Return trip to Mars

On arriving back at the campsite in Leonidio after our Kyparissi excursion we’d spotted a fellow GB plated campervan and were surprised to find that our friends Andy and Wendy had turned up out of the blue – climbing really is a small world! For our final day in Leonidio we decided to team up and head back to Mars; one of the standout crags of the trip.

Unfortunately, we weren’t the only ones with this idea – it was absolutely rammed! 

Bizarrely, despite it being standing room only, there were only about four people actually climbing, but a lot of others sitting around and much attendant chatter. We sought out the relative quite of the left hand end and warmed up on Spiders from Mars, 6c (but not a hard one).

Heading into the melee, I did Drop City, a really excellent 7a with a steep tufa followed by a bouldery crux to exit onto a slab, then a hands-free rest before a vertical red wall on large but spaced pockets. Pausing for a breather at the rest, I realised I’d forgotten to take my phone out of my pocket, so took the opportunity of the great vantage point to get some really nice pics…

I should probably have headed to the beach at that point, but instead had an ultimately unsuccessful attempt on Yoko Mono (excellent wall with a bouldery tufa start and sustained pocket pulling) and similar result on NASA (both 7a) which I wouldn’t recommend as being worth the effort. Here’s an Italian lad on Yoko (RHS in blue) with Andy on an unknown route to the left. 

A final night dinner at our favourite Leonidio restaurant, Myrtoon, was a suitable finale to a fab couple of weeks in this magical spot. We’re already pondering our return trip. 

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