More Tufa at Theos

The highlight of our rest day (beyond the now obligatory cryptic crossword!) was dinner in the kebab shop in town – salad, wine and more chicken souvlaki than you can eat for a tenner, along with the award for the oddest menu entry:

Anyway, that left us refreshed and refuelled for another day of tufa tussles, and with a gusty wind and overcast skies we returned to the ever reliable Theos Cave.

We were joined by George and Mark, and bumped into another pair of Brits: Rosie and Andrew.

The rock architecture is pretty unique, with heavily featured tufa routes at relatively amenable grades (I can only think of Geykbari in Turkey as comparable), though the 6a/+s described in the latest guide are more worthy of 6a+/b as per the ClimbGreece book.

Here’s Helen on the outstanding Partouza, 6a+/b

We also did 21 grammes, tough for 6a+ and great fun with the 6c extension that swings wildly out leftwards along huge holes following the lip of a roof.

We all enjoyed Dali, 6c+, with its low slopey crux and improbable juggy top out through flowstone and another roof. Here’s Rosie mid-flow

Here’s Mark on The Place to Be, 7a

I completed my “ticking” of all the 7a/+s on the sector with Cyclops Arête, 7a, on the far left end. Steady until some very thin laybackery to, and then through, the roof to a huge pocket. Here’s Andrew heading up towards the roof

As the afternoon drew on the weather picked up and it was glorious by about 5. Having done all the routes within my compass it was time to either down-shift, head for the pub, or up my game, and unusually for me I went for the latter – must have been the fabulous evening light. Anyway, I decided to have a bash at the new 7c right of Psili Kamilopardali.

This takes an intermittent series of tufa blobs, weaving through wildly overhanging territory to deposit you about 30m up and 5m from the chains at a pair of parallel tufas in the sky. The route is somewhat beyond my usual “pay grade” and I surprised myself by making it to within a couple of clips of the top – by far my best effort at a 7c onsight. Fading arms and a poor choice of sequence meant I plopped off the final tricky moves (note to future self – bump again with your left hand and aim high for the side pull, then haul hard!) Anyway, I was really chuffed with my efforts, and even more so when Chris showed me his photos – he and Keith had happened to be passing at just the right moment to grab some great shots. Thanks!

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