Kalymnos 2010 - Trip Report 3 (Ghost Kitchen and Kastelli)

Second day on, and tired muscles would be rejuvenated by the big breakky buffet! Yum! Living the life of climbing bums sure is hard.

Ghost Kitchen sits high above Skalia village and looks down on the blue ocean with its high-domed, arching roof which protects a gently overhung main wall with the most unbelievable stalactites and tufas. It's the cliff that has "6c's as far as the eye can see". If you're climbing the 6c-7a (22-23) level, this area is primo.

Owen and Glenn were first up to the cliff and both dispatched the four star 30m Resista 6c+. (Kalymnos doesn't actually have the fourth star in the guidebook - it uses a musical note symbol - for when stars simply aren't enough!) Owen smoothly onsighted which was a top effort. I thought the route was pretty bloody hard actually, I think I underestimated it. Some long locks off two finger pockets when you're pumped at the top. Owen said the top section "might be the best 15m of climbing I've done - ever!" Glenn flashed it, and also loved it. I haven't found anyone who hasn't gushed over that climb. It does have some cool crossover sequences and monster pockets. Sheree enjoyed Joy In The Garden 6a+, another long slab and wall route.

Matt had been jonesing for Dafni 6c+ (not to be confused with Dafni 7b at Odyssey) since seeing the pics of Susy wrestling the deer on the 2008 camp. The bizarre climbing which switches between monstrous stalactite blobs and technical pinches and slippery footers meant the onsight was foiled. "That's the only onsight I really cared about!" Bummer. But then again, climbing isn't meant to be easy. The best ones are the ones you have to fight for. To his credit, Matt did his time sussing out everything on the route so that on the second shot, there was absolutely no doubt. Locked in the satchel.

Dafni had taken Susy a few shots on the 2008 trip too. The style of this main wall at Ghost Kitchen was a challenging one. So it was to her credit that she climbed with such a great focus and determination to onsight Remember Wadi Rum 6c up the guts of the main wall. This route makes use of nearly every technique in climbing - crimps, jugs, handlebar rests, kneebars, stemming, chimneying - it's got it all! Glenn and Owen also 'remembered'. I cleaned up the remaining couple of routes I hadn't done on the wall. On both Sisyphus Junior extended 7b and Durgol 7a I underestimated the quickdraw load and had to enter backcleaning mode before scurrying through to the anchors.

But there's no doubt that the tick of the day was Sheree's. Let's paint the picture here a second. Sheree is a naturally strong climber, but she almost never lead climbs. Prior to this trip she'd done only a couple of leads. In Kalymnos, she's been leading nearly every day. Today however she really pulled out the stops with a rock solid lead of the smooth slab Parasitos, graded 6a+ or 19! She actually climbed it more smoothly than any of the team who repeated it. And this is her hardest lead by several grades. It makes us all wonder what she's actually capable of.

There was a few hours of light left, so the perfect place to while away the afternoon was Kastelli. It's right down by the sea and hosts some routes that are in a truly magical position perched above the ocean. The ocean was so inviting in fact that I scrambled down the slope and took the plunge. The route to do here is Pillar Of The Sea 6a+ which everyone climbed, and I took a million silhouette photos. Sheree's was best thanks to her ponytail.

Sam and Susy also raved about the next door Merci Brothers 6a. So I guess we have to thank the Remy brothers for that one. Cheers boys!

The team watched the latest episode of Survivor and *spoiler alert* couldn't believe the coup that Russell enacted. Unbelievable! :)


David said...

Ya gotta love Resista.... can't wait to get back on it.