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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Hiking in West Parnitha – Agios Kiprianos – Koromilia peak – Tamilthi peak – Alogopetra peak – Agios Kiprianos

The past few days, I have had the chance to enjoy one of the most famous mountains of Greece, Mount Parnitha. Mount Parnitha, is one of the most visited mountains due to its proximity to the capital of Greece, Athens.

Athens is the capital of Greece. It was also at the heart of Ancient Greece, a powerful civilisation and empire. The city is still dominated by 5th-century BC landmarks, including the Acropolis, a hilltop citadel topped with ancient buildings like the colonnaded Parthenon temple. Although there is plenty cultural and historical sights in and around Athens, a visitor has many more reasons in order to visit this magnificent city.

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Agios Kiprianos Monastery

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Climbing in Koutsomaraki Crag – Mount Poikilo, Attica-Greece

While I have been searching for some new climbing crags, I came across a newsletter by Petroupolis Mountaineering Club and I have noticed that on October 4 2020, the inauguration of a new climbing crag took place. In this inauguration was also present Mr. Nikos Latsoudis, who had spotted and indicated the location of this crag about 4 years ago. The climbing crag after much effort and work done by many members of the Petroupolis Mountaineering Club took shape.

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Koutsomaraki Climbing Crag

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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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Dardiza Bayby 2 IV UIAA 30 m. | Trad Climbing in Dardiza Bay – Ermioni

It has been quite some time since our last trad climbing adventure and due to the fact weather forecasts were not very favourable, we decided to go to explore a nice rock which is located nearby a town called Ermioni.
 
Our previous climbing adventure in the area, took place to the magnificent Thermisia Lagoon, and Kouverta beach.
 
This time, we wanted to explore a nice rock that from far we could spot it could offer a nice climb towards the top. 

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Hiking in West Parnitha – Kliston Monastery – Pan’s Cave – Arma – Kliston Monastery

Throughout the years, I have been involved and exploring various outdoor activities. Like most of us, I started my outdoor adventures with simple day hikes, then I moved on with multi-day hikes and trekking, then some scrambling, mountaineering, winter mountaineering, climbing and of course the combination of all the above.

Having this diverse background with the various activities, I have developed a good sense of appreciation of the various natural habitats. One of the most interesting area to visit in Greece, is Mount Parnitha which is located just few kilometres far from the city centre of Athens.

This time, I wanted to go for a solo hike and I decided to visit West Parnitha and the trail that starts from the Kliston Monastery and leads you to Arma via the famous Pan’s cave.

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Beautiful view towards the west suburbs of Attica

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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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Dardiza Bayby 1 V- UIAA 30 m. | Trad Climbing in Dardiza Bay – Ermioni

It has been quite some time since our last trad climbing adventure and due to the fact weather forecasts were not very favourable, we decided to go to explore a nice rock which is located nearby a town called Ermioni.
 
Our previous climbing adventure in the area, took place to the magnificent Thermisia Lagoon, and Kouverta beach.
 
This time, we wanted to explore a nice rock that from far we could spot it could offer a nice climb towards the top. 
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Lovely view towards Hydra island

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Climbing in Arcadia/Repodina Crag – Arcadia, Greece

Greece has risen from obscurity to become one of Europe’s most beloved sport climbing destinations. When it comes to rock climbing, Greece is unique. Thanks to the temperate climate, you can be actively involved year-round in the sport. More importantly, the rugged landscape of the land offers a variety of options (examples are limestone, caves, and marble), and so many curious geological formations to explore on all fours.

This time we have visited the newly developed crag just 40 minutes far from Leonidio. The name of this crag Arcadia (or Repodina).

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Arcadia / Repodina Crag

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