Frydi – another shady spot

Another day of unbroken blue skies and temperatures forecast to reach the low 20s resulted in a relaxed start – tired from the last few days. Coffee on the beach

… is followed by a perfect excuse for procrastination: “Clean Monday” (the first in Lent?) is traditionally celebrated by Greeks flying kites, and after yesterday’s spectacular carnival we figured it would be worth hanging out on the beach for the aerial equivalent follow up. Sure enough, a couple of families did turn up and re-enact the same performance you might catch on any British beach. Mum holds kite, Dad marches down beach trailing string, kids play in the sand (largely oblivious to the quest for flight), and on some preordained signal, much activity results in the kite falling straight to the ground. The only difference is that the kites here are hexagonal.

No more excuses – time to find a shady crag, and we settle for Frydi, a small sector of about 10 routes 5c to 6c on the north facing side of the valley, opposite the main Kokkinovrachos areas. It doesn’t look much from below

… and the actual developed routes are confined to a fairly short grey wall on the far right. However the 10 minutes walk offers panoramic views of most of the main climbing areas set out above the town

Great minds think alike, and Pete and Jim arrive not long afterwards. We’ve already established that the grades are a bit tough; an assessment they endorse!

Here’s Pete, well decked-out for photogenic visibility, on the sandbaggy Romanca.

… and Jim about to make a perilous clip on Sfix mia Fix.

We also did Faltseta, 6b+, on the orange rock over to the left of the developed grey sector, highly entertaining climbing on slightly worrying rock but with the assurance of closely-spaced bolts.

We figured we’d seen the best of Frydi by then, so opted for a two-crag day by winding further up the outrageous zigzags to the St Nicholas Monastery.

I’d been inspired for a return to do Archgoat, 7a, which takes a huge sweeping flake system up a massively overhanging wall.

You can pick out the line to the left of the climber (Matt from Glasgow, on the adjacent 7b taken on our last trip).

Helen was kind enough to provide a precarious hanging belay in a cave and I battled my way through the early crux roof only to run out of beans where there’s a gap between flakes around 2/3 height. Fun though – reminiscent of something in Dovedale. Helen made the effort of getting to the crag worthwhile with a speedy ascent of Broom, 6a – fine route and very steep for the grade!

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