Alpine Climb on Mount Xerovouni via Central Couloir

One more weekend arrived, and it was time to hit the trail once again. We had plenty of options in our mind, such as Alpine Climb on Gerontovrachos (mount Parnassos), Dirfi mountain or the continuation of Dirfi, Xerovouni mountain.

Xerovouni is a limestone mountain in central Evia and is essentially a continuation of Dirfy mountain complex. Its highest peak, Portaris, is 1,453 m high.

Although Xerovouni is not a very high mountain, due to its proximity to Athens, many hikers and climbers visit it. In addition, in Xerovouni there are plenty of trad climbing routes, that during winter time most of these routes become the perfect playground for rock & ice climbing activities.

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Beginning of the trail towards Xerovouni

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Winter Hike on Mount Parnitha

It was a beautiful sunny morning just after Christmas and just before the end of 2018 and I took the decision to go for a training hike on Mount Parnitha. The previous days there was a quite heavy snowfall and due to rather low temperatures I was able to hike on snow (in the north side of the mountain) and on dry conditions from the east/south side of Mount Parnitha.

Mt. Parnitha is located in Attiki province, 25km North from the city of Athens. It is one of the 4 mountains(the others are Immitos, Penteli and Aigaleo) that surround the circular plain,in which the city of Athens is built. Mt Parnitha is the talllest and more impressive among the mountains that surround Athens.

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Flabouri Mountain Hut

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Winter Mountaineering Climb in Strogoula via Agrofylakas Couloir (Tzoumerka-Athamanika)

It’s almost Christmas time and also the end of one more exciting mountaineering year here in Greece. This past year, we have been to many different mountain peaks and mountain range, but one of the few that we have never visited before, were Athamanika or Tzoumerka Mountains.

Athamanika mountains, also known as Tzoumerka,  are part of  Pindos mountain range located at the boundaries of the regions of Thessaly and Epirus. Both the physical landscape and the traditional settlements set Athamanika mountains as one of the most popular tourist destinations in Greece.

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Stroggoula as seen from the refuge of Pramanta

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Winter hike and mountaineering climb on Gardiki Peak (Arête of Chelmos/Aroania)

Winter is back! And we are very happy for this for the simple fact that most, if not all, the high mountains of Greece, are fully covered with this beautiful water vapour frozen into ice crystals, Snow!

It was beginning of December, and as first winter mountaineering climb, we have decided to visit the third consecutive peak of the Arete of Chelmos (Aroania), Gardiki.

Gardiki (2.182 m), is part of the Aroania (Chelmos)   mountain complex. Aroania/Chelmos (2355m), stands proud with its biggest section extending to the Kalavrita area. Is the third highest mountain in the Peloponnese and its natural beauties, the rare species of plants, birds and animals make it stand out. Its rich biotopes are protected as a Natura 2000 site.  The mount attracts a large number of visitors mainly due to the ski-center that is situated in Vathia Lakka, 14 km. east of Kalavrita and the climbing routes. It offers an unsurpassed experience since there nest landscapes of unique beauty, traditional settlements, archaeological areas, caves and rivers. The mountain is suitable for excursions round the year.

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Startin Point – Zarouchla village

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Winter Mountaineering Activities | Season 2017 – 2018 Summary

Winter is gone, spring has come. One more season of winter mountaineering activities have been concluded in Greece and this is a short summary post with the highlights of this year’s Winter Mountaineering activities. If you wish to see the individual posts which contain detailed information and more photos, you can click to the following links:

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Vardousia Mountain

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Aroania (Chelmos) Winter Mountaineering Ascent

It has been quite some time ago since we have last visited Aroania / Chelmos (Helmos) and although officially is spring time, we have managed to achieve one more ascent on winter mountaineering conditions. On our previews visit to this mountain we had approached it from the village Peristera and we have passed through the spectacular waterfall of Styga (Ydata tis Stygos). Instead, this time we have decided to approach the mountain from the Ski resort of Kalavryta and move towards the highest peak of Chelmos, Psili Koryfi 2.355 m.

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Kalavryta Ski Centre

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Vardousia Mountains Alpine Climb via Lion’s Couloir

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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Mount Aselinon (Giona) while driving to Vardousia Mountains

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Winter Mountaineering climb on Nisi Peak (Arête of Chelmos/Aroania)

We are already in beginning of March and the short winter mountaineering season in Greece will be concluded in about a month from now. Therefore, for this climb, we have decided to do a more demanding winter mountaineering ascent in the non-famous peak of Nisi (paradoxically the meaning of Nisi in Greek is “island), which is located nearby Lake Doxa, and is actually the beginning of the famous alpine route “Arête of Chelmos“.

Nisi is the first high peak of the Arête of Chelmos” route and the highest point is at 2.042 meters above sea level. It has a very steep ridgeline and there are 2 main ways in order to reach the peak. The first option is to hike up from Lake Doxa towards the “hunter’s col“. This is the same route that also leads to Mount Pentelia a.k.a. Dourdouvana and is a beautiful and relatively easy route. The second option is to start from the Monastery of St. George, which is located on a beautiful plateau overlooking Lake Doxa, and to each the “Madero Col“. From St. George Monastery till “Madero Col” the route is rather easy crossing small creeks, a beautiful pine forest and parts of a local dirt road.

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Dirfi Mountain Winter Climb via Couloir

For one more time, due to weather conditions we were forced to change our initial plans and instead of Vardousia mountain, we have decided to visit the beautiful mountain of Evia, 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.

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Parnassos Mountain Winter Mountaineering Ascent

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.

Mount Parnassus is a great area which extends to the municipalities of Boeotia, Phthiotis and Phocis.

Since 1938 a big part of the forest area of the mountain, has been declared as a National Park, which along with the one on Olympus were the first ones that were established in Greece. The Mountain of Apollo, as it also called, is known from the ancient times, as there are many myths connected to it.

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Sunrise view

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