11 September 2010

Two days of climbing...

Some of the locals checking us out as we slog uphill on the way to the Afternoon Sector of the Grande Grotta.

I've just finished my second day of climbing on Kalymnos and there is a stark contrast to the climbing found in the UK, which is obvious I suppose. Yesterday we headed up to the Afternoon Sector of the Grande Grotta, which lies twenty minutes walk from our hotel. We had an early start so that we were up at the crag before the sun reached the peak of its heat, but it also allowed us to climb in the shade for the majority of the session.

Trying desperately to keep my finger tips chalked on L'amico Ralph (F5c).

It's a strange concept to be looking for the crags that are in the shade for a large portion of the day; in the UK you almost always want the rock to be soaked in sun, but in Kalymnos it is hard, even when in the shade, to keep your hands free of sweat so you can crimp the small, but positive, limestone holds.

A busy Grande Grotta cave with climbers on DNA (F7a+) and Aegialis (F7c).

We ticked six routes ranging from F4a to F5c, but many of these felt much harder than the English sport routes I have lead in the past. We headed back down to the hotel and onto Masouri for dinner at the Glaros Bar, when hunger eventually set in, and afterwards we passed the time in the hotel's swimming pool, before heading out for tea in Myrties.

Admiring Kasteli's Main Wall with Telendos behind.

Today followed a similar theme: we were up early so that the walk-in to the crag could be done in the luxury of the shade and, like the previous day, we climbed whilst the rock was still in the shade, however we were at Kasteli's Main Wall instead of the Grande Grotta's Afternoon Sector.

A climber on Piccolo Diavolo (F6a).

Again we ticked six routes, but this time the sun cut our session short; the base of the crag was just starting to get warm as the first rays of sunshine hit the limestone and so we headed back to the hotel to while away the time in a very similar fashion to the previous day.

More pictures of the holiday can be seen here.

Good lines, stay safe and see you on the wet stuff...

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