Kalymnos 2011 - Trip Report 7 (Dolphin Bay & Kalydna)

You thought we'd wrapped? How wrong you are! Gird your loins dear readers and prepare yourself for another gripping six-part series of Upskillery on the isle of Kalymnos.

Despite imminent Grecian economic collapse, general strikes, aircraft groundings and a run-in with pirates, our first team of Upskill players managed to leave the island and make their way home. This left a void that only a group of boisterous Aussies could fill, so we imported some. Allow me to introduce the new players.

Upskill Kalymnos 2011 Team #2

If you've been playing along at home, you'll remember Taswegian Owen Gervasoni from last year's camp. Nicknamed The Hustler, he'd lull you with stories of injuries and "taking it easy" before onsighting 40m pitches like Trella 7a with no warm up and smashing out personal best redpoints like Amphora 7b.

Susy G-Star Goldner is an Upskill fixture and lifetime platinum member (ask us about our rewards program). This is her third Upskill Kalymnos camp and she's racked up more sends here than the Pothia Post Office.

Another Upskill regular goes by the name of Andy Lightfoot. He's best known in Kalymnos for his efforts last year in waging war against a large margarita pizza at Prego Restaurant. This is now known as the "Lightfoot Challenge". He got to within two slices of success in 2010 and I'm told most of his training efforts in the last 12 months have been directed towards this goal. Rest assured the rematch will screen exclusively here on upskillclimbing.com.

Evening up the boy-girl numbers, and generally lifting the stylishness of the group is the fiery Bochere Rand. After putting up with a year of Andy's Kalymnos stories, Bo decided to sign up to ensure Andy doesn't come home with a bag of stray cats.


Talk about quick changes of weather! A week ago it was 30° and on our first day of climbing, a top of 13° was predicted, with strong winds. Perfect weather for a spot of sea-cliff climbing! Dolphin Bay is a great cliff for getting close to nature, where nature is crashing surf and sea spray. It's super atmospheric, and the climbing is on a rock type which is different to most other crags at Kalymnos - a highly featured white marble.

Bo straight up, day 1, on lead, let's do this.

Andy carbo-loading

Marble and climber.

Andy races up Barbouni 6b+

Sam runs a quick lap up Palamida 5c+

What's on the menu Andy?

"This is the first time I've had fun climbing in like, a year!"

Owen opened the account with 10 pitches today!

Wild and wooly.

So - cool things from today:
  • 10 pitches by most of the team
  • MVP was Bo, no doubt. Early morning jitters. Sit, talk, discuss, re-evaluate. Learn a new process for approaching a redpoint. Techniques for removing the pressure. Channeling nerves away from negative 'fear' and into positive 'excitement'. This climbing is supposed to be fun, right?! Let's make it fun - no pressure. Nerves, banished. Route, conquered. Big progress.


Kalydna is a big orange face, about 80m high. Imposing and impressive. A great venue for stepping it up on day two.

Andy bagging Extra 6a+ having no trouble with the reachy crux to clip the anchor.

The Huster stepped it up bigtime. Tassir is 7a+ and TECHNICAL. Second shot baby.

Owen redpoints Tassir 7a+. This is only about halfway up the route. It's beasty long!

Andy and Susy enjoyed first shot ascents of Mamy Nova 6c.
Bo doing Extra (and you're reading all about it) 6a+ and somehow having no trouble with the height dependent finale.
"I've never climbed anything like this ... ever!"
Best efforts of today:
  • Bo doing a stack of metres, including her longest pitch ever, a 30m sustained 6b+ pitch Golden Oriole. And doing the tufa-blob route Kaly-Nihkla 6b without falling.
  • Lightfoot, G-Star and Hustler having redpoint burns on the epic 32m Nickle 7a+ with its awesome "left or right??" decision crux finale.
  • Susy-G bagging Mamy Nova 6c onsight with ease.
  • Sam and I managed to get a couple of climbs in too which we were psyched on: Golden Oriole 6b+ onsight for Sam and the 45m epic Uschanna Extension 7b+ onsight for me. Wicked. 
  • MVP: Owen who hustled out the redpoint of the technical and super long Tassir 7a+. Huge effort mate!

Stay tuned for more action from climbing central, Kalymnos.