/ The next Greek climbing paradise is...

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Planar - on 24 Dec 2013
…Athens, Greece

Ok- first things first…

We are a small band of climbers / photographers from Athens. We are trying to get our home crags known to the climbing world. Most people overseas know Kalymnos and its fantastic tufa caves but very few suspect what they leave behind when they jump on their connection flight from Athens towards the islands…

We started this effort encouraged by foreign friends who have climbed with us and were completely blown away by the quality and variety of the crags around Athens. The world needs to know!

Today Athens has more than 33 sport climbing crags. More than 1100 lines. And apart from tufa caves that can easily rival those of Kalymnos it has unique marble climbing in 2500 years old quarries.

We started this effort 2,5 years ago and collected all these crags into a modern, full-color, 280 pages guidebook. The guidebook has been written in English in order to appeal to climbers of all nationalities. Now the guidebook is ready, waiting to be printed.

Funding is challenging these days in Greece. Therefore, we are asking the support for the global climbing community to make this guidebook happen.

Check it out, and if you like what you see spread the word.



Al Evans on 24 Dec 2013
In reply to Planar:

JayPee630 - on 24 Dec 2013
In reply to Planar:

Looks amazing, good luck with the project. I'll visit Athens next year and will get a copy and get out on the crags there.

Simos on 24 Dec 2013
In reply to Planar:

Fantastic effort and photos guys!
Al Evans on 24 Dec 2013
In reply to Simos:

It looks great, any disadvantages over the Islands, or any reason why it's not been taken up before by non Greek teams?
Planar - on 24 Dec 2013
Thanks all for the encouragement! Glad you like it. We count a lot on global support to make this happen.

@Al Evans,
Well I guess the disadvantage of Athens over the Greek islands is that Athens is not an island
Basically it’s hard to compare a 5 million people metropolis with a small fishing town that lives off tourism and climbers.

The scene here is big but kind of “private” so far. I think the main reason was the lack of a guidebook and exposure. There have been a few special guests over the years:
Garrouli - on 24 Dec 2013
In reply to Planar:

This is fantastic guys! I have been coming too Athens for years now to visit my partners relatives, and whilst I have been to Mavrosouvala (which is amazing!), I didn't know anything about these other areas. I will definitely be buying a copy of the guidebook.
Garrouli - on 24 Dec 2013
In reply to Planar:

By the way, any ideas when the guidebook will be ready to buy? I ask because I am going to Athens in April and it would be great to have a copy for when I go. Cheers!
Planar - on 24 Dec 2013
In reply to Garrouli:

Mavrosouvala is one of Athen's best but there are more many more and you should definetly try marble. Completely different climbing experience...

As far as dates are concerned, the guidebook is ready waiting in our hard disk. If everything goes as we hope (with our indiegogo campaign) we plan to print it late January 2014 and start selling it early February.

Btw I uploaded I sample of the guidebook earlier today. Check it out here: http://www.athensclimbing.com/downloads.html
Willi Crater - on 24 Dec 2013
In reply to Planar:

Why not sell it as an e-book?
I like climbing - on 24 Dec 2013
In reply to Planar:

Sounds and looks great ! Good luck !
I really want to come over - when are the best times of year ?
Planar - on 25 Dec 2013
In reply to I like climbing:

You can easily climb all year round. Last week we were climbing shirtless on a south facing –sun trap- crag. On summer there are some north facing places in the mountains that are cool enough to climb even when downtown Athens hits 40 degrees.

My personal favourite time is spring. Best temperatures and nature in full boom. I also like summer. It's not the best time for “hard sends” but climbing till midday and then going for a swim is hard to beat
Planar - on 25 Dec 2013
In reply to AndrewW:

Might do in the end but we feel that all this work worths to be published in a nice book. There also the issue of accessibility, since around here there are many clmbers that have no familiarity or access to computers.
nz Cragrat on 25 Dec 2013
In reply to Planar:
It seems like UKC is not the best crowdsourcing to fund this and many seemed to have missed your point.
What are your cost estimates on what you'll need?

Actually I missed this myself

Funding details
Post edited at 16:51
Willi Crater - on 26 Dec 2013
In reply to Planar:

Good luck with this whichever way you do this, I'll buy it in either format being just an hour or so away by plane.
Planar - on 26 Dec 2013

@ AndrewW. Many many thanks! Yes indeed Cyprus is next door and as a bonus some of the crags are 20 min drive from Athens international airport ;)

@ Cragrat: Heh...I have to confess I am not much of a salesperson :P Indeed the point here is:
1. exposure of the guidebook
2. (more important) collection of funds for the publication through:

We are not asking simply for donations thought. We are pre-selling the actual guidebook as a means to collect the funds for printing.
Threfore by helping us you get something in return and in better price that the retail price when it will hit the shops.

Hope its more clear now
See you in Athens!

Post edited at 07:40
Willi Crater - on 26 Dec 2013
In reply to Planar:

Liked the sample pdf - looks great. Pre-ordered the full version. Notice that you're already a third of your way to the required total.

