Saturday, December 03, 2011


I finally made it to Kalymnos or, as John Topping said:

“aah so you caved in (pun intended) and went to Kalymnos after all!!”

Having been put off by stories of crowds and overly steep climbing I’m now kicking myself for not having made the trip years ago.

Pete Whillance said it was a world class climbing destination (what, you mean like Tuolumne or Red Rocks?). He wasn’t wrong. There are crags everywhere and thousands of routes. Resident activists are constantly developing new areas and all within a short scooter ride from base camp in Masouri. In fact much of the island economy seems to have been turned over to climbing after the failure of sponge diving.

We climbed a couple of the easier tuffa routes but for us the best climbing was undoubtedly on the 40M mega pitches at Ahri; endless steep faces with beautiful rock and an uninterrupted supply of positive holds. '4U' (6c) at Arhi was my favorite route of the trip while Ghost Kitchen was the most inspiring crag that we visited. There’s loads of places we didn’t have time to visit including most of the popular crags directly behind Masouri.

I think I’ll still be avoiding the peak periods of April and October and won’t be provoking the Athens riot police again (another story) but, I’ll definitely be back.

Il Pittore 6b+, Arhi

Ghost Kitchen, 6C+

Pete Whillance and Cynthia Grindley below Ghost Kitchen

Pete Whillance, 7a at Ghost Kitchen

Pete Whillance, French Connection 6a+, North Cape