More than 100 towers and about 700 climbing routes create a feeling of fulfillment to the visitor. Climbing is the only sport that supports the area financially. Surveys show that 1000 people who stay overnight are climbers.
All climbing schools have at least one weekend included in their timetable at this peculiar field.
Climbers main commitment for Meteora:
“We climb on all rocks apart from the ones, where there are inhabited monasteries.”A commitment that is kept seriously by everyone.
Equipment: I would advise you the following book-guide before visiting Meteora.
Meteora Band II Climbing (newer routes)
Stutte + Hasse
In Greek, German & English, this is a topo guide to the imposing area of Meteora. Detailed info on routes, gear, hours a route is in the shade & more. Edition II & III are also released.
production: Stutte-Verlag, Postfach 144782504 Wolfratshausen, Germany (tel/fax ++49 89 3511938)
BEST TIME OF THE YEAR
The majority of climbers start visiting the area during Easter time. But this is not the only period! The ideal weather conditions of Greece (Mediterranean climate) permit climbing starting from the spring, late April to middle of June and after the hot Greek summer from September till the end of November. Generally speaking, climbing is possible throughout the whole year. In the summer, you can choose climbing routes, based on their orientation to the sun and shade. You can climb from 5:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. avoiding the heat, as the northern and western sides are in the shade and between 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. when the sun starts to set. Before you go, have a look on the weather forecasts: www.hnms.gr, www.meteo.gr, www.noa.gr , www.weather.in.gr
There are two useful guides to consider before you decide to climb there.
A. Dietrich Hasse and Heinz Lothaz Stutte : " Meteora Climbing and Hiking Guide" 1986, in English and German. It contains around 230 routes. Also, it provides general information about mountaineering, hiking in Meteora, maps, directions.
B. Dietrich Hasse and Heinz Lothaz Stutte: “ Meteora Climbing Part II” 2000. It is the additional climbing guide with the added routes of the area that were created from 1986 to the present time. Those are 440 in number. This guide is translated in English, German, Italian, French, and Slovenian.
In total the area of Meteora offers, up to 670 climbing routes in 170 peaks.
Equipment: WEB SITES
Have a look at:
www.oreivatein.gr In English and Greek
www.meteora.gr The official site of Kalambaka town
www.3kala.gr in Greek, but you can view some nice pictures.
CLIMBING ROUTES SUGGESTION
Climbing in Meteora never ends. There is an unlimited selection of routes. Get yourself familiar with the rock and the way of climbing it, after carefully studying & consulting the climbing guides. Every route has its own beauty and worth.
Some of the most beautiful routes, with many repetitions and in classic style, as given by the Hasse & Stutte guides are the following:
One of the classic routes is in the Holy Ghost «The pillar of Dreams » V+ 250 m. On the Sourloti rock «Hypotenuse» VI 225 meters and « The line of fallen drop» VI 170 meters. On Kelch tower «The eggs dance - Eiertanz» VI- A1 130 meters with the fantastic and breathtaking step across and in Alyssos the “ Community Route” VI A2 320M.
On the tower of Bell “Glockenspiel” VI 125m, in Bantova rock “Swiss cheese” VII - and in Doupiani rock “ Ostkante VI 125 m. & “Dickes Ende” VII- 145m.
An amazing and well known corner (pictures 20,30,40) is in Holy Ghost «The corner of Madness » VII 180 meters and in the Caucasian tower a classic route “Roussanou End” V+ 160Μ.
If you prefer a little bit of everything (cracks, traverse, steep) go to The Tower of Meteora, at the “DOHLEWAND DIRECT” VI- 145 m route.
Last but not least bear in mind the following:
It is forbidden to climb to the towers on which Monasteries exist!
There are no routes! This was what Dietrich Hasse and his team agreed together with the church authorities back in the 70’s and the same still applies today.
Here are some information about climbers provided by a climber:
The type of rock is unique and quite different from other climbing areas of Greece. The rock is mainly pebbles, stones, gravel and frail sandstone. Hundreds of big and small pebbles are all joined together in an integrated mass creating these pillars, which are as 300 meters high. The main routes are usually cleaned and steady, while one has to be careful to stay on course, to avoid non-stable stones and surprises!
BOLTS AND BELAYS
Based on the Meteora Climbing guide, there are two types of routes in Meteora: “Classical mountaineering ideals & Sport climbing routes” (Hasse, Stutte “ Climbing in Meteora” 2000 p 40).
Firstly, those that were opened in early days – traditional routes – have fixed belays and in-between resin bolts. The German philosophy prevails on these routes, that is, using as few as possible permanent bolts. In the majority of routes, moderate level V / V- there are considerable run outs (4-5 meters distance and above) and a sudden fall can be dangerous. As mentioned above, there are a great number of routes in crack, chimney style and if you choose these routes you need to have your own stoppers and exentrics.
Secondly, there are a great number of sport climbing routes equipped with stainless bolts at higher degrees of difficulty.
In the two climbing guides, the beauty of each individual climbing route is denoted by asterisks from the viewpoint of mountaineering standards. A route can have three asterisks that indicates maximum beauty, two, one or none meaning less beauty: As you can understand the judgment is relative!
Has you can imagine, the Meteora are build up some rocks. The sporting way to go visit them is by trekking from Kastraki to the Meteora. It's quit amazing to go up the same way the monks did 500 years and more ago.
And by the way don't do the same thing than me and don't forget your camera down!!! There's some great picture to be taken.
Equipment: - good booths or shoes
- walking pole
Meteora is one of the most visited climbing areas in Greece.
All together in the whole area of Trikala, there are about 600 routes and 100 of them are on limestone rocks. The huge holy rocks of Meteora are not limestone but conglomerate.
The best time of year to visit is fall throught spring and early mornings and evenings during the summer months for most of the sectors.
Camping is available only in Kastraki - Kalambaka (for Meteora and Theopetra). For the rest of the cliffs it's still free.
Going alongside mountains of Meteora, I noticed single figures helplessly hanging in the air or flattened to the stone walls. They are so called alpinists. I would found about 50 quite massive towers of rock and about 18 peaks worth climbing:). The height of the greatest stone wall is 300 meters, so I think you should plan your trip …for one day.
Hurry up! There are rumors about a possible law banning climbing in Meteora. Apparently the local monks don't like climbers who may climb on a roof of monastery or watch through the windows when the monks “sleep”.