- Monahiki Elia (6a+), my first ever route on Kaly, back in 2004
- Sea Breeze (6b), climbed with Dire Straits coming out of a stereo at the base of the crag
- Anal (6b+), proof that there are bad routes on Kaly
- Bye Bye Doc (6c), my first ever 6c onsight
- Polydeykes (F7a+), the most sweaty I have ever been on a route
- Rastapopoulos (F7b+), one of my favourite routes I have ever done and surprised myself with a flash
- Kalynicta Mer (F7b+), the route that tried to slice off my finger with a broken hold
- Sascha on the Road (F7b+), the route on Kaly I expended most effort on and still walked away empty handed
- Arena (F7c), one of my favourites, technical slab crux then F6b jug territory to the top.
- Orion (F7c+), no-one tries this route since it was F8a. I tried it and couldnt do it, but I was close enough that I could that it clearly wasnt 8a.
Is this name 10 routes from memory, or am I allowed to look in my logbook first. It's about 3 years since my last trip, so if it's pick my 10 most memorable routes (out of the 200 I've climbed) then I'd like to refresh my (aging) memory first !
Then again, from memory
Thetis (6b) - great bridging
Bye Bye Doc (6c) - first 6c
Socratic Swimming Lessons (5) - great fun
Theodora (6c+) - a really focused, onsight ascent on the last day of a trip
Carpe Diem (6b) - great tufa climbing
Wild Sex (6b) - one of a number of great routes on this wall
Beautiful Helen (6a+)
Pillar of the Sea (6a+) - got me in the guidebook !
Alcamane (6c) - 6c on sight
Sea Breeze (6b) - excellent long route
Orea Stithi (6a+) - great multi-pitch, and boy does it get dark quickly
Wings For Life (6a) - an even better multi-pitch
Lestrygon (6c) - a bit of a struggle !
Ektor (6c) - a steep on-sight for me
Axe (6b) - lovely long slab route
Anna (6a+) - well worth the trip to Dodoni
Magma (6b) - great tufa route, took a big fall on one attempt
Igel (6c) - great days climbing with the inspiring Mr Musgrove !
And now for something completely different(5) - well named
Too fat for Tufas (6a) - great, and quite apt, name
Mythos(6b+) - can't remember much about the route, but the beer is great !!
I can probably name more than ten so I've give you my favourites if that's OK. All would be classics anywhere:
1) Joy in the Garden (Ghost Kitchen) 6a+/6b
2) Carpe Diem 6b (Panorama). Too short, too popular… but I still love it.
3) Principessa Guilia (Kastri) 6c+ but for the grade I could have said the almost unknown Harnisch (Noufaro) or Melodrama (Secret Garden)
4) Chnosi Family 7a (Panorama). Although there’s lots of great tufa 7a’s, this is more memorable because it has everything.
5) Nickel 7a+(Kalydna) or maybe Kyprios Angel 7a/7a+ (Irox) because who would forget that crux!
6) Patroclos Reborn 7b (Odyssey), or Leonides (Spartan Wall), arch-classic, or Pomponidoux (Secret Garden)
7) Armata Sikati 7b/7b+ (Sikati Cave), possibly the best route on the island, or Chien Jaune 7b/7b+ (Secret Garden), Inti Raymi 7b+ (Odyssey) or the meaner Kalinycta Mer 7b+ (Jurassic)
8) Priapos 7c and Aegialis 7c (Grande Grotta) are 3-D imprinted on my memory for ever. Also the less well-travelled Calcite Star Plus 7c (Galatiani) for its agonising finale. Padroni e Pagliacci 7c (Iliada) and Hogo Fogo 7c (Olympic Wall) might also qualify for 'favourite' despite the latter's dodgy start.
9) The ever-popular Marci-Marc 7c+ (Odyssey) or the equally popular Sirtaki Lessons 7c+ (Secret Garden) or maybe the still-semi-secret Lactic Shock 7c+ (Ivory Tower)
10) Daniboy 8a (Spartacus) is classic or perhaps Angelica 8a (Arhi) if it’s winter.
All these are unforgettable. Don’t queue up for any of them though (like they do for DNA!). Try the one to the left or right… most likely, you’ll be equally pleased.
