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Greece Sport Climbing

 

Greece Sport Climbing (2014)

ISBN: 978-960-9456-20-3

Written by: Aris Theodoropoulos

Published by: Terrain

Reviewed by: Karin Magog  (April 2015)

 

Greece Sport Climbing by Aris Theodoropoulos is a superb selective guide to some of the best rock climbing in Greece. It covers 29 different areas (mainly in Central and Southern Greece), of which several have many different crags to explore. Although the main emphasis is on single pitch limestone sports climbing, the guide also covers some stunning multi-pitch venues such as the island of Santorini with its impressive 470m cliff of Kalamos, and the amazing looking conglomerate towers of Meteora. There's also a few trad routes, especially at Varasova. However, in the main the guide is awash with great looking orange and red limestone walls, tufa dripping caves and grey pocketed slabs.

Each area comes with a detailed introduction, good sketch map and approach notes for the individual crags. The photo-topos are mainly excellent and sharp, although a handful are a bit soft, but all are easy to follow. The routes also tend to have a brief written description which I really like as they give a good indication to the style of climbing on the route eg. short and powerful, endurance climbing and a technical crux, bouldery, technical and crimpy, etc. The crags encompass a wide range of both styles and grades with plenty of routes to choose from.

Greece has the longest coastline in the Mediterranean and more than 1000 islands, however, it is also one of the most mountainous countries in Europe. This combination makes for some stunning scenery and there's plenty of photos in this guide which highlight this fact. The action photography is generally excellent and really sells the guide - superb looking rock, amazing lines and superb scenery, what a great combination. What a tease though putting in the stunning picture at Agiofarango on Crete with the caption 'will be featured in a subsequent edition', it looks superb!

The guide also contains plenty of very useful information on travelling to and climbing in Greece plus some suggested rock trip itineraries. There's also info and links to some areas and crags that haven't been included, many of which look well worth a visit. The map of Greece on the inside of the cover, combined with the detailed crag planner give you a clear picture of what's on offer and make planning a trip so much easier.

It's also worth noting that a good percentage of profit from the guidebook goes towards bolts and hardware, which helps maintain the existing crags and support the development of new ones.

This is a most inspiring guide and thanks must go to Aris for the amazing job he's done to produce this book and to the equippers who have established all these routes. It really shows that there's much more to Greece beyond the island of Kalymnos. There's so much to do here whatever your grade that it's a wonder more people haven't been. Greece looks like a truly beautiful place so why not get exploring the rest of the country instead of joining the crowds on Kalymnos this autumn.

 

 

 

Fact File

The new website Climb Greece was created along with the new Greece Sport Climbing guidebook to provide Greece climbing updates and news. Through Climb Greece and Climb Kalymnos, our vision is to inform, inspire, and make Greece an even better climbing destination. Climb Greece is still a work in progress. Regularly updated features will include an interactive route and crag database, a Greece climbing forum, and up-to-date reports about climbing developments. 

 

 

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