful with his moves.

The belay station is comfortable and from that point and on you start to enjoy the stunning views towards the seaside.

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View of Pitch 2 from R1
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View from R2
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Beautiful Slab and beautiful view

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Climbing up towards R2

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Almost at R2
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View from R2

R2 – R3 | V UIAA – 30 m.

The third pitch starts straight up from R2 and upon the first bolt, the climber needs to move slightly to the right for the entire length of this third pitch. The climb of this route is very nice and you move from a good hand hold to the other good hand hold without issues. This third pitch does not have a crux, but its difficulty (max V UIAA) is spread equally in the entire pitch.

As soon you climb the obvious grey slab, you come nearby a wild olive tree. In that position, you will come across the anchors, where you can set up your belay station.

The view from R3 is really wonderful with a clear view of Krioneri, Mesologgi and of Peloponnese.

The belay station is not comfortable, especially if you climb this route in three.

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Beginning of Pitch 3
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Enjoying the climb

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Climbing up

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Return

In order to return from the route, actually you have to abseil the route. The best option is to have 2 half ropes of 60 meters and to abseil from R3 to R2 and upon that to abseil from R2 to R0.

For the return calculate enough time in order to abseil the entire route and to collect the ropes.

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Abseiling from R3 to R2
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Abseiling from R3 to R2
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Abseiling from R2 to R0

Recommended Gear

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Trad climbing gear

For this trad climb, I used the following gear:


Details of the Climb

  • Location: Mt. Varasova – Spasmena (Phyco sector)
  • Difficulty: V+ UIAA
  • Length: 100 meters
  • Pitches: 3
  • When to Climb:  Late Autumn – Spring
  • Water Features: Yes

Download for free the complete route description and Topo map

Trad_Climbing_Varasova_Kalydonios_Kapros_Cover_02
Download FREE Guidebook

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.

One thought on “Kalydonios Kapros V+ UIAA, 100 m. | Trad Climbing in Varasova

  1. Pingback: Public VI- UIAA, 90 m. | Trad Climbing in Varasova – Olympus Mountaineering

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