It’s no easy task to come up with 10 ‘best’ routes when you’ve been climbing on the island for ten years, so first I had to break it down into 3 lists. Inevitably any individual’s list will be biased towards the subjective and mine are no different. Almost all of my most memorable ascents are ones close to, or just exceeding, my on-sight limit therefore my most memorable experiences are all around the 6c to 7b range . However, that’s not to say I haven’t enjoyed hundreds of lower grade routes and my first list attempts an objective assessment to name 10 of those below 6c.
Guillot’s Corner 5+ A really strong and compelling line.
Joy in the Garden 6a+ - delightful grey wall pocket pulling.
Another Day in Paradise 6a – Top quality and the most appropriately named route on the island.
Harakiri 6b+ - Steep and audacious line slap in the middle of Spartacus Cave.
Kavavis 6b – Not typical, but probably the most eye-catching ‘true’ line.
Facetelendos 6b+ - Best route of this grade in Kaly. Strangely overlooked by the milling hoards 200 metres right in Symplegades!
St George’s School 6b - A long and high quality pitch on Dodoni, a less frequented crag.
Lily 6b(+) Brilliant steep slab climbing – just like High Tor with bolts.
Wild Country 6a – A grand mountaineering day out.
General 6a+ - Marginally the best of the similarly graded magnificent trio (Telendos Star and Nordend being the others) on the right hand side of Llambda.
List 2: These are all in 6c/7a range and probably most memorable to me because I managed to on-sight them.
Kaly Dream 6c – A Skalia Pillar special. Spicy runouts and several cruxes. I still ‘dream’ about it!
Resista 6c – A bit of a soft touch perhaps but still needs confidence and a few big flowing moves.
Vlassis House 6c+ – Lesser known gem on Magoulias Wall. Tricky low crux, left or right? Then delightful wall climbing.
Dike 6c+/7a – Well worth the hike to Jurrasic Park. Big pitch but never too hard if you read it right.
Aphrodisia 6c+ The best of the 6s in the best sector on the island. Long and sustained but so satisfying.
Lucifer’s Hammer 6c – A most improbable looking pitch for its grade. Vertical wall climbing doesn’t get any better than this.
Chnosi Family 7a - Possibly the best of many classics on Panorama.
Gunpowder Plot + Ext 6c+ - Brilliant steep slab climbing. Do it in one magnificent 40m pitch but don’t underestimate the allegedly easier first half!
Sickle 7a+ Virtually every route in Kalydna could go into my top 10. This is 35metres of the highest quality wall climbing straight up the middle. My only 7a+ onsight on the island so it’s probably a soft touch?
Chocorelo 6c - Worth the trip to Dodoni on its own!
List 3: Routes that I failed to on-sight but was inspired to work on, or repeat, for a Red-point.
Nestoras 7a – Brilliant, steep juggy moves and a short technical crux that i just didn’t work out in time first go.
Gladiator 7b – Magnificent varied climb and probably my most satisfying red-point (only after several attempts).
Yanap 7b+ - 50 mega-metre pitch on my favourite wall.
Aegean Sea 7a+ - Steep tufa is not my favourite medium but this route sticks in my memory from my first trip in 2004.
Nickel 7a+ Another unmissable tufa fest but with the crux at the top when the tufa runs out.
Verikoko 7a+ High quality wall climb on Iannis. I should have on-sighted this but a miss-read high up meant I had to enjoy it all over again!
Barbarossa 7a+ A quality pitch on a less frequented part of Telendos. Worth the walk in the sun though.
Kyprios Angel 7a/+ Steep but also a real technical challenge. A worthy contender.
Lava/ Eruption 7a – 50 metres of steep juggy joy assuming you think about the potential for rope drag whilst equipping the lower slab.
Chardonnay 7a+ - 40 metres of the very best on Lambda. Blowing the crux first time means 80 metres of climbing to claim the red-point!
Aegialis 7c ,for obvious reasons
Priapos 7c ,the scariest
Monahiki elia 6a+, the introduction route to 3d climbing
Trela 7a, a jug/rests marathon and a silly 12metre fall
Bye bye doc 6c, first 6c ever done onsight
Minotauros 5c, first route ever
Nigel 7a+, the most elegant 7a+
Dolonas 7b, the first roof
Alfredo alfredo 7b+, quality route perfect analogy of boulder and technical route
Morgan 7b+, aesthetically superb natural line
Ten is just too small number!