Pelion, is the mountain of Centaurs and widely known to all for its beautiful villages, very beautiful and clean beaches, ski center, delicious culinary experiences and its hospitality. During the last years a number of new climbing fields have been discovered and they have been equipped with new routes and many possibilities for all levels of climbers. What was missing from the area was a field with lots of “negative inclination”, relatively “water proof” and with routes that will raise the overall level like in many other areas of Greece.
This, apparently happened 2-3 years ago when Karsten Oeltze, a highly skilled German climber, with a great experience in opening new routes of high difficulty (and a regular visitor to our Greece), discovered the cave of Paou. Since then and with the contribution of local climbers we now have a complete field with 13 routes of extreme beauty and of skills level!
Climbing Pelion: Reach the field of Paou
To reach the field of Paou is actually quite simple. By passing Volos and the city of Agria, directing towards the East Pelion, you continue until the community of Argalasti (main village of the area) for about 45km. After passing the village, there is road at our right driving to the “Cultural-Conference Center of Monastery of Sr. Nicholas Paou-Aragalasti”. This is a monastery used as a conference center by the University of Thessalia.
We continue for a little bit, until at some point there is steep cemented left downhill turn, which drives to a country house. At our left a dirt road begins and we can park there. After that point and a 5minute walk we will see the cave rising at our front left.
Characteristics of this field
As we said, this field is a little cave, so get prepared for quite a lot of negative inclination. There are many columns and holes and in general the rock is quite soft and doesn’t easily destroy the touching. The deployment of the routes varies from 10 to 20 meters, all in sport style with inox connectors and double relays. You will need up to 12 quickdraws and a 60 meter rope.
At Paou you will be able to climb all seasons of a year except winter, as the routes (due to the terrain) will be very wet. The best season is from spring to first days of December. During summer time the ideal time is after 12:00 where the shade is good and combined with the sea breeze provides a very pleasant climbing.
Routes (left to right)
- Steliobster 6b
- Helicopter 6c+ (mind the exit)
- Mimmy 7a
- Rock Bar 7a
- Tuffantastic 6c+/7a
- The size matters 8a+
- I’ve got the Paou-er 8a+/8b (project)
- Don’t worry, be happy 7b
- Aerobotics 7a+
- De puta Madre 8a/8a+
- Σχισμοφρένεια (SchismoFreneia) 7b
- Espresso 7b+
- Hellenic Tuffa Way 7b
Additionally, to the left and in a short distance from the main field there is a plateau with 3 very small routes:
- Snuffi 5+
- Kougiou 6c/6c+ ?
- Καλό Πάσχα (Happy Easter) 6c ?
At a short distance from the field there is the beach of Paou. You will find it by continuing the asphalt road where you turned as you were coming to the field. The sea is extremely clean and you can even camp (however camping is forbidden all over Greece).
You will enjoy the very good food at Argalasti as well as at the surrounding villages of Pelion, plus you can find many guest houses to stay for the night.
Mikro – Platania of Pelion Greece
Are you used to going to the same places for climbing? The same predictable route? Would you like to combine climbing and swimming (If the conditions are the appropriate) in a special place? It’s time to think about Volos and special Pelion village, located at the mountain of Centaurus. A relatively new climbing field, next to the sea, equipped with a variety of climbing routes is waiting for you.
We are talking about the field which is located near the Mikro Beach in Platania, which has been equipped the last 2-3 years, with a number of different difficulty climbing routes, ideal for a beginner or a very demanded climber.
How to reach Mikro at Pelion
The Mikro beach is situated in the greater of Platania village. In order to reach, follow the county road from Volos to Argalasti, continue to Laukos and then to Platania. 500m after having passed the Laukos village, on the right, there is a sign for Mikros settlement. Follow this dirt road for 8km. After the point that the sea can be seen, the road continues to turnpike.
From the side of the road, the beach of Mikro can be distinguished, while on the left the beach of Platanias can be seem. The climbing field can’t be viewed from the road but it’s easy to be found. Almost 1 km from the beginning of the turnpike, a small open and flat place exists, where you can park your car, while on the left an easy dirt road exists which drives in a country house. Follow this road and at the and continue to a path which leads to the rocks.
Mikro field characteristics
The field of Mikro – as you will also see- was probably a collapsed cave at the distant past. It is divided in 2 levels with different kind of rock and relief. Its face orientation is south-east and you can climb it all year around, except summer where a small break will be needed at noon, as the sun will hit you from above. This of course is a great opportunity for a swim in the sea! Again, during summer, you will meet a nice breeze which will make your climbing a quite pleasant experience. Additionally you can dine and get refreshed at the little taverns that are available along the beach (and get some drinkable water). There are different lodges for the night, and there is always the camping option on the beach (just be careful).
On the field there are 25 routes and the grade difficulty ranges from 5c to 8a ? (project)
More specifically (bottom area of the field, from right to left):
- Το δέος του οινοπώλη (The awe of the wine seller) 5c
- Mausi 7b?
- Ecstasy 6b
- Κίνηση στο Λευκό (Movement on the white) 6b
- Πάτα το βυζί (Step on the tit) 6a
- Μπαρμπαγιάννης (Barbayiannis) 6a
- Αθηνά (Athina) 6a
- Ανδρόνικος (Andronikos) 6a
- Rookie Jookie 6c
- Squeezer 7b
- Project 8a?
- Χαρά στο κουράγιο σου (Blessed is your courage) 6c+
- Πλάτη στο Αιγαίο (Backside to Aegean) ( 2 ropes ) 6b
- Αγναντεύοντας το γαλάζιο (Gazing the blue) 6b+
Top area of the field – right to left starting from the red points:
- No name (chemicals) 7b
- No name (boards) 7c+/8a? (Project)
- Dreaming dolphin (chemicals) 7a+
- Κόψη (Edge) 7a
- Μικρούλα (Little one) 6b
- Σταλακτικό δίεδρο (Emitter dihedral) 6a+
- Η κόψη της κάπαρης (The edge of caper) 6a+
- Στου βράχου την σχισμάδα (At the rock’s crevasse) 6a+
- no name ? (Project)
- Στα φτερά των Αγγέλων (At the angels wings) 6c+
- No name ? (Project)
Where to climb first? As you can see in the list above, you will find routs of every level. For someone at the rookie level all easy routes are pleasant and very well secured (a board every 1 mt, apprx.), while the more advanced ones are suggested to try:
- Στα φτερά των Αγγέλων (The Angel Wings) 6c+. This one gives you the feeling that you are doing acrobatics with very little steps, at some points of the route.
- The Dreaming Dolphin ( 7a+ ) . This one is the route with the chemicals on the red points. I believe that it is one of the best of its kind. Climbing is very beautiful with hoes, stretched moves, spars secure points and… the crux before the relay!!! It is perfect!!!
The field is relatively new and less known for the climbing world, the grading of the routes is given with extreme precaution and your comments are welcome to our website.
Necessary equipment: a 60 mt rope and 12 quickdraws are enough. For those who like bouldering there is a spot at the right of the beach for crossbeams, while latest news say that our German friend, ?arsten Oelzte, has nailed new routes at the rocks of the first beach (there is a relatively easy downhill path to arrive there), without me being able to say something about their grades.
Check the contact data at the right for our website and contact details.
– An article by Christos Boukoros. Contact the organizers through their contact data below.
– An article by Christos Boukoros. Contact the organizersthrough their contact data below.