Friday, 6 July 2012

Mount Olympus

Back to the missing months..... at the end of May, Sharon and I travelled to Greece with a group of friends for a week, the plan was to tackle Mount Olympus, standing at nearly 10,000 ft it is the highest free standing mountain in Europe. The plan was to climb it over two days, climbing to 2000m and staying over in a mountain refuge, then climbing the final 1000m the following morning.
All of the group had opted to drive and start the climb from a place called Prionia, which is 1000m up the mountain, but our view was that if we were climbing it we would start at sea level and climb the full mountain. So we started at 8am on the Wednesday morning, leaving Litochoro and walking up the amazing Enipeas Canyon, as you will see from the pictures it was a stunning place, full of beautiful waterfalls. It took us about 7 hours to reach Prionia, where the rest had started earlier, and after a rest and lunch we climbed the next 1000m, arriving at the refuge at 6pm.
After an interesting night sharing a bunk room with everyone, we left for the summit at 7am, soon hitting the cloud and the snowline. We lost 3 of the group further on who turned back as the conditions worsened, the remainder of us made it to the summit, just as we topped out the cloud cleared, and for only about 10 minutes gave us some spectacular views, and then it dropped again. It was a magical and emotional feeling, I was so proud of Sharon, we had done it right from the bottom, with very heavy packs, and it was only her second time in crampons.
It was a great expedition, we loved every minute, the weather wasn't great for Greece, was a heatwave at home!! but one hell of an experience, never to be forgotten. Hope you enjoy the photos....

in the Enipeas Canyon

lots of Salamanders about

Litochoro, where we started the walk from

looked a hell of a long way from here!!

entering theNational Park

and the start of the canyon trail

yours truly with Olympus in the background...still along long way to go!

one of the many lovely bridges that cross the canyon

stunning butterflys

and waterfalls

this church was in a cave at the side of the Trail, a stunningly beautiful and emotional place, lit a candle for my sister, Tracy

At Prionia, as we started the 1000m climb to the refuge, the pack horses that take supplies to the refuge

Sharon at the foot of one of the many avalanche chutes

nearly at the refuge, which is perched on the top of the cliff

sun rise over the Aegean Sea from 2000m up Olympus

Brown Bear prints ..... yikes!!

8 of us that summitted

Sharon delighted to have made it!

proud couple

so proud of Sharon, she did so well

Sharon points out where we started from the day before

nearly back at the refuge for lunch, before the final descent

avalanche damage

All done and time to relax on the beach


  1. Another excellent account and photographs of your latest adventure, sooner you than me, though I really do wish I had the guts to do this Gary, but the Brown Bare prints did'nt do anything to encourage me to be able to. The 'Proud Couple' pic says it all about the pair of you....great stuff.

  2. I've loved your fabulous photos on PMP! These "extras" are lovely to see! Thank you!


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