It was around 5.30 in the morning when I woke up in this beautiful landscape, right bellow Madero and Gardiki peaks. As soon I opened my eyes I enjoyed the stunning rock that was just above us. It was from there we abseiled the night before. The moon was just above that rocky face and from the east I could see the first sun beams of this new day.
The previous couple of months I was extremely busy and therefore, besides some rock climbing I was not able to dedicate enough time to new mountaineering adventures.
Though, in my calendar, I had booked a specific date that the Mountaineering Club of Athens(EOS Athinon) would organise the famous long Traverse Arête of Chelmos (Aroania)
Aroania, also known as Helmos or Chelmos, is a mountain range in Achaea, Peloponnese, Greece. At 2,355 m elevation, Aroania is the third highest mountain of the Peloponnese, after Taygetus and Kyllini, and the highest in Achaea. The largest town near the mountain is Kalavryta. The municipal unit Aroania took its name from the mountain.
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.
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:
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.
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.