Rock Climbing Greece Magnesia Othris, Mountain of the Titans

 The location of Othris during Greek Mythology, is provided by Isiodos in his work “Theogonia”:

«…Because they were fighting for long and they had a war which brings sorrow to the soul

against each other in battles that lasted long

the Titans and those who were born on Saturn,

the glorious Titans from the tall Othris,

and the Olympus Gods, useful for the kind ones…»

It is a divine and human place, a place out of this world but also an earthy one, a place to rest,  a place to contemplate, a refuge for all mountain friends…

Othris is an “unknown” mountain for many, though it consists a “heaven” on earth for all those WHO avocation with nature is their way of living. At the flowing waters of its canyons someone can do canyoning. At its -covered with snow- slopes someone can do mountaineering ski and snowboard. At its 4 climbing fields one can do sport climbing. At the endless miles of its mountain size one can do mountain bike, trekking (walking from one side of the mountain to the other), horseback riding, observe the wild plants and animals and explore the 30+ caves hidden in its interior.

For all those who nature exploration and adrenaline are an integral part of their lives, Othris is the destination. It is a virgin place which calls you to explore it.

In this article we will try to present a short tour at the climbing fields of the mountain (fields suitable for winter). These fields are those of Kofoi and Anavra. On the mountain there are 2 more fields suitable for the rest seasons of the year, and we will refer to these in another upcoming article. Let’s start out tour:

Climbing field Kofoi, sector A

The village of Kofoi is located at the centre of Othris sierra. Close to the village there are 2 climbing fields, equipped with sport climbing routes. The one is presented here, while the other which is still “under development” and which has much tougher routes, will be presented in the near future.

Access: The village of Kofoi is located 12km from the city of Almyros. Almyros is located at the 289km of the national road from Athens to Larissa. You can get accommodation in local hotels and have your meals in many restaurants or taverns of the area. To get to the field of Kofoi, you follow the country road that connects the city of Almyros with the village and while you are at the middle (50%) of this route you will see the block at your right. It is the only one at that distance. You can park at the side of the road where the path leading to the field begins. Walking time is approximately 10-15 mins.

Characteristics of the field: At this area 19 routes exist already and there is ground to open another 2 or 3 at most, in order for the field not to lose its aesthetics. The development of the routs varies from 12m to 26m, so a 60m rope is suggested. You will need 14 quickdraws for the larger routes. So far, the difficulty of the routes varies from 5c+ to 8a+?. The orientation of the field is south, thus the climbing is very pleasant during winter time, as well as in the spring and autumn, while in summer it is good only during some very cool days.

Routes characteristics: All routes are of the sport type, equipped with inox boards and double expansion plugs. Their relays are also double regarding inox protection with karabiners, and all have their name noted on their base. The climbing style varies, though most routes are of positive inclination (tending to vertical), though you will find more dynamic ones through small pads and stalactites.

This is the field as seen from the road.

anavra

Climbing routes – Kofoi, sector A

From left to right :

  1. Manic Monday, (6a+ locally on crux)
  2. Αποκάλυψη, τώρα! (Apocalypse Now!),  (6b+ )
  3. Johnnie be Good,  (7c+/8a)? project
  4. Τελική Αναμέτρηση (Final Confrontation), (8a / 8a+ ? Project on the roof)
  5. Πρώτο αίμα(First Blood), (6c+ )
  6. Barcelona, (6a  )
  7. Σύνδρομο στέρησης (Withdrawal Syndrome), (6c  )
  8. Red Thin Line, (6b+ )
  9. Χελωνονιντζάκι (Ninja Turtle), (6a+ )
  10. Δακράκι (dakraki), (5c  )
  11. Ποιμενική (παραλλαγή) – Shepherds (variation), (6a+ )
  12. Ποιμενική (Shepherds), (6a+ )
  13. Amaretto, (6c )
  14. Red Hot Chilly Peppers, (6b+)
  15. Εγκατάλειψη Στέγης (Roof Abandonment), (6a+ )
  16. Αμανίτης (Amanite), (6c+ )
  17. Καλάντριος (Kalandrios), (6c/6c+)
  18. Σαμάνος (Shaman), (6a+ )
  19. Hasta la vista baby!, (6b+/6c)
  20. Κίονας (Pillar), (6a+)

As you can see this field is ideal for those that are at level 6a+ to 6c+. By choosing 2 or 3 routes, is suggested:

  • First Blood, is a relatively easy 6c+ (without using the rock from behind) with a very nice climbing on a column and maybe the easiest roof for a route.
  • Red Thin Line, is a balanced route with constant difficulty in little grips and enough duration in relation with its grade.
  • Καλάντριος (Kalandrios), is a small route with boulder crux at its beginning which demands strength.

