/ NEW ARTICLE: Kalymnos - Destination Guide

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UKC Articles - on 02 Dec 2010
Robbie Phillips climbing Daniboy, 8a, 4 kbRobbie Phillips travels to the Greek island of Kalymnos, that over the last few years has become one of the world's most popular sport climbing destinations.

"The climbing is found on the huge cliffs and massive caves that are scattered across the bare limestone hillsides, which when blasted by the sun take on an incredible orange glow as if on fire!"

Read more at http://www.ukclimbing.com/articles/page.php?id=3150

ksjs - on 02 Dec 2010
In reply to UKC Articles: no offence but theres no mention of the actual climbing i.e. style, length, what to expect and how it feels versus other areas etc. also, no mention of elephant in the room: the grading is a mess.

brilliant destination but article needs a bit more insight.
Morgan Woods - on 02 Dec 2010
In reply to ksjs: There are soft touches in Kalymnos?
catt on 02 Dec 2010
In reply to Morgan Woods:

Why do you think you keep going back?
catt on 02 Dec 2010
In reply to UKC Articles:

Being pedantic, but pretty sure that pic isn't Remember Wadi Rum, but Totenhansel.
catt on 02 Dec 2010
In reply to ksjs:

To be fair I think the grades are now pretty much sorted out. As much as any other area.
Simon Caldwell - on 02 Dec 2010
In reply to ksjs:

We climbed 56 routes last month, using the 2010 guide, and the only wrongly graded routes were only put up a month or so before it was published, and were hence probably unchecked.
Dave Musgrove - on 02 Dec 2010
In reply to catt: (and ksjs)

I agree. A lot of the so called soft touches of the previous guides have been down-graded in the new edition e.g DNA down to 7a, Paris on Illiada and Calipso on Odyssey both down to 6c+. Ixion on Kalydna sensibly down from 7b to 7a (still a great route though). I'm sure that some of the newest routes will still through up some anomalies but its hardly surprising given the pace of development. Aris seems very responsive to listening to the consensus view so if you find anymore let him know for the next edition.
By the way Catt I'm sorry to say my route Room with a view is still 7a+! You must have been having a bad day.

Dave
catt on 02 Dec 2010
In reply to Dave Musgrove:

I was having a bad day! But no one will be accusing you of a soft touch there. Good route though, and one I'll go back to next time. Maybe once I've done it I'll agree with you...
Simon Caldwell - on 02 Dec 2010
In reply to UKC Articles:
One quibble, the text says "There is everything here, whether you are climbing in the F4s or F9s", but the 'headline' box next to it says "There is everything here, whether you are climbing in the F5s or F9s".

Although there are quite a few 4s (and even some 3s), you'd need to do lots of travelling between crags if this was your limit!

The other thing I'd mention is that many places in Greece don't accept credit cards (we even had to pay for our hotels in Athens in cash) so take more cash than you'd expect. The ATM in Massouri was not working for most of our recent trip and the nearest alternative is a few km away, so until we got a scooter sorted we were struggling!
bestmotocrew on 02 Dec 2010 - ppp-94-65-138-242.home.otenet.gr
In reply to UKC Articles: Kalymnos-Destination Guide
In the article there is a piece called "logistics" and some items are not totally correct.
The climbing period is NOT only April-May and September-October. For the whole winter period you will have nice weather, sometimes a bit of rain but the average temperature in Jan/Febr is still around 12-15 degrees celsius. The summer to HOT? (tell me why loads of climbers are going to Tonsai in Dec/Jan where temperatures are around 35 degrees Celsius and a humidity of 80%) and this is what we dont even have here on a daily base in July-Aug.
Another thing which is totally incorrect: The whole island shuts down in the winter and the locals leave to the mainland...... Most of the Kalymnians live and work on other islands during the summer and return to Kalymnos during the winter to sit out the cold. True, in Masouri a lot of bussiness are closing down because of the winter but more and more are staying open longer in the off-season to service the climbers who are coming in this period to avoid the mass of climbers during the peak seasons.
July till half of August is a period for normal tourisme, of course loads of people are moving in for their "beach-holiday". But did you also know that this is a perfect way for your compleet holiday package? Climb early in the morning, relax in midday on the beach or taverna with your family/friends and go again for an evening climb till sunset, MAVELOUS EXPERIENCE!!!

