Our trip to Kalymnos, Greece was totally awesome! The weather was great, every day we woke up to a clear blue sky and a warming sun. One of the days we got a bit of clouds around lunch time but that was a climbing day so we didn’t mind.
The summer is a bit of a low season for climbing on Kalymnos. The dedicated climbers go there in May or September/October. But with a bit of care and planning you can climb quite much in the summer as well, with the added benefit that the water is warm and the afternoon and rest days can be spent on the beach.
Due to the heat it’s important to climb in the shade. Most of the crags are in the shade until lunch time, so we usually got up early (around 6:30 or so) left before 8 to the crags. That gave us 4-5 hours of climbing before the sun arrived and it got to hot. With a bit of efficiency that was enough for us to be happy with the day. After eating the lunch we had with us we took a slow walk (or scooter ride) back in the heat and spent the late afternoon bathing in the ocean and resting, before showering and heading out for dinner.
Grande grotta is quite intimidating so even though I had planned to climb something there before the trip, I was too scared to try! There was a short 7a route that I briefly looked at but the crux between the third and the four bolt looked very thin and hard from the ground so I decided to leave that route for the next visit.
On a climbing trip abroad I much prefer to climb lots of routes and many meters instead of getting stuck on a single route. So we mostly climbed routes that I can onsight without too much difficulties, i.e. routes between 5c and 6a or easier. I raised my personal best when I managed to onsight two 6a+ routes during the week but the 6b and 6b+ routes I tried were not my style so those I failed with.
Lots and lots of black! Which is the way it should be! I have realized that I love the challenge of onsighting. I get to climb something new that I haven’t climbed before with new unknown problems that have to be solved on the way up. It takes a bit more effort but the reward when succeeding is magnitudes higher than after a successful redpoint attempt on a route that has been practiced to death.
To finish off, some more pictures.
I think it’s the Poets sector you can see to the right.
This is the view from the Afternoon sector, which has got the name because it’s in the shade until late in the afternoon. So that’s where we headed the first day after arriving in the morning.
I’m planning to write an longer article later on how to get to Kalymnos, how to get around and where to eat etc etc. But it might take a while so I figured I’ll write this quick blog post first so that you’ll get something at least!