Leonidio – Skiadianiko

We’d visited this crag on our last trip in the hope that the altitude plus the curved nature of the crag might provide enough shade and relief from the heat. The strategy had paid off when I just caught the last vestige of shade to do the awesome tufa masterpiece of Super Ramasca https://www.google.com/amp/s/rockaroundtheworld.co.uk/2017/10/27/skiadianiko/amp/

Despite having been before, I still managed to struggle to find the correct approach (fading memory!) – you just need to trust the directions in the guidebook: park next to the candle shrine and then walk 50m up the road (towards Elona) before taking the excellent path down into the river (requiring a short icy paddle or a jump on this occasion) before following the gorgeous ancient pathway as it snakes around to reveal the crag.

It really is a gorgeous spot, and there’s a great spread of routes – something to suit everyone which was just as well as we had the full team out (now 15 with the arrival of Justin and Chris). This time around we were chasing sun rather than shade, and warmed up on the far left end – here’s Helen on Viva Loka

And Jim and then Helen on Masmagoudi, 6a/+

Meanwhile, one motivation for a return visit was to do a route in the central cave area – we’d checked this out on our previous visit, but found it full of climbers and 12″ deep in goat poo. Helen had quite reasonably withdrawn her offer of a belay. With Jim willing to tolerate the fragranced ambiance and hold my rope I managed to battle my way up Marsipitation, 7a, a spectacular if somewhat friable tufa snake through very steep territory and alarmingly sparse bolting.

Back out in the fresh air, I got a couple of nice pics of Justin and John climbing on “Eye of the Tiger” area:

By now the righthand side of the crag was enjoying the last of the rays and bathed in a dramatic red light. Perfect time to have a go at Brown Cougar (7a+ or 7b depending which guide you choose) which was great fun – super crimpy start to big moves on blobby tufa blocks to finish.

Then Jim made a great lead of the tough Eye of the Tiger, 6b+

All of which meant we’d worked up a good appetite (not to mention thirst) for the spectacular veggie Greek feast for 15 that Clair had managed to concoct in their 4 person studio – just like the front room at Beudy!

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