Just a footnote, i enjoyed reading the article and it is almost perfect, thanks for this.
Eric
carl dawson - on 02 Dec 2010
In reply to bestmotocrew:

Eric is quite correct. Summer, believe it or not, is quite feasible. OK it's mainly 'mornings climbing, sea in the afternoon' but there are an increasing number of 'afternoon'crags now. Last summer the temps were 30-31 degrees so, given the roughness of the rock, this was not so much of a hardship; for example, I saw people on-sighting 8a.

The only problem I found were the night-time temps (around 28); the air con was often busy at that time.

As for being heaving with tourists, well that's not really the case. True, the beaches are quite busy but not horrible so and they're mainly Greeks not Northern European lager louts! Spain it isn't! There's one or two jet skis at the weekend but this is compensated by some rather nice beach bars being open on the less obvious beaches.

So, don't overlook summer at Kalymnos.

As for winter, I'll give you my opinion in a few weeks.

Carl
In reply to carl dawson:
>
> So, don't overlook summer at Kalymnos.
>
> As for winter, I'll give you my opinion in a few weeks.
>
> Carl

November has been perfect again, quiet, no measurable rain, sometimes breezy, highs of c22C.


Chris
Simon Caldwell - on 02 Dec 2010
In reply to Chris Craggs:
> no measurable rain

Don't forget 12th, when there were probably a couple of inches or more, with a top-up a couple of days later :-)
Owen W-G - on 02 Dec 2010
In reply to Toreador:

Kalymnos advice please!

I'm thinking of a week there late March with the (non-climbing) wife and 2 and half year old daughter. How easy is it to hook up with a partner, say, every other day? Anyone else been in the same situation as me? Nice things to do for the fam during the day?
ksjs - on 02 Dec 2010
In reply to catt: im pretty sure they arent sorted out, the grades (even changed ones) are too often 1-2 grades out.
In reply to Toreador:
> (In reply to Chris Craggs)

>
> Don't forget 12th, when there were probably a couple of inches or more, with a top-up a couple of days later :-)

Whoops - forgot that day, how could I?


Chris
carl dawson - on 02 Dec 2010
In reply to ksjs:

Hi there, ksjs. We'd like to get any grade discrepencies at Kalymnos sorted out for the on-line database (climbkalymnos.com), and certainly for the next guidebook, so please can you send either Aris or me a list of the routes you think are incorrectly graded asap. We'll try and check them out if we're not familiar with them.

As you can see from the the new guidebook, many grades have been changed based on feedback from many kind contributors. True, there used to be many soft touches and some 'peculiarities' but no longer so. In my own view, the easier routes may still be slightly generous (but maybe that's because of the quality rock and excellent bolting) but routes in the 7s and 8s have been quite severely 'pruned' of soft touches in the 2010 guide.

As I say, please send us your list of routes... they will be perused most carefully.

Carl

derico - on 02 Dec 2010
In reply to UKC Articles: I am thinking of coming in March/May, are the crowds really that bad on the routes? Or is it just similar to places like the Poema Cave in El Chorro or Ceuse? Also I mainly onsight mid 7's and my mates climb more lower 6's.. is this easy to cater for? Any views on whether Kalymnos is better than Turkey? Cheers Dave
Robbie_Phillips - on 03 Dec 2010
In reply to UKC Articles:

I've just returned from a 6 week trip there and was using the new guidebook, the grades seemed reasonable to me... In fact there was even some stuff that I thought was possibly hard for the grade rather than being soft! O Draconian has been downgraded to 8b... the hardest 8b in the world in my opinion!

