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Leonidio - das neue Kalymnos?

Alle Bilder und Text by Krille

In den Klettermagazinen und im Internet wird taucht immer wieder mal das Klettergebiet Leonidio auf den Peleponnes in Griechenland auf. Es ist vom "neuen Kalymnos" die Rede und die Fotos zeigen hohe rötliche Felswände mit Meerblick.
Ein Blick ins Internet zeigt viel Bewegung beim Sektoren- und Routenerschließen. Als dann im Ende 2014 erschienenen Auswahlführer über Griechenland für Leonidio mehr als 300 Routen auf ca. 45 Seiten aufgeführt werden, steht der Entschluss fest: Im November 2015 geht es zur Sommerverlängerung inklusive klettern nach Griechenland auf die Peleponnes. Nach Athen gibt es um diese Jahreszeit recht günstige Flüge, auch unabhängig vom streikanfälligem Kranich, und mit dem Mietwagen sind es 3 bis 3,5 Stunden ab Flughafen bis Leonidio. Mit dieser stressfreien und wetterunabhängigen Anreise punktet das Klettergebiet schon mal im Vergleich mit Kalymnos. Wir hatten uns eine Ferienwohnung am Meer einige Kilometer vor Leonidio in dem kleinen gemütlichen Fischerdörfchen Sampatiki ausgesucht. Frühstück auf der Terrasse mit Blick in den Fischerhafen. Und dann ging es an die sonnigen Südwände.

Climbing at Agiofarago Crete


After a climbing-technically rather fastidious September we went in October on the Greek island Crete. As in advance already clearly rather to extreme ease and less for climbing. Crete is also none of the Hotspots and also not completely admits to climbing.
But nearby our “Basecamp” in Pitsidia in the south of Crete there is the Agiofarago (ravine) one of still few climbing areas on the large Mediterranean island. In regarding of climbing somewhat underdeveloped if one looks at the small “large” brother Kalymnos. Admitted the density on closest area is not here possible and the entrances to the areas is not so comfortably however it exists far more possibilities than momentarily available. In any case it pulled me nevertheless then several times into the ravine.

Crete - Thousands of years old culture, large island in the Mediterranean, center of trade in the antique one, Raki drink up to declining, the Romans have the island cleared, since that give the pervasive goats their best to keep the landscape meager and let also the climbers better carry a helmet, the goat are located always above there - in the wall.
Crete - geological a splinter at tectonic border, in the south North African climate at the Lybian sea. Dozens of ravines cut through the island from that nearly 2500 meters high mountains to the sea. Many ravines for the climbers not drilled, many not accessibly.
Wild Crete - the Vendetta is still awake, 100 000e of unregistrated weapons, uncompromising society, locked, friendly and proudly, traditionally and stoic. Many hundred years of foreign rule and suppression left traces. Changes off the tourism go slowly, the power of the state in Athens is far.
Spiegel: 1985 - 2009

The journey to the Agiofarago goes over a runway. Depending upon condition also an all wheel can be useful, but a normal passenger car is usually enough. The journey by feet is too far. With the car can be driven until the valley becomes more closely where the ravine starts. Occasionally the front seat passenger must step out at a large gate to open and close. To parks goes already before, if the need exists further to walk. But in any case should be driven behind the tied up dog because with arising darkness it becomes society by two freely running still larger dogs and there I would not like pass by. One already sees the walls, grey, compact plates and orange over-hanging often sintered ranges arrived on the parking ground.


The ravine has the rough adjustment north south and is not very wide. The whole day long there are sectors in the shade. 18 consecutively numbered sectors with approx. exist. 110 routes - thus not really many - within the range of 4 - 8c. 
The first routes were drilled end of the 80's. Some routes in the rather light area are to be secured separately and it give also some multi-rope lengths routes. Most part of the routes are equipped and it only quickdraws are needed for sport climbing.
Those nearly vertical slabs are simply super roughly, unspent and smallhandy. The difficulties in the grey plates move to approx. 6c.
In the easily over-hanging ranges of the orange colored limestone the holds are opposite rather smoothly and more holes to hold. The strongly over-hanging ranges of the caves or their edges are sintered and in the extension over the cave walls usually quite holdless. From this degrees results > 8a.
A characteristic in the rock are the grey-brown ranges, those as soon as it gets against evening the humidity somewhat increased they become absolutely smoothly. Perhaps is better at other season. Even large grasps are then absolutely  difficult to hold, possibly in connection with the salty air from the sea. The routes are all long generally and a 70 meter rope is good to have. The evaluation of the routes is partly inhomogenous. Caution is with the selection of the routes concerning of the bolts required. Like that some sectors are in the best way equipped with sticking (glue) bolts, others  with expansion bolts. In particular the routes within the over-hanging ranges are equipped with expansion bolts those partially corroded and rusted. That does not make a climbing safer and it is a question of time when the bolts breaks here like already in other sea near areas happened. A reorganization of routes concerned is of advantage.
look at (in german):

Routs and Sectors recommended by myself
Sector 1 at the beginning of the ravine on more east (left) side. Large cave sinters and heavily. There route: Jacques Mesrine 8a+, looked not often climbed, like strong beginning large reaching into long overhang.
Sector 2 on the same side a little bit further on, slightly overhanging, interesting routes between 6c and 8a, which partly corroded Bolts. Routes: Daminator 7b+
Sector 4,5,6 is a large 40-50 meters high cave with routes of 6a at the edge to 8c on the inside and/or. beyond that. Routes: Fear factory 7b and Cathedral barrier (L1) 6b+
Sector 16 grey slabs of 4 - 6c are all super, those made fun particularly because of the roughness.
Sector 18 easily over-hanging with sinter and grey above, sharp plates. To make: Pipila and Choco Bluem both 7a and 40 meters long and of the finest quality

The way through the ravine ends at a gravel beach with super clear water, framed by the ending ravine walls super to jump into the water. Ok, in the winter perhaps too cold. Also directly at the beach there are some routes to do.


Pictures to click (3 von 21)
The start of Agiofarago Goumenospilios Cave, Sektor 4, Picture: Axel ravine with church Agios Antonis, Picture: Axel


Summer does not go at all. In the middle of Octobers had we still each day 30 - 31 degrees. Thus rather after it. In the winter it can rain well and be also quite cool weekwise but thats the better season then summer. Between the north and the south of Crete there are some degrees difference and the sunny days in the south are always more.

The next place is Sivas or Pitsidia. Here there are all kinds of accommodations, many taverns, cafes and small food shops. As self-supports one should buy in Agia Deka there the selection is more largely and the price approx. a third less. The cost of living are at the moment generally higher then in our country, the restaurant attendance by contrast more favorable.

With the airplane to Heraklion, then as the best choice further with the rented car. Into the south it does go also  public transports well, but however it doesn't exists a possibility with these to come into the climbing area (s).

Other areas
Malia, Plakias, Therissos, Kofinas, Dikti, Kapetaniana und more...

Crete gives naturally more than only climbing. There locally expanded walking can be also quite beautiful, the sea offers itself for beaching and snorkeling. One puts on oneself the radius more largely then offer migrations in to the Ida mountains or cultural attendance .

An expanded climbing vacation only at this only place is not worth. But in connection with other activities and who wants to relax some times is worthwhile in that beautiful landscape.
Interesting might be also the attendance and change to different climbing areas on Crete.



Topo Kreta 

Crete - From North to South
19,00 €

Autor: Philippe Bugada
Language: French/English
128 Pages

Year: 2009


Links - Crete Climbing Webside, many infos to the different places and listing of the climbs.
More pictures: