The nightlife mountain
Mainly because of its proximity to Athens, the very popular ski centre and the presence of roads almost all the way up, Parnassos is not only crowded, but it has become the mountain of the rich and the show-offs. The once picturesque village of Arachova is now full of nightclubs and suffers from heavy traffic. Some people show up with their skis on the top of their expensive 4x4s even if they can’t ski and don’t want to learn: it’s just a part of their image. The Livadi plateau above Arachova is now filled with villas (up to 1960 it was a lake part of the year).
Is that all? No, otherwise I wouldn’t bother submitting it. There is a whole lot more to it. A substantial trail grid (the E4 International trail passes from here), the world famous archaeological site of Delphi, some of the best ski mountaineering routes, one of the best trad climbing crags in Greece (Kouvelos) and a variety of ice/snow/mixed climbing sectors more than make up. The farther you get from Arachova, the quieter the mountain gets.
The mountain hut is in very good condition and the stuff very friendly and helpful. It is located under Gerontovrachos. There is a paved road leading to it from the road to the ski centre. In the winter it is usually cleared from snow daily.
The main peaks are:
Gerontovrachos 2395m. The one closest to the ski centre (climbing with a soundtrack :-) ).
By car: From Athens take Highway E75 (N1) North towards Lamia (from the airport take ATTIKI ODOS get in E75 through exit E8). Then you can:
- Get off the E75at the exit to Thiva (70th km), continue towards Livadeia, Arachova and Delphi. From Arachova you may take the road towards the Livadi plateau and the ski centres (~225km)
- Get off the E75 at the exit to Kastro (111th km) and continue to Orchomenos, Livadeia etc (less traffic)
- As in 2 but after passing Orchomenos and the train rails turn right towards Dayleia, Tithorea or Amphikelia. From amfikleia there is a road which leads to the ski centres (~305km but less traffic + you avoid passing through Arachova
By bus: KTEL buses to Arachova - Delphi:
Departure:07:30, 10:30, 13:00, 15:30, 17:30
Arachova:12:20, 15:20, 17:50, 20:20, 22:20
Delphi:13:05, 16:05, 18:35, 21:05, 23:05
Ski buses: Many ski buses depart from Athens every weekend like Klaoudatos. You can ask the driver to drop you at the junction to the refuge and pick you up the next day
|Train Nr.||Athens||Kato Tithorea||Amfikleia||IC|
|Train Nr.||Amfikleia||Kato Tithorea||Athens||IC|
When To Climb
All around the year, though in same places there is no water in the summer.
It would be better not to camp in forests or make campfires. Nobody will bother you if you camp in the alpine zone.
The mountaineers' favourite campsite is the small plateau opposite of Gerodovrahos peak below the country church at the end of the ski lifts at Kelaria (Parnassos ski center).
This campsite usually is the meeting/starting point for the alpinists who want to climb routes in Gerodovrahos, Liakoura and other peaks or start for mountaineering ski and especially the fantastic descent of Velitsa's ravine from Tsarkos peak.
General 72hr forecast for Lamia, the nearest city. Courtesy of the National Observatory of Athens
Snowreport.gr (in Greek & English, for all Greek mountains with ski centers)
Snow centre Snowcam, weather & road conditions in Greek and English
History - Mythology
Parnassos is an important part of ancient Greek Mythology. First of all it is where the Oracle of Delphi is situated. According to the myth, Apollo decided to built an oracle. He left Olympus in search of the perfect site. He ended up under the steep cliffs of Parnassos in Delphi where a huge snake guarded a small spring. Apollo killed the beast and built his oracle there. The part of the E4 International trail that passes through Parnassos actually follows the ancient trail to Delphi.
Parnassos is also the place where the Ark of Deykalion and his wife Pyrra (the ancient Greek version of Noah’s Ark story) landed. When the water withdrew, Deykalion and Pyrra made a sacrifice to Dias (=Zeus). He was pleased and agreed to satisfy their request to make more men. Following his advice, they both started walking and throwing stones behind them without looking back. Wherever the stones thrown by Deykalion fell, men “grew” and women wherever Pyrra threw hers. When the 12 Gods fought for dominance, Dias in a fight with Typhonas was defeated and nearly killed. Typhonas left him to die in a cave in Korykeio Andro, which is near the trail to Delfi. Dias recovered with the help of Hermes and Aigipan and revenged Typhonas by burying him under Aetna in Sicily (the volcano was created by his excessive use of thunder, his favorite weapon).
480 BC: The Persian army led by Xerxes headed for Delphi to plunder its rich temple, and was supposed to have been warded off by Apollo's divine intervention in the form of a rock fall
In 279BC the Gauls invaded Greece and tried to lute Delphi. They were driven back by the armies of Fokida and Aitolia. Later there was a legend that Apollo scared them off with earthquakes, thunder, lightning, rock fall and snowstorms and also that the “Ypervoreioi” (=the ones that came from beyond the North) Yperohos and Laodokos came to help the local heroes Fylakos and Pyrros (son of Achilles).
During 1821-1823, the family of Odysseas Androutsos, a general of the Greek forces fighting against the Turkish occupation used the Korykeio Andro cave as their headquarters.
- Climbing routes on Greek mountains
Very good site about rock/ice/snow routes in Greece. Only in Greek, I'm afraid. I will ask the guys if they can get in the trouble of translating the texts. Untill then you can have a look at the topos and ask me to translate anything you find interesting.
- Parnassos Ski Center
Snowcam, road condition, map & lots more. Greek & English
- The hut of "M.Defner"
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