Kyparissi – Kastraki

We spent a peaceful night high above Kyparissi at the parking for sector Psilovrachos, with the clearing storm painting the skies and sea red

We awoke to find just how precarious a spot we’d picked, with vertiginous drops beneath the van 

… but pretty handy access for the crag 

However, the entry grade here is 6c+ and we’d planned on an easier day, so we tootled down into the village to park in the designated area amongst olive groves and then wandered past the beautiful painted church and cemetery for 5 minutes to sector Kastraki 

This is a mid-grade crag par excellence. No surprise that it was busy (okay, half a dozen teams) but in a buzzing, friendly way. 

There’s a lower sector on the left with routes from 5b to 6b and up to 35m on steepish grey rock and plentiful though sometimes hidden sharp edges and pockets. Here’s Helen on Mougares, one of two 6a+s she lead in addition to a couple of 6as.

Further up the hill on the right, the upper sector is red, bulging and tufa strewn with routes mostly from 6b to a solitary 7a (Tsambas, which fully lives up to the guidebook description: “Great climbing on tufa terrain with three intriguing bulges”) 

All in all, a top spot, and very photogenic too – here’s Olga on Rozos, 6a 

Spencer on Mantrakoukos 6b 

… and Tim on Tzambas, 7a

… I said it was a friendly crag! 

3 responses to “Kyparissi – Kastraki

  1. Dom! These are great posts…particularly as I’m planning a trip with the family to Greece in 2019. We’re going to skip Kalymnos and focus on some of the smaller (less crowded?) spots…Kyparissi, Crete, etc. Our abilities are fairly modest; I can get up a 7a on a really good day, but want to make sure there are quality easy (6a and easier) routes for the others. Can I ask for a bit of advice? Because we’ll be traveling from California, we’re trying to keep out bags as small and light as possible. For that reason we plan to focus on sport climbing. We’ll bring shoes, harnesses, and a 70 meter rope…how many draws would you suggest? Should I bring a few shoulder-length slings (or longer)? Anything else climbing-related? Thanks, Pete

    • Hey Pete, glad you found the blog useful! What time of year are you planning to visit? You certainly won’t have a shortage of routes around 6a in Kyparissi or Leonidio. Have you got the Aris Theodoropolous guide to Greece climbing? I’d say the grades are pretty reliable in there, though a bit more “old school” in the mainland rather than the Peloponnese.
      You’ll be fine with just draws and a rope for 95% of the routes in the guide. The only reason you might want a few trad pieces is is you plan to visit Meteora, and even then you can find enough to do that’s okay bolted. Maybe squeeze in a set of wires if you have room.
      A lot of newer routes are LONG and you might want to think about an 80m rope and say 16 draws. There’s still a lifetime of climbing to be had with a 70 but you’ll have to pick and choose and always knot the end if in doubt! Feel free to email for more beta. Have a great trip! Cheers, Dom

      • Thanks, that’s super helpful. We’ll be in Greece basically for the month of June, shoulder season I guess. I’ve ordered Theodoropolous’ guide, and planned to purchase a new rope for the trip…so we’ll likely get an 80 m one. And more draws too! Cheers, Pete

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