Varasova 

Another two-crag day, making the most of the heat of midday to shift base again, heading further south to Varasova. This is a huge triangular limestone mountain (917m high) overlooking the Gulf of Patras and with views across it to the Peloponnese. Photo below taken the next day looking back at Varasova from across the Gulf. 

Another 5* stopover of cragging with awesome accommodation thrown in… 

The climbing options range from easy three pitch routes on sector Spasmena above the sea, on very sharp, heavily featured slabs (in the picture above) to 20-pitch trad or bolted adventures on Sendero Luminoso on the higher slopes. In between these are a good spread of single to four-pitch routes on vertical walls featuring crack and corner lines.

With the crag being in full sun when we arrived (and already having had a “first sitting” at Mitikas) we settled for a couple of the easy slab routes. They were very easy (5b ish), but thoroughly enjoyable. 

Next morning we planned to use the early shade to try some of the steeper routes. 

Antio Hari proved to be a pleasant warm-up at 6a though Chrisopigi was a much tougher proposition at 6b. 

With the sun threatening to encroach at any moment I decided to throw myself at yet another 7a (having failed on at least half a dozen so far this trip). Petalouda on sector Batman gets the “musical note” sign of quality and is described as “a stellar line with a very technical finale”. Rarely have I tried so hard on a route; it was tough going for most of the way, let alone the finale, but taking an overhanging groove line was very much playing to my strengths. With equal amounts of persistence, sweat and sheer bloody-mindedness, I managed to get it done. So pleased! The route takes the slightly left trending groove in the center of the picture below. 

Time for a celebratory dip before heading over the sparkling new Patras bridge and into the Peloponnese. 

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