Zobolo – the only way is up!

The Vatiko peninsula at the bottom end of the “forefinger” of the Peloponnese marks the southernmost point of mainland Europe (according to the guidebook – a bit more analysis suggests that Gibraltar wins, but why spoil a good story?) Anyway, it’s got a very remote feel about the place, almost 5 hours drive south of Kalamata.

Regular followers will have spotted a 2-day gap in cragging posts, during which we’ve driven south, caught up with van jobs and even done a bit of work…

… whilst it has absolutely chucked it down! We’re talking 2 or 3 inches of rain accompanied by some major atmospheric pyrotechnics. We were treated to a “bright as day” flash of sheet lighting every few minutes throughout the night (click play below for a sample)…

The Zobolo crags are just a kilometer or two from the tip, overlooking the once-feared Cape of Cavomalias as it juts out into the Myrtoan sea.

We woke up in the crag parking to leaden skies and blustery winds, and feared another written-off day, but things perked up and we got some good cragging in.

The right hand end of the cliff starts with sector Protos Tihos, giving steep, featured routes on sharp holds, mostly 5c to 6b.

Here’s Helen warning up with Bara, 5a

Quote: “It’s just like a 3* Pembroke VS, except with bolts… and not in Pembroke”

Here’s Jim on Lepida (translates as “blades”!), 6a

…and me on Nysteri, 6a+

A bit further up the hill, on Sector Ekpedeftikes, we did Ripeos Anemos, 6c, Apolithomeno, 6b and Captain, 6b+. All good, though on crimpier and occasionally pebbly white rock.

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