This is the main summit route from the chalkis refugee. The route follows the south ridge for 1.3km and 660m vertical gain. This is by all accounts one of my favourite and hardest mountain climbs in Greece. This 'small' mountain is a very challenging climb and offers some of the finest tenchinal climbing around.
The route starts at the end of the dirt road after the refugee and starts hard and steep.
You can also find the .gpx file of the climb included on this route guide.
You can accses the chalkis refugee from the city of chalkida in about one hour. Drive from chalkis to nea artaki and then head right (West) in E.P. 11 following the road until you reach 38.597935, 23.868471 where a dirt road leading to the refugee will be apparent to the right. Following that route you will reach the refugee from which you can either start the climb or continue until the lowpoint of the saddle just under the face of dirfis.
I will devide the route in sections in order to move more in-depth to the climbing of each section.
The first section of the route is the lower alpine that rises for the first 200m of altitude gain. There are some trees, bushes and vibrant animal life. This section is rather very steep and rises very fast giving a pretty hefty first section to the climb.
This is maybe the hardest part of the climb. What marks the end of the lower alpine area? One of the two chokes set around 10-15 mins apart each possing a big chalenge. These chokes called "Portes" in greek requires scrambing a realy steep section where a fall can be fatal (and has been as the first 'porta' has a mural of a dead climber) tackle this section with care. It is way more chalenging during a winter accsent and can be easily climbed on a good day. Then continuing on the trail you reach the second 'porta' where you must do the same thing but this is a less steeper scramble than the one before allowing for a safe climb up.
The last long part of the climb is the ridge, it is a classic easy scramble that gains around 300m of altitude. This part offers amazing views to all directions and is directly under the headwall of dirfi a beautiful vertical wall that is 20-30m high. The only problem with this section is the trail is not well marked and the scrambles get more technical and tiring, having been climbing for 1:30h this section is very very hard to complete and is more of a will-power thing. The ridge ends under a small peak with clean views of the dirfi south summit.
We like the very smart mountaineers that we are (irony) headed for the obvius but south summit of dirfis that is on the right of the trail with a big summit cairn. It is very reccomended to hike to the summit as it offers better views than the acctual summit. From the trail head north towards the radio com tower that can be seen and follow the trail to the rectangular cairn 10 mins north from the trail junction.
Following our trail and attempt we headed west to the south summit and the bushwalked due north towards the true summit this mistake peakbagged me two summits and more views and i can easily say it was worth it.
What should you pack?
- 2lt + of water
- Hiking Poles
- Trail Shoes
- Fleece Top Layer
- Hiking Poles
- Piolet/ice axe
- Rope and harnesses
- Wind Bloker Top Layer
- Parka or Ski jacket
This is the most fiercee mountain weatherwise in Greece, it get battered by NE winds all the time, winds that can easily reach 60+ kph. The mountain is also snowcovered (from 900m to summit) from December to May. In short this mountain is a storm magnet litteraly, you should be sure of the weather before climbing and be ready to bail anytime if the weather dosn't allow for a summit bid don't even attempt it. During our climb on a beautiful day with 12C temp and 0kph winds all around low, except the mountain, the winds reached 30-40 kph in gusts and the temperature fell at a windchill of 6-7C. This mountain is not a joke and the weather here is a killer.
E view from the trail (1500+ alt)
SE view from the trail (1400+ alt)
View of the mountain from the refugee
Weather Forecast used: https://www.mountain-forecast.com/peaks/Dirfi/forecasts/1743