Climbing field of Anavra – Sector C

At the west of Othris and specifically at the greater area of Anavra, 2 very beautiful fields have been discovered at the last 2-3 years.  Each one has its own particular characteristics and special climbing style. One of them is a canyon with routes on a vertical board and west face orientation where you can climb in all seasons except winter (and perhaps during some special days of winter where the weather is good).  For this specific field we will expand in an upcoming article.

The 2nd field (sector C) is the best in the Prefecture of Magnesia and related to sport climbing. It is a monoblock part with south orientation and its main characteristic is its negative deployment with slight inclination but high elevation. Its lines are along stalactites with holes and small gripping points and are deployed for 35 m. It is a very good choice for those who do routes of 7a-b difficulty. Of course there are lines on a semi-vertical board with a loose climbing. The necessary ingredients are strength, duration, power and explosiveness. It is a field that combines all these.

Hot to get there:  Anavra is located at the west side of Othris and it used to be a crossing that connected mainland Greece with Thessalia for the side of Domokos. So, there are 2 different roads to approach this field. One from the side of Lamia (suitable for those that come from Athens, Trikala) and another one from the side of Almyros . Let’s see the details:

  • From Almyros we follow the sign pointing to the direction of Anavra (or Goura), and after of 20km on asphalt road we see the fields of the first climbing field at our left, which form the edge of a canyon. We keep on driving on the road and at our right we pass from the small fenced church of Profitis Elias. There is also a spring in the church with drinkable water. We move on towards the village and about 4km before the first field you will see the C field. The road is a dirt road (of bad quality) and drives you nearly to the base of the field. (If you wish you can leave your car at the mid-distance of the dirt road where there are some sheep corrals, as the road up to that point is very good)
  • For those who will approach the field from west Othris, as they approach the city of Domokos you will see a sign that points to Anavra. The village is 15 minutes from that crossing. Passing Anavra you continue for 10 more minutes on the same country road that connects the village with the city of Almyros. The field is quite visible from that road, while we move on the same dirt road mentioned before to reach its base

From that point and after, we follow a marked path that brings us in front of the rocks (2-3 minutes of walking).

Field characteristics: All routes are of the sport kind with lengthy deployment (20-35 mt), well secured and with double relays. Necessary equipment must include: a 60m rope (unless you want to try some projects where a 70m rope) and 15 sets. So far the rout difficulty varies from 6a+ to 8a+?. The face orientation of the field is south, thus climbing is pleasant during winter time (it has happened to us to climb in the middle of winter with 15cm of snow, wearing summer clothing). In spring and autumn you can climb all day long, perhaps with some intermediate break if you meet a very hot day!

Routes and their grade:

All routes have their name carved at their base

  • Αλχημεία (Alchemy), 7b
  • Insomnia, 7a+
  • Μια γραμμή στο χρόνο (A line in time), 7a+
  • Δαιμονισμένος Άγγελος (Demonized Angel), 7b
  • Nigra et Amara, 6c+ / 7a
  • Χημική Συνουσία (Chemical Intercourse), 7a
  • Όρμα αν είσαι σε φόρμα (Go for it if you’re in shape), 7b+
  • Futurismo, 8b
  • Petit Beure, 8a+
  • Νεφέλες (Clouds), 8a+? (project)
  • Supernova, 7b+
  • Galactica, 7a+ /  7c (extension)
  • Τυθής (Tithis), 6a+
  • Ρέα (Rea), 6b

Of course, on this field, due to the suitability of the season, new routes are nailed. So, you may discover new routes that are not included in this article.

It is difficult to distinguish a route. They are all magnificent! Pure Sport Climbing! I would suggest you to try:

  • Galaktika. It is a very nice route with a crux at its beginning and one at its end. Climbing grade is steady, has intermediate rest points, 30mt of deployment, constant twist among small columns and small gripping points. It is a reference for the field!
  • Μια γραμμή στο Χρόνο (A line in time). Also a very beautiful route, athe same style as Galaktika, only a bit shorter but with lots of explosiveness and most important (for Magnesia), opened by a woman!
  • Χημική Συνουσία (Chemical Intercouse). The style here is completely different since we climb at a negative inclination board with very small grips. This demands constant climbing with good duration and consistent movement for a deployment of 30m.

Concerning your accommodation, you can set your tent on a field just before the field or stay at rooms to let in the village of Anavra. There you can also have your meals as Anavra is famous for its organically grown meat (especially pork). Do not be surprised if you meet free range animals in your way there. It’s a landmark for the area. You can find more details at the village. Local people are willing to help you.

We would like to thank the Climbing Association of Almyros and the Community of Anavra for their support to deploy these climbing fields and also to point out that these fields are relatively new in the climbing world. Thus, their grade is given with caution and you can send your comments on this.

—An article by Christos Boukoros. Contact the organizers through their contact data below.

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