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Mount Athos ~ Normal Route (south slope)
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Mount Athos ~ Normal Route (south slope)

 
Mount Athos ~ Normal Route (south slope)

Page Type: Route

Location: Macedonia, Greece, Europe

Lat/Lon: 40.15840°N / 24.32750°E

Object Title: Mount Athos ~ Normal Route (south slope)

Route Type: Mountain walk with some easy rock scrambling.

Time Required: Most of a day

Difficulty: Easy walk-up in the summer.

Route Quality: 
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Page By: John Climber

Created/Edited: Aug 14, 2005 / Jan 1, 2006

Object ID: 166260

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Page Score: 70.59%  - 1 Votes 

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Approach


The startpoint of the climb can be the Skiti Aghia Anna, at the almost most far southeast end of the peninsula, or the even more remote Skiti of Kerasia, further eastwards.

From the guest quarters of Aghia Anna walk to the right and up to the upper slopes of the 'village'. The path is, firstly, a stairway which later becomes a mountain path that climbs between the limestone cliffs over the higher houses of the settlement. After a small woody area the path levels at aproximately a height of 700 meters and walks parallel to the coast line in a southeast direction. Some houses of the Skiti Aghia Anna can be seen still when looking downwards to the right. You will pass a big wooden cross to the right, a remembering that we are walking in Holy land. After a while the path begins to descend a little bit and then comes a clear bending to the left. At this point (a saddle) and to the left starts the path, through an small oaks forest, up to the mountain. There will be a signpost with the name "Athos" (in greek) on it.

This point can be reached coming from Kerasia. When coming from that place you will walk out of the settlement to the left and up to the saddle between the wide south ridge of 'Ahos' and the small hill with the chapel of Profeet Ilias on it (895 mtrs). The chapel and the coast will be at your left hand and the begin of the actual path up to the mountain with the signpost will be to the right.

The paths here described are, actually, the walking route that connects Skiti Aghia Anna with the Skiti of Kerasia.

Route Description


From the signpost-begin of the actual climb to 'Athos', firstly through a small oaks forest and later on more open terrein (low vegetation). The route gains altitude with a pair of long zig-zags. A small oaks forest (with some pine-trees in between) follows. Here the path is less steep.

The terrain becomes more rocky before reaching an exposed (but easy) pass over a spur. From there one can see by first time the summit block of Athos. Here the path climbs up slowly through an open forest of oak trees, gaining altitude walking up the left side of a wide gully. To the left the higher slopes of the south ridge of the mountain. Opposite to the right a lower ridge runs parallel to our path.

The gully finishes at a kind of saddle between the south slope of Athos, to the left , and a small rocky hill to the right. Just there, where the terrain levels, rises the chapel of the Panayia ( Holy Virgin Mary, in greek). This building at 1500 mtrs high offers the last shelter before the top.

The last 500 meters to the top is the most demanding part of this walk up: firstly, the path rises up in zig-zag to the left hand of the wide south steep slope of the mountain, passing here and there the last pine trees.
Then, middle way up the rocky face the path traverses to the right. Here could be deep and steep snow patches in winter and early in the season which would ask more attention to the climber. The traverse passes under some very steep rock plates directly under the top which I advice to avoid unless you really want to do sport climbing.

The top, with the chapel of "Metamorfosi Sotiros" ('Transfiguration' in greek) and a big iron cross from 1897, is reached after some meters scrambling on at the right side of the rocky top-block.

Essential Gear


In summer no special equipment is required for this climb. Mountain shoes type 'C' are necessary. Warm clothing is advisable since can be cold and windy at the top. Enough water supply is mandatory for this climb, surely in summer.

In winter extra clothing is necessary. The climber should be prepared for a lot of snow, which, under certain conditions could be hard and frozen. Route finding can be a problem, certainly with bad weather.

Miscellaneous Info

Images

The church of Panagia...Skiti Agias Annas, photo...