Artemisio Mountain (Αρτεμίσιο όρος, 1771m) is a rocky summit situated between Arkadia & Argolida in the Peloponnese region of Greece. It is directly connected with the Ktenias (Κτενιάς, 1634m) to the South through its extended ridge; it is also considered connected to Lurkeio (Λύρκειο, 1755m) to the North. The summit is located just above the village of Karya and rises prominently above the treeline at approx. 1300m. The orientation of the peaks ridge is North to South with the primary trail tackling the South face (see left).
According to the ancient Greek geographer, Pausanias at the summit there used to be located a shrine of the goddess Artemis, which was said to be surrounded by evergreen trees, however, those were progressively cut and today the summit is just rock. The mountain is also known as a significant area for bird migration and is passed through by the central Athens to Tripoli highway.
While one of the shorter major summits in the Peloponnese, it provides excellent views to the East into the Aegean Sea and is a beautifully exposed and prominent objective. Its location is only 1:45 hours from Athens and easy trailhead access makes it even more worthwhile.
Aspects of the Mountain
The mountain's North-South orientation means there is better accessibility through the flanks of the mountain. The village of Karya to the North-East and Nestani to the West are the two major points of access for the trails on the peak. The traditional summit route passes through Karya and approaches from the North-East. Directions for the two villages through Google can be found here:
There is one main and easily accessible trailhead, located on the Nestani-Argos Pass at 1080m elevation, just above the village of Karya. Up to here, one could expect reasonable quality tarmac road, which turns into a dirt road only accessible after snow-melt. To reach this point, driving through the village of Karya is necessary; here are the exact coordinates.
Actual Trailhead: 37.62293N, 22.52291E (elevation: 1340m)
There are multiple routes that summit the mountain (3 to be exact) that vary in grade and length, I used only one but I have some details of all of them
This is the traditional approach to the summit which begins at either 1340m or 1080m depending on how far you drive up the dirt road past the pass. From the upper trailhead, the one-way hike to the summit is 2.7km and has an elevation of 550m, taking about 2 hours. There are two equal-length sections on the trail one through the trees and one on the summit cone.
Forest Section: This is an easy approach section crossing 1.5km of forest, with little to no exposure and 250m in elevation gains. This section finishes at a transition area at 1510m (37.61610N, 22.51560E).
Summit Section: This is a direct hike up the summit cone through the side of the South ridge and requires hiking on a thin, exposed rocky trail. You do need to be wary of a couple of spots that may require jumping over fallen trail or balancing against steep rocks.
This route is accessible from the same trailhead as the Standard South route but moves onto the North ridge at a crossroads in the middle of the forest, from there it tracks the ridge up to the summit. It has the same elevation gain of 550m, around 3km in length and takes longer at approx. 3 hours. This route is significantly more exposed and can be classified as a scramble.
North West Couloir (Winter)
During winter it is possible to summit through the distinctive couloir on the NW aspect which requires a longer approach when snow cover is extensive. Due to the steepness and loose pebbles in the couloir, it is not possible to tackle it during the dry months. This is an exceptional Ski Mountaineering objective.
Break spot (37.616109, 22.515607)
The pit (37.616449, 22.515078)
Trail Head (37.622927, 22.522877)
When to Climb
I had the chance to climb it in early December with almost no snow and perfect wind conditions; this matter since all the routes have high alt scrambling in exposed faces. According to some websites and my personal experience with the face, it is important to gear up for a winter ascent and probably use ropes and ice screws. It is rather best to climb when there isn't any snow.
Since this mountain is located at a very open position away from high mountains to the east and close to high mountains to the north makes this a summit with unpredictable weather. here you can see the weather for the village below. Just kinda guess how the weather will be. If there is SE winds do not summit (if the wind speeds are high) nor if there was a storm due to the rocky (rockfall dangerous) nature of the mountain.
You can camp in the mountain tho it is not recommended. There isn't any 'safe' space to camp and only exposed windy spots on the summit but you can camp inside a very deep hole in the ground just above the break spot. Although still not recommended. Also do not start a fire on the mountain under no circumstances.
What to pack
Since this is Greece I won't be talking about high end -40C stuff but rather what to pack to hike light and fast.
Pack weather related clothing such as lycra or jaket, pack sunglasses, water (a lot), a light pack, battons, very good boots.
So this and many more mountains in Greece have a HUGE problem, they aren't measured correctly. The altitude shown above is taken using my cell phone Samsung S4 and the software viewranger and it showed 1769m on the top when placed on the summit marker. Usually, the summit is said to be 1772m by peak bagger, 1771m by http://hikingexperience.gr/ but the open street map topo map shows an altitude of 1726m. The mountain is around 1770m so yeah, don't fully trust topo maps in Greece.
Useful phone numbers
Well if sadly something goes to shit you will need support so here are some phones to help if something goes really really wrong.