If you have ever visited or even driven through the village of Kastraki, you must have seen this obvious line! Pixari is a flat topped tower (mountain?) sitting just SW of Sourloti and NW of the huge (and complex) Grosse Heilige. Its NW face (one you see from Kastraki) is split by a huge chimney system. Archimedes
climbs into and then up this chimney system. Despite the friendly rating of “V”, the route is a relatively serious outing with many pitches having little to no protection (though very large gear might help in some
places). Quite a satisfying outing.
As you drive north from Kalambaka towards Kastraki, you will pass an indistinct rightward fork (pointers to some hotels visible) shortly before entering Kastraki proper. Take this narrow road which will put you above the village. The road makes a run-around a low and slabby formation. Immediately past this formation (Pixari is above this little “pedestal”) and past some park benches, look for a pullout. Locate a trail up the slabby rock. Once on top, follow the trails in the direction of Archimedes
’s base. Approach time is 5 minutes.
III, 120 feet. Climb the slabby and well featured rock up towards the base of the chimney system. No protection. Look for a single ring bolt belay on the left.
III, 120 feet. Move up the low angle crack toward the chimney system. Good pro. Belay from another single ring bolt anchor on your left.
V, 140 feet. Now the fun begins. Hike up easy ground deeper into the guts of Pixari. Clip a bolt on the left and start chimneying upwards. One more ring bolt on the left wall, some tat around a rock horn are all you get (unless you have some large gear I’d guess). Belay at double ring bolt anchor just above a 2-foot rock embedded in the wall. We thought the pitch favors those with longer legs.
V, 100 feet. The crux pitch. Climb up and out over the void 25 feet and clip a ring bolt. Move up past some chockstones (fixed tat) and either climb on the outside (scary) or up the squeeze chimney between some embedded rocks. Belay at a stance from a ring bolt.
III, 160 feet. Climb the easy (mostly horizontal) chimney to another ring bolt on the left wall or continue up some slabby/easy ground to an un-roping spot.
The guidebook (Vol. 1) mentions a 35-meter rappel as a means of getting down. We did not find it. If you have good information on this, please add it here.
The rap we did instead (Vol. 2 shows this rap line which uses the Geiersturzflug
VII+ anchors) was easy but it took 3 double rope raps. From top of route, locate the summit register: basically up and (climber’s) left as you top out on the route. From summit, hike down (unexposed) and right (initially SW towards Grosse Heilige, then S). As you get to lowest slabby ledge systems, there’s a pair of rap bolts on roughly a horizontal slab facing the gully between Pixari and Grosse Heilige (that’s the large formation looming tall and nearby – can’t miss it). Three DOUBLE rope (we used 60 meter – the 2nd rap seemed quite long especially) raps put you in the gully between Pixari and Grosse Heilige. Hike down gully, pass a monastery on your right and down to the road you drove up.
One set of cams from about #0.5 Camalot to largest (#5 or #6). If you have extra of the largest ones & are not too comfy on chimneys...