Have you put anything on the German ukc equivalents (we seem to quite a few German visitors over here in Cyprus)?
Justin T - on 27 Dec 2013
In reply to Planar:

Looks awesome, good luck I hope you hit your target!
full stottie on 27 Dec 2013
In reply to Planar:

Sounds good and I could well be interested in contributing, but will there be plenty of scope in the lower grades for the older and weaker climber?
full stottie on 28 Dec 2013
In reply to full stottie:

Bump Planar - what about the number of routes in the lower grades?
Planar - on 31 Dec 2013
In reply to full stottie:
Hi full Scottie. Sorry for not replying earlier. I am away from home with very limited internet access. Plenty of easy stuff in Athens. Will come back with details ASAP.

mike reed - on 01 Jan 2014
In reply to Planar:

Looks good
I'm in Athens often, usually en route to Kalymnos, so when I get the chance we should hook up and go climbing.

Planar - on 01 Jan 2014
Hi all-just came back from climbing road trip. I ‘ll try to answer above questions/comments:

@AndrewW: Seen your order today. Thanks a million for your support! Actually I should be thanking all UKC members who are supporting the guidebook as a result of this thread. Inspiring - Thanks again people!

@full stottie (sorry for previously messing-up your nickname- it’s hard to reply from a mobile phone with a self conscious auto-correct Following your question I checked grades distribution across Athens over the total of 1141 routes . Here’s the result (in French grades as per guidebook)

Up to 5c: 22%
6a-6c+: 48%
7a-7c+: 19%
8a-8c+: 5%
projects: 6%

So there is plenty of stuff for everybody here.

@mike reed: Sure thing! Drop me an email when here.


full stottie on 02 Jan 2014
In reply to Planar:

Thanks, sounds excellent.
Martin Bennett - on 02 Jan 2014
In reply to Planar:

Hi. I've been thinking of a trip to mainland Greece for next Spring so this has come at just the right time. I was envisaging a road trip taking in The Meteora and Argolis so the addition of your new guide book area would fit in very well. Might need 3 weeks not just two though!

By the way I recall climbing (just for one evening) in the early eighties with a friend who lived in Glyfada at the time at a place North of Athens. I think he called it Varibobi. We'd no guide book or info but did 2 or 3 pitches before failing light forced an abseil retreat to a wonderful local taverna. No bolts then - did it ever develop I wonder?

Thanks for the info and all the effort you're putting into it. I'll certainly be buying the guide if my plans come to fruition.
Planar - on 03 Jan 2014
In reply to Martin Bennett:

Hi Martin. The place you refer to is indeed Varibopi and will be included in the guidebook. It is probably the oldest crag in Greece. Really nice place but nowdays mostly a rock climbing museum. There are so many many new crags in Athens...
In Varibopi you can find many single easy pitch sport and trad routes of excellent quality. Nearby Flambouri wall is 100-120m and offers 2-3 pitch trad climbing with a strong alpine feel.

If you decide to visit Greece definetly contact me for suggestions...There are new places in mainland Greece under development...When fully developed they can equal or even surpass Kalymnos...
Willi Crater - on 04 Jan 2014
In reply to Planar:

Very roughly, what would you say the split is between traditionally protected and bolted routes (I'm intetested in both BTW)?

Planar - on 04 Jan 2014
In reply to AndrewW:

Single pitch I would guestimate: 90% sport 10% trad
Multi pitch: 95% trad (or mixed) 5% bolted

Mind though the upcoming guidebook covers only sport routes. There are future plans for a trad guidebook but for now this only a thought really...
Firestarter on 10 Jan 2014
In reply to Planar:

Free bump - been following this closely - good luck!!
Willi Crater - on 12 Jan 2014
In reply to Planar:

> Single pitch I would guestimate: 90% sport 10% trad

> Multi pitch: 95% trad (or mixed) 5% bolted

> Mind though the upcoming guidebook covers only sport routes. There are future plans for a trad guidebook but for now this only a thought really...

Have you come across/know of any decent finger cracks over there (sport or trad)?
Planar - on 13 Jan 2014
In reply to Firestarter:

Can't thank you enough people for you contribution, sharing and encouragement. Response from the UK has exceeded our expectation, and we are grateful for that.

AndrewW: Limestone cracks tend to be mince machines so we pretty much suck at crack climbing Marble is a different story though: http://www.tradwave.eu/piepsilonnutau941lambdaeta.html

video copyright: http://www.tradwave.eu
Planar - on 19 Jan 2014
In reply to everybody:

Goal achieved!!! THANK YOU everybody for supporting our effort!

For those who bought the guidebook, stay tuned on our FB page( www.facebook.com/AthensClimbingGuide ) for official printing dates and dispatch of the guidebooks to your individual addresses.

For those wishiing to buy, discounted price (25 EUR + 3 shipping) will remain effective till the end of our campaign (in 12 days from now)


A million thanks again!

Planar - on 18 Mar 2014
Since some people asked us about the outcome of this nice little story, I am posting a short update:
The guidebook has indeed been printed and is on the bookshelfs since end of February.
Distribution in the UK is done by Cordee (http://www.cordee.co.uk/Athens-Climbing-det-1-0-0-10645.html)

You can also buy through our website (www.athensclimbing.com)

Thanks again to all those who supported us to make this true!


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