All good things come to an end, and my run of good climbing days ended rather spectacularly on Spartan Wall, bailing on the warm up route of the day; an intimidating, but admittedly good 6b.
|Probleme Mineur (6b), Spartan Wall|
Fortunately N and H were there to bathe my wounded pride and I managed to pull myself together enough to lead up Lucifer’s Hammer (6c) after Nick kindly put the clips in for me. This impressive route leads straight up the seemingly blank and steep Spartan Wall on generally good pockets and holds - another great, fun route!
|N looking up at the wall of Lucifer's Hammer (6c)|
This was H’s day to shine, as she put in an impressive onsight effort on Leonides (7b), falling high up at the final crux moves. Second go and it was in the bag! With the clips in, I managed to regain my psyche, working my way up through technical tufa and wall climbing, to an awkward (and slightly unnerving) rest position, through a crimpy, tough grove until my arms failed me just as I reached the final crux slab. A fantastic route, which will definitely be near the top of my tick list for the next trip.
Another day, another crag and Ros, Rachel and I headed to Iannis in search of long, off-vertical wall climbs. We had a game plan for the day, and after warming up on Kalyne (6b), Ros lead off up Zagori (6c), a long and in places, quite run out, climb that stretched our 80m rope to the limit. For me, a few more bolts would have made the experience rather less nerve-racking and more enjoyable, but Ros was in her element. Which meant she got first lead on the next route on the list; Sens Unique, a 40m 7a that winds its way up the middle of the yellow wall. Fortunately this was considerably better bolted than Zagori and sustained, technical climbing on slopers and sidepulls (with the odd jug) led up to the crux, right near the top of the route. With variations on grunting, screaming and slapping, we all managed to pull through this and teeter across the delicate traverse to the chains – team send!
Final route of the day was Verikoko, a shorter (mere 30m!) 7a+ that H and N had recommended to me as being ‘your sort of route’. They were right, and though I was feeling tired after the previous routes, I managed to pull up through the juggy bulges and crimpy walls, and balance my way delicately across the tiny, less-than-positive holds at the top to secure my first 7a+ onsight, and another fantastic route. Ros followed suit, then we were all done for the day and headed down for celebratory ice cream and a dip in the pool.
Incidentally, I don’t think I’ve mentioned the fantastic rooftop pool at the Panormitis Studios. With views out to Telendos in one direction, and up to the Grande Grotta in the other, there is no better place to relax in the sun, or have a lazy swim in the clear, cool pool. And I think that's one thing that has made this holiday so enjoyable; climbing in the morning shade until your arms feel suitably knackered, then spending the afternoon chilling and reading before heading out to one of the fantastic restaurants in Masouri - heaven!
|View from the pool!|