Probably the most popular route among Greek climbers who want to avoid the hordes of tourists on the route from Prionia
, compared to which this one is bit longer but more gentle. On the downside, it is more exposed to the sun.
It is also an option in the winter, and taking the left branch after Stragos will keep you away from avalanche prone slopes.
Gortsia or Diastavrosi (=junction) is just that. A dirt road leaving the road from Litochoro to Prionia (13km from Litochoro) to the right. After about 30m it stops and the trail begins (there is a small parking space).
Gortsia - Muses plateau
The trail ascends trough a dense forest to the west. It soon turns north and in about 1hr reaches a location called Barba (alt: 1450m) with a wooden table and benches where you can rest. The trail turns west again and 30min later there is a sign pointing to a spring called Kolokythia on the right (sometimes it dries out in late August).
Further along the trail, there is a branch on the left leading to the cave where Spiros Ithakisios lived and painted landscapes of Olymbos. The main trail continues to Stragos (2hr30'), where after the (empty) water tank the trail forks again.
The left branch (called Anathema) follows a shorter but steeper (hence the name) line. The right branch passes by the sheepfold in Petrostrouga (alt:1950m, 3hr15') and eventually comes above the tree line. Both branches meet on Skourta (2475m) and the trail continues SW through Lemos (alt:2430m), a narrow ridge.
From there a zig-zaging section of the trail leads you to Giosos' pass. In the summer you can bypass this techical section from the right. In the winter you have to climb it using the fixed cable if you want. Having passed this point you are at the edge of the Mousses plateau (5-6 hrs total).. The trail soon forks again. The left branch leads to Refuge C at the south edge of the plateau, while the right leads to the "Giosos Apostolidis" refuge on the saddle between Profitis Ilias and Toumba. Metal poles are placed along both trails to guide climbers in the winter.
Muses plateau - Mytikas
From the Muses plateau the trail goes south towards the base of Stefani. It traverses the peaks massif getting into Zonaria. The traverse brings you under the two couloirs. The first leads to Stefani, the second to Mytikas. They are both clearly marked. The route from this point involves some easy scrambling and a lot of exposure. Be very careful when there are lots of climbers in the couloir because they can cause stone fall.
In the winter the couloir is a moderate ice/snow climbing route with the steeper part (the last meters before the summit) at around 45-47°.
In the summer you can use of the refuges and travel light. Always have a shell jacket with you as storms are frequent.
In the winter the route is harder and requires full winter gear
is the GPS track of the route in *.plt format.
Note: The first part of the route (up to Barba) wasn't recorded and was added later.