As to to the time of year, everything I have said in the article is true. I went there for a summer and was seeing temps of up to 47 degrees celsius. Yes you can climb, I didn't say you couldn't, only that it is scorching hot!!! In the winter months it is possible to climb, I didnt say it wasn't, but it can get very wet, this is true, I experienced it. But hey, to be perfectly honest, doesn't all this equate with nearly every other climbing destination in mainland europe? The "Best" most reliable months to go are the ones I mentioned, spring and Autumn.

Regarding the style of climbing, there are links on the page to online guide books, you can read more about the climbing there, look at the pictures, read about it all over the net.

There is an ATM in massouri that stops working in November, there is another 5 minutes drive down the road that works all year round! There are several in pothia the main city 15 mins drive down the road. You can get a bus for little over 1 so you don't need a scooter.

I was there during the summer 06 and the number of tourists was mental! However I reckon it probably fluctuates from year to year, but this shouldn't affect climbers too much anyway.

I hope you guys all enjoyed reading my article, I am sorry if some of you didn't find everthing you wanted from it but I tried to keep it more from a logistical stand than explaining the climbing lots, I figured that there is heaps of stuff already on the site and the web for that matter on the style of climbing, also, just check out the pictures! If you stick "kalymnos climbing" into google about a million photos of steep overhanging tufas and stalactites appear!

Anyway, Its good to hear everyones views and I will bear it all in mind for the next article! : )

Robz
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Aris - on 03 Dec 2010
In reply to Robbie_Phillips:
Congratulations Robbie, I am proud of the growth of the young boy I met and climbed with in the summer 2006 in Kaly! (8b plus> climber, climbing coach, writer!)
Simon Caldwell - on 03 Dec 2010
In reply to carl dawson:
> In my own view, the easier routes may still be slightly generous

We thought that most of the 5+/6a routes we did were fairly stiff for the grade! But the mostly quality bolting (sometime verging on over-bolting) meant we were happy to keep going.
Simon Caldwell - on 03 Dec 2010
In reply to Robbie_Phillips:
> There is an ATM in massouri that stops working in November, there is another 5 minutes drive down the road that works all year round

It may be 5 minutes down the road if you've got a car, but it's a traumatic 10-15 minutes by scooter!

> You can get a bus for little over 1 so you don't need a scooter.

But there's just one bus every 2 hours (in November, there may be more at peak times), so you'd need to plan carefully. For two people, return, it's about 5 - we paid 9 per day for a scooter, the extra was worth it for the flexibility.
Robbie_Phillips - on 03 Dec 2010
In reply to Toreador:

Sorry Toreador, maybe thats more to the mark with the bus prices. We did have scooters but managed at 6 a day, although I know prices vary between that and 12 a day depending on how long you rent for and the company. Its true that you don't really need a scooter for the climbign though, I was there 4-5 weeks before bothering with the scooter and to be frank, we were just becoming lazy. We used it once for sikati and the rest of the time we could have managed without : P
Morgan Woods - on 03 Dec 2010
In reply to bestmotocrew:

Hi Eric also worth pointing out that you distribute the new route update which can be handy if you have an old guide and just need to see what's been added....plus it supports the re-bolting efforts.
iClimber on 18 Dec 2010
I really enjoyed the article, I will defo be booking a trip for april I think. Just one question - I climb mid 6's mostly and have a 50m rope. Will there be plenty of single pitch climbs to keep me busy?
Thanks
carl dawson - on 19 Dec 2010
In reply to iClimber:

Hi there. I've just fiddled with the spreadsheet and there's 719 routes in the range up to 6c that are no more than 25m in length! So yes, there's plenty for you do as long as you stay alert.

You'd feel more relaxed with a longer rope and you wouldn't miss out on some of the classics. Whatever, alway tie a knot in the end of the rope.

Carl
iClimber on 21 Dec 2010
In reply to carl dawson: Cheers buddy! Good times ahead

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