Wait what? why should have i prepared? Hiking a couple of peaks every month is not easy and heading for the big ones far far from home. We had the trip in the books for about one and a half months before we headed there. Waited and waited and after changes of the dates, itinerary and routes we finally settled. 16 and 17 of June were the final dates and the East Direct the final route.
Having final exams the past months i spent the final two days of my exams dreaming of the morning sky atop the 2407m summit of Profitis Hlias. Having packed my bag with 20kg owrth of gear, way more than i needed and well, used i wrote my final paper for the year and got into the car for the 3 hour drive...
Our gear consisted of: 3-Season Tent, 4 Sneakers Bars, 4 Nature Valley Protein Bars, 2 Bananas, 3 small steaks, summer sleeping bag , 3lt of water, camera gear, summer mountaineering clothes. Here is a photo of my gear.
All my gear on my bedroom floor
Having enjoyed my chill drive to Sparti it was the time for the real deal. The approach drive to the refugee. It is a tricky thing to drive up to 1550m at some forested mountain in the Peloponnese. We drove through a beautiful gorge through an asphalt road and headed upwards towards the refugee through a dirt road. With great views and an open mind we drove up to the refuge.
The Hike Up
We looked up the pyramid summit and clicked on our packs took a deep breath and headed up. The trail says 2 hours and 45 minutes but my hike mates (mom) bad attitude and my heavy pack said back pain and my early morning exams said nap. The trail proved to be a fun hike up under the low clouds that allowed us to hike without the sun. The hike proved fun and quick although one of my poles broke half way through and i ended up climbing the last section with only one pole, half collapsing and half stumbling while the 40mph winds blew on our face and chilled us to the bone.
Having a break at Plakes 2012m
Mom climbing the last section
We finally touched the summit flag after 3 hours and 800 something vertical meters. The summit offered great views and the many hours till sunset gave us time to set camp.
To Camp or not to Camp
I have camped once or twice before, but i have never camped on a mountain summit. Having carried 20kg of gear to the summit i finally took of my pack and opened one of the tents to start setting camp. The strong winds stopped and we slowly got camp ready.
Bro setting up camp
We got the camp up and went ahead to getting dinner ready. Butane cooks slow so we enjoyed the sunset from 7k feet and waited for our cheese and rice to cook. Rice was ready and we put the steaks on the gas for some great tasting summit meat. The night slowed down to chilling inside the tents until the stars where out. I tried to put my heavy dslr to good use by shooting some stars but i forgot my tricks...
The night had a big surprise for us, we were on summer gear and the breezy sky high night proved a problem as the temperature dropped to -2C and my hiking buddies were having great trouble keeping warm. For myself, well i was very very comfortable with the temperature and slept very well.
Yellow Light and Morning Mist at 7.000 Feet
That, sadly is a Instagram caption of one of my photos from that morning. We were 'awoken', quotes since not everyone had slept the night, at around 5:30 by the morning light and the now chilling temperature. I changed my clothes and headed out to enjoy the morning light. With 360 views we headed for a walk around the summit and ate our breakfast.
Xalasmeno covered by mist
The pyramid shadow and xalasmeno
We woke up inside a massive fog cloud and as we waited and ate our breakfast the clouds cleared giving us beautiful views. We ate our breakfast that consisted of mini waffles with honey and protein bars 400+ kcals and headed down.
We are Going Down
The Greek weather had arrived, blue skies and the scorching hot sun made our hike down a miserable experience. The trail is rocky and the descend was a pain in the ass... oh i meant toes,just under the summit we found our first treat a long snow-patch that is for a Greek, on June 17th a pretty crazy thing. We walked across it and we continued our way. Our friendly doggo (dog) had the time of his life the past days and finally found some snow as we breaked near a snow-patch.We walked for 1 hour and 45 minutes under the hot sun drenched in sweat and hauling our still heavy packs to the refugee at 1550m. The heat was getting at us and we were very tired as we reached the car.
The first snowpatch
There we are once again back in the car heading for our weekend in the village of Kardamulh we drove down to the village of Oitilo just under the summit of Saggias the highest peak of southern Taygetos, what a great place to finish our trip, four smelly people tired and without sleep eating breakfast above the insane blue waters of the sea.
The village of Oitilo
Here is a list of interesting moments and photos from the trip.
Sunset at 7000 feet
Making dinner at camp
Summit from our camp
The summit from the refuge
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