Wednesday, 26 January 2011

New Route Fever

On our various ramblings we have been keeping an eye open for possible new routes and spotted a decent looking crag not far from Pothia.
As it was soon to be Colin's 65 birthday we flew him out and pointed him at the crag - I know he loves a challenge. Two days on and three new routes have already appeared, and if we say so ourselves they are quite good!
All we need now are some names.
The cost of the gear to equip a route is a bit of a shocker mind, a hanger 12mm bolt is around €5 and 'proper' lower-off is €35. The three routes have two lower-offs and 24 bolt runners, you can work out the total easily enough!

Monday, 17 January 2011

Monday Morning Blue

The magnificent Arhi was deserted, so we had the whole place to ourselves which is rare event. Last time we were there (New Year's Day) it was rammed. Despite the showery forecast there was a cool northerly breeze and wall to wall sunshine, perfect climbing conditions. Factor in the great routes, beautiful rock and the fact that it was Monday morning - could it possibly get any better? Oh and Sherri has booked the flights home - bummer!

Not set to leave for four weeks mind!!

Saturday, 15 January 2011


We had a great day craging over in the Three Caves on Telendos, though I got a bit chewed by 'the only crack on the island'. Also we have continued to poke away looking at various bits of undeveloped rock - there is a lot if it about when we started looking. The brief is tricky mind, it needs to be not to far from the road, not to high and not too hard; plus Aris says it has to have a 10-15 routes to make it worth a visit by other teams.
We may have found a candidate not far from Pothia, Colin is coming out next weekend, and I have already borrowed the drill so watch this space!
Today we had a walk to another Crag X which I reckon may have room for 50+ routes, far too big an undertaking for me mind - I'll hand it over to the locals!

Click on the shot to the right (twice) for a full sized version of the crag.

Friday, 7 January 2011

Via Ferrating - with a twist

Kalymnos Via Ferrata

The new Kalmnos guide lists a Via Ferrata right above where we are staying. We didn't have any of the 'proper' kit with us (wouldn't bother me but Sherri is more timid), so I decided we could do it as a 'route' and pitch the whole thing. It was a case of slow and steady, we did it in about eight pitches. It all went very well, it has some spectacular positions, and with the cold north wind, the views were fantastic with Icari visible for the 1st time 60 miles to the north . The long walk off past Symplegades dropped us right back to the pad.
The system worked fine, I led, clipping into the iron-work and Sherri followed, belayed and clipped into the cables. There was a slight 'moment' at 'the crux', an exposed traverse round a bulging arete - but she hung in there. The huge cave halfway along the traverse is an amazing spot, full with huge amounts of goat poo - they have obviously been doing the route for years!

Saturday, 1 January 2011


2011 - who would have thought it - still trucking on! I fell over last week in the middle of Pothia (felt like a right chump) - luckily the only damage (apart from to my self-respect) was a strained middle finger. It was pretty swolen so I guessed climbing would be out for quite a while but two days of iced water/Volterol treatment and it was feeling much better so we headed to Arhi on New Year's Day.
It was glorious and busy - with 30+ folks sheltering from the north wind it felt like the high season was back again. I did eight easy routes - the finger held up well - cracking stuff.
Only a couple of more nights in Babis's place then it back to the peace and quiet of Myrties.

3rd January; Babis and Diana back from the UK both with monsterous streaming colds - NOW they know why we spend the winter down here. Diana described a winter in the UK as a prison sentence!

Back to Babis Bar and within 5 minutes the power was down!! Nice sunset mind!

"50 Years Ago Today"

Big Chris and Smaller Colin - 50 years on and still getting wet! Colin was heading back from Spain to the UK so he called in and we spen...