Mad Wall and Yellow Wall 

With a big storm arriving just in time to force a much-needed rest-day, we seized the opportunity of the cloud cover the following day  to visit one of the many “sun all day” crags we’d been avoiding all trip. Mad Wall and Yellow Wall both sit on the long line of crags above the road heading north towards Athens, a mile or so out of town. Arriving at the parking, we found that we weren’t the only ones with this idea – it was rammed! Looking down around midday I counted 40 vehicles! 

We joined the throng at Mad Wall, which offers a few dozen very well bolted routes around 5 to 6b on steepish grey slabs which steepen further towards the top. The place has a bit of a climbing wall atmosphere, with teams on most of the routes and unbroken lines of clips and ropes. Great views down to the fertile delta between the town and the sea which produces a fabulous variety of fruit and veg. 

Helen enjoyed accumulating her best haul of “ticks” of the trip so far, with a couple of 6bs (Don’t Panic being the best, and Politiki Kouziani not so great) and a 6a, Rock Love. 

We headed back right,   in search of some solitude and some trickier routes, and found both at Yellow Wall. This had been recommended as a good spot by a couple of sources and they weren’t wrong. Amazingly we had it to ourselves. Only 5 routes, but all around 40m and very well bolted. Yellow Submarine, 6c, and Lazaris 7a were both excellent – sustained climbing but without any particularly tough moves, with the length and attendant rope drag providing the main challenge. Buoyed by finding these straightforward I jumped on Kokoletta 7b and was chuffed to do it pretty comfortably – a tough first 10m on a slippery steep tufa gaining entry to easier ground and steady climbing.

A high point in the trip for both of us, no doubt aided by the rest day, cooler conditions and routes that suited us, but it’s also fair to say we’d stumbled into a zone of very friendly “Kalymnos-style” grading. “You’ve got to take the smooth with the rough!” Maybe that explains the  “Kalymnos-style” crowds… 

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