Having been amazed by the “away from it all” settings of all the Athens crags we’ve visited, we finally had our first urban climbing experience at Hasia cave.
This sits on a subsidiary lump on the edge of Mt Parnitha, just above a busy road and behind a large villa (who’s spiky rear fence provides a bit of extra spice in the event of a fall!) Aesthetically disappointing but just the ticket for a half-day airport crag before taking Jake back for his flight home.
After a warm up on the unremarkable 6b “classic of the crag” we weren’t feeling enthusiastic, but Jake then lead the twisty tufa-fest of Koutalianos, which turned out to be outstanding. Very steep territory on tufa pinches then some complicated bridgery and smearing ( or in my case ungainly scrabbling) finishing with a crimpy finish.
Anyway, I was pleased to get my first 7a+ of the trip (and will be doubly saddened by the departure of my handy human clip stick!)
That effort finished me off, but Jake had other plans for a fitting finale to his Athens mini-break. Antidrasi, 7b+, is deemed worthy of the “musical note” symbol, and takes a huge traversing line through a couple of caves before a final desperate pop for a big hole. Jake made the most of the rest in the cave…
The shot below gives a better idea of the length and sideways nature of the route, and the upside-down land it covers (plus the fence spikes encouraging an attentive belay!)
Sadly, having put in a huge effort to make it to the final move it turned out to be a real stopper, so no grand fanfare just a major effort to strip the draws. Still, Jake managed to squeeze a lot of climbing into a very brief trip and we were all impressed by Athens as a cragging venue.