Mt Taygetus is the highest point in the Peloponnese (2,407m), forming a huge natural barrier separating Sparta from Kalamata and the coast. There’s a steep and winding mountain road that links these two through really impressive scenery – so tortuous that it’s much faster to drive the 100km around than 50km over the top. However, then you would miss a couple of great crags!
First along the way, about 15km from Sparta, is Lagada, which (along with Nedousa – see next post) was developed as part of a EU funded (why didn’t the remain campaign mention it – could have made a difference!) environmental / eco-tourism project in 1999. It even included a fairly primitive, but free, sleeping cabin, a loo and some nice signs…
A steep wall above the cabin…
And a shady (not that we needed to worry, with leaden skies and a bit of drizzle) tufa and pocket strewn wall below road level next to a dry stream-bed. We climbed on the latter and were pretty impressed. Prigipesia 6a+ gets the musical note symbol, but is spoiled by having one trickier sharp move,
whereas the neighbouring Fotismeno Aloni is absolutely outstanding, covering some monstrously steep territory at a reasonable 6b. Fab.
I was suitably encouraged to try Niskitos Deipnos, a really impressive overhanging line of tufas. Another heartbreak as I ran out of gas just beneath the chain, trying to work out a sequence (spoiler alert – pull out left then back right to clip). I couldn’t decide whether to be chuffed or gutted when I realised I’d inadvertently strayed onto the adjacent 7b+ in the tufa maze around half height 😦 / :-)? I decided to award myself a half tick for trying hard!
Back at the parking the sun had finally made an appearance and we watched a strong German couple working a 7b+ right of the big cave – most impressive as they had a couple of toddlers in tow. Brings back memories!