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! 

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