Warm, sunny intervals and possible showers – a bit of everything today, and teams headed to Panagia, Theos and Mars.
After a tough 4 days, Jake was keen for a rest day and I’d put in a shift at Mars so was happy to have a break from pulling hard, so Cec and I teamed up for Mignonette, the easiest of the multi pitch routes on Kokkinovrachos at 5c with 7 pitches and 175m, taking the easy angled arete in the centre of the crag in the photo below.
Easy access from the Douvari approach to within about 50m of that sector then branching off right on a steeper zigzagging scree path marked by frequent red blobs – around 30mins. Rounding the final corner we arrived at the foot of the route to find we weren’t the only ones with this plan – there were two teams ahead of us, one waiting to start, and another pair of (really annoying) Austrians who’d finished and were rapping the route (rather than the separate advised abseil line) and thus getting in everyone’s way. We pondered a change of objective, but in the end decided to chill out for an hour in the sun and let the queue die down.
People seemed to be moving reasonably slickly, so having given the last team a head start we set off. Here’s Cec leading the first pitch, with the main meat of the route clearly visible above and left.
… and setting off up P4, the first of the 5c pitches.
… arriving at the end of P6
… and topping out (by which time a light drizzle had arrived). 1:45hrs climbing, with another 20mins sat on the P4 belay waiting for the traffic to clear.
From the top-out you pick up a decent path leading rightwards for a couple of hundred metres until you reach a large cairn on the cliff edge and another line of red blobs (if you haven’t found it you probably haven’t gone far enough). This leads via a bit of a bushy scramble (more red dots) down to the first of two rap points. WARNING – THE GUIDE SAYS TWO 30M ABSEILS WILL GET YOU DOWN, BUT THE 2ND ONE IS 40M!!! Jim and Clair found this to their cost when they tried with a 60m and had to prussick back up the lower rap and wait for a following team to come to the rescue. You need an 80m rope (or maybe you’d scrape down as far as a tree with a 70m.
Anyway, we had an 80m so were soon back in the bar (would have been sooner but for a stuck rope. A good use of the day!