Kalymnos 2011 - Trip Report 3 (Odyssey and Symplegades)

Alright. After the team's first couple of days a rest day was in order. So we piled into the Upskill limousine and began our Kalymnos mega tour. The main port town Pothia, the impressive church and monastery of Saint Savaas, and the scenic township of Vathy were all ticked. In order to work up an appetite, we decided some swimming, snorkeling and cliff jumping was in order...

The water was just as good as it looks here.
I've got a mighty spring going in this photo.
At our restaurant at Vathy which is an Upskill fave, we had the typical scenario where food would come out and he would say "You didn't order this, but I thought I would give it to you anyway". Just crazy amounts of good food. My rustic, authentic dolmades were a standout. Yum. We have to make sure we do heaps of climbing to avoid getting massive.

As we sat trying to digest, we were informed that we and the other restaurant patrons would be going on a free boat ride. Hmm.

"And how much will this boat ride cost us?"
"It's free!"
"Yes, but what will I pay?"
"I see ... ... How much is it?"

Well this all sounded rather dubious. Would we end up in Turkey, sold as slaves? Or wake up in a bath of ice with a kidney missing? Nobody knew, but you don't look a gift boat ride in the mouth. Or something. So we piled onto the fishing boat and away we went around the east coast of Kalymnos. Just when I thought I would record some farewell messages for family on the video camera, our skipper turned the boat around and we made our way back, marveling at the goats on the near vertical cliffs which drop away into the ocean. Crazy goats.

When we re-entered the fjord of Vathy we spotted the deep water solo cave and I pointed and made climbing gestures to the captain. He seemed amused and pulled in. I dived in and within a minute was barefooting up the most obvious line in the cave which I found out later was Sharkbait 7b. When I reached my height-comfort level, I dropped off and came back to watch Lewis, who had decided to walk to the top of the cave for a mighty drop.

Lewis takes an express descent.
So we were all happy to make it back with our organs intact, and nice and refreshed ready for climbing the next day.

The classic sector of Odyssey was the plan where the team could test their mettle on some routes that kick back to overhanging and where they would be battling the pump. Writing is hard, let's let the pictures tell the story.

The anchors of the great route Atena 6b+.
Clean leads today by John, Kurt, Luke.

Checking out some warm-ups.

Luke casually flashing Atena 6b+. His project for the day was Calipso 6c+.

Kurt hadn't fallen off anything prior to this on the trip, so we had to push him a bit.
Dionysos 7a was a nice, steep route to clock up some airtime.

Kurt - Dionysos 7a. He and John shared beta and swapped burns on this bad boy.

Lewis redpointed the tricky Femio 6a+ which is harder than its grade might suggest.

John chalking up and having a shake before ticking off Atena 6b+

Dave enjoying the technicality of Circe 6b. It's hard down low, then delicate!

Dave's tried this in 2008, 2010 and now in 2011. It'll go! The route is Itaca 6c+.

Kurt - Dionysos 7a

We keep Townsville crusher Steve Ioannou on hand for getting
draws back at the end of the day. Here he's onsighting Dionysos 7a.

The next day saw us up in the canyon of Symplegades Rocks. It's a great place to go on a hot day because it funnels the wind. On day of Beaufort 7 wind however, it's a great place to get blown over and lose chalk balls horozontally out of chalkbags! It was wild and exposed!

Luke warming up on Drama 6a+.

Hi Sam!

Luke climbing in a rock garden.

Kurt flashing Drama 6a+

The crag is great because you can choose either sun or shade.
John has chosen sun, and a face-smear on the "interesting" Skorpios 6a

John, Skorpios 6a

Spot the climber.
John, Skorpios 6a

This is a new route for the sector this year. It goes up the arete of the cave.
Lewis enjoying the lounge on Neanderthal 6a+/b. The route has a hard start and
Lewis did well to persist with multiple tries until cranking through to glory.

When whippers are on the agenda, it's high time to switch to a bowline.

The team watch Kurt battling with the technical Ermix 7a
Highlights of the day...
  • Dave's onsight attempt of the massive 45m Rabat 6c. 22 quickdraws, massive rope drag, communication impossible with the wind. Almost mountaineering, surely!
  • Lewis' tenacity on the start of Neanderthal 6a+/b, walking away with the tick
  • Excellent soft catches given all round.
  • The focus on body position and stable clipping positions
  • Ruth's mileage on the epic 30m K.V.R 6b and Drama 6a+
  • Luke getting within a metre of onsighting the tough Bubuki 6b+
  • Kurt and John's strong efforts on Ermix 7a ("Stop falling on my rope would ya!")
  • The fact we didn't lose any team members in the hurricane. Winning.