Monsters of the Wind – A Mixed Climbing Attempt of the South-West Ridge – Mount Ortholithi

For many years, I have been looking at the South-West ridge of Mount Ortholithi and I was always wondering how it would be to climb it. About two years ago, just before covid would reach Greece and lockdowns would be imposed, I had the chance to go, climb and free a new route which I named as Monsters of the Wind.

Since the moment I climbed Monsters of the Wind , I was wondering if it would ever be possible to try this route in winter conditions. Although this year in Greece we had a quite cold winter with quite some snowfalls, Mount Ortholithi is located in a rather dry area where snowfalls are extremely rare. Nevertheless, in mid-March of the current year we experienced and unexpected fall and I have noticed that the area of Mount Ortholithi would be covered with snow.

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Olive trees, snow and Mount Ortholithi

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Winter Mountaineering Climb in Strogoula – Tzoumerka (Athamanika)

Winter time in Greece can be very exciting! Despite popular belief, in Greece we do have some mid-range peaks but we also have snow. This is great for whoever is interested exploring winter mountaineering routes.

Our initial plan was to visit Tzoumerka for a three day “expedition”, but due to bad weather we decided to enjoy the mountain at least for one day.

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Tzoumerka – Strogoula as see from Pramanta Mountain Refuge

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Winter hike mount Panaitoliko (Panetoliko)

Just before we jump into 2022, I was looking to visit and discover a new mountain of Greece, that I had never visited before. In the meantime, it was also important to check the weather forecast and where there would be enough snow for a winter mountaineering ascent. Greece, is a very mountainous country and therefore there is plenty of choice, but for this time, I have decided to visit mount Panaitoliko (or Panetoliko).

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On the ridge with great view towards Krimnitsa Peak

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Christmas Hike and Climb on Dirfi Mountain

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.

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Dirfi Mountain

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Mount Tymfi (Pindos) North Side Thru-Hike Part 2 – Sadi Migas – Karteros Pass – Astraka Refuge

Following a rather good night of sleep in the “secret” log cabin, we woke up with a unique and mesmerising morning view. The early morning sun beams were gently hitting the high peaks of Mt. Tymfi and specifically Gamila peak. The contrast of the rock and the clear blue sky was great and there was clearly visible a line, which happens to be one of the most repeated trad-climbing routes of Gamila, Tsekouri.

Although this second day we had to cover quite some distance and to climb up Karteros’ pass, we took it rather easy with our breakfast. We enjoyed our morning coffee and talked about past mountaineering activities and climbing routes. 

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Our morning view from the log cabin

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Mixed and Alpine Climbing in Vardousia Mountain | Aris II 2 M2 – 400m.

Vardousia (Greek: Βαρδούσια) is a mountain in northwestern Phocis and southwestern Phthiotis, Greece. Its highest peak, Korakas (Greek: Κόρακας) reaches 2,495 m (8,186 ft) above sea level, making it the second-tallest summit in Central Greece after Giona. It is a southern extension of the Pindus mountains. It is divided into three main parts: Northern Vardousia, whose highest peak is Sinani at 2,059 metres (6,755 feet), the very steep Western Vardousia, whose highest peak is Soufles at 2,300 metres (7,500 feet), and Southern Vardousia, with the highest peak of Korakas. The whole range measures about 25 kilometres (16 miles) from north to south.

The Vardousia is drained by tributaries of the river Spercheios to the north, the Mornos to the east and south, and the Evinos to the west. The Panaitoliko mountains are to the west, Tymfristos to the northwest, Oeta to the east and Giona to the southeast.

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Gioni Plai as seen from Profitis Elias

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Dry Tooling in Parnassos (Parnassus) Mountain

Few weeks ago, I have been on Mount Parnassos in order to ascent one of the couloirs that is located on the North Face of Gerontovrachos. Due to the fact we climbed fast and finished the route early, instead of leaving the mountain and returning home, we decided to spend some time on a Dry Tooling crag that is located nearby the Ski centre of Parnassos.

This Dry tooling crag is in close proximity of the Kelaria parking lot and it’s very easy to access it.

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Dry Tooling crag on Mount Parnassos

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Dry Tooling in Athens – Rizos’ Cave

Mountaineering is the set of activities that involves ascending mountains.

Mountaineering-related activities include traditional outdoor climbing, skiing, and traversing via ferratas. Sport climbing and Bouldering  and even Dry Tooling are also considered mountaineering by some.

Unlike most sports, mountaineering lacks widely-applied formal rules, regulations, and governance; mountaineers adhere to a large variety of techniques and philosophies when climbing mountains. One of the various techniques is Dry Tooling too.

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Petzl Quark for Dry Tooling

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Alpine Climb in Gerontovrachos – Parnassos

This winter in Greece, is rather dry so far and therefore we did not have many chances to enjoy winter mountaineering activities like the previous years. Nevertheless, last week there was some snowfall and in combination with low temperatures, we decided to go and climb one of the many couloirs in Gerontovrachos – Parnassos.

Located at the center of Greece, Parnassus (Parnassos) is one of the biggest and most beautiful mountains of the country. Its highest part is Liakoura peak at 2.457 m. and Tsarkos (2.415 m.) and Gerontovrahos (2.389 m.) peaks follow.

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View from Gerontovrachos peak

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A mixed climbing attempt on Profitis Elias 2.257 | Mount Kyllini (Ziria)

First time I have visited Mount Kyllini (Ziria), it was during the first snow-fall of 2016. It was a very exciting day, and since then I have visited this mountain various other times but I was always reaching the highest point of Mount Kyllini (Megali Ziria), Simio.

During the last winter season, I had spotted a very nice alpine route on a lower peak of Mount Kyllini, Profitis Elias Peak (2.257 m.). As I always like to explore new alpine routes, and due to the fact I did not find any relative info for that part of mount Kyllini, I have decided to set up my gear and to go and explore the climbing possibilities of the North-West face of Profitis Elias Peak (2.257 m.).

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Mount Kyllini – Megali Ziria as seen from St. Nicholas chappel

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