A Meteora Rockclimbing Experience

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Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 3, 2007 - 08:23am PT
While the monasteries provided for a fascinating day of exploration, it was time for us all to return down the hill to Kastraki,
Which in its own way, is a dream town for the rock climber:


(photo of Kastraki, Dieder Hasse)


The three women accompanied me to the center of town, where we found my hosts Jane & Mike hard at work,
Culling aspirants for their local rockclimbing adventures:







I bid adieu to my lovely touring partners and Elini, having throughout the day shared some furtive & subtle non verbal communique,
She sealed that notion with a farewell kiss ...sent to my neck.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 3, 2007 - 09:10am PT
Not so early the next morning, Jane & Micha went to work.
They are a super fun pair and have a great sense of humor:




My first partner was this fellow Peter from Austria,
Seen here with his wife & kids before we headed out on foot:




We climbed a fun tower called Pyramid via a 4 pitch 5.8 arete:


(photo Hasse)
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 3, 2007 - 09:20am PT
On my second day I hooked up with a European guy named Fred to climb The Holy Ghost.
The Pillar of Dreams is the classic line and climbs like a Tuolumne adventure,
Beset with firm knobs and steep slabs and graced with a bulgy OW crux at mid height:




In this Dieter Hasse photo below, you can perhaps make out two parties,
Both in red, one at 1/3 height and one at 1/2 height:
(Jane later accomplished the first free of solo the 9+ route)




The climbing surface is of a conglomerate type, with large cobbles essential to upward progress.
Most all of the routes were put in ground up using ring bolts.
Healthy run outs abound.


(photo Hasse)
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 3, 2007 - 09:54am PT
While the Pillar of Dreams is a five or six pitch route,
It is moderate and an excellent mid-level introduction to the style of climbing one encounters at Meteora.
I hooked up later that afternoon with another fellow, Basti, to climb the Corner of Madness, also on the Holy Ghost:




The Corner of Madness begins as an excellent crack climb in a corner.
The climbing proceeds upward along a superb 10+ jam/lay back diehedral and is crowned with a thrilling 10- headwall finish.


(photo Micha Klein)


(photo of Basti & Tarbaby by Micha Klein)




(photo Hasse)
Chiloe

Trad climber
Lee, NH
Nov 3, 2007 - 10:32am PT
Another fine thread, wandering open-eyed.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 3, 2007 - 10:34am PT
Thanks Larry, glad you could make it!
The amenities in Kastraki provide for a most hospitable stay:




Jane, Basti & Kai, enjoying a post climb reverie:




(photo Hasse)
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 3, 2007 - 10:41am PT
I was still a bit jet lagged, a couple days of power lounging ensued,
Along with a bit of smartly indulgent R&R by the pool:







Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 3, 2007 - 10:48am PT
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 3, 2007 - 11:12am PT
Many if not most of the good lines in Meteora were established by Deider Hasse.
His was an impeccable style, always bold and ground up, and imparted with aesthetic vision.

My time here was laced with a sense of possibility and of freshness.
In the early 90s, Meteora, although well rigged with established classics, still had an aura of naivety.

One of the routes that had been high on Jane's list was the Kastraki Tower.
This route took a stunning line, vertical and sometimes overhanging, up the central chimney and offwidth system.






This was quite a fantastic line to encounter.
The first pitch was an overhanging flared chimney, requiring broad 5.10 stemming between stalactites and sandy walls.
(As I arrived shod only in cowboy boots, I picked up the spiffy green approach shoes down in Kalambaka)




The crux 3rd/4th pitch was a purported 10+ OW, which went in a pretty straightforward manner.
Aside from the crux section, that pitch is primarily a squeeze slot, with some good exposure.

mack

Trad climber
vermont
Nov 3, 2007 - 11:49am PT
Very cool! This is on my ever expanding climbing destination list.
Mack
Watusi

Social climber
Newport, OR
Nov 3, 2007 - 12:55pm PT
Very Nice!
Chiloe

Trad climber
Lee, NH
Nov 3, 2007 - 01:08pm PT
Tarbuster's threads are always convey much more than the climbing, that's one thing that makes them fun to follow.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 3, 2007 - 01:23pm PT
Jane & Micha are the most wonderfull hosts: they posess and share such an awesome sense of humor and good fun!
This is the rig they drove down from Germany, known affectionately as The Terminator:





F10 Climber F11 Drinker

Trad climber
e350
Nov 3, 2007 - 02:28pm PT

Nice TR as usual

Must have been a great time
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 3, 2007 - 02:31pm PT
The time of my life!
"Git' yer biscuits in that gravy while it's hot"
-Hud
divad

Trad climber
wmass
Nov 3, 2007 - 02:42pm PT
Thanks for a great TR. The climbing looks awesome, as does hanging by the pool.
Mtnmun

Trad climber
Top of the Mountain Mun
Nov 3, 2007 - 02:42pm PT
Cool Tarbuster. We are going back to Greece next year. Thanks to this post, Meteora is a definate.

BTW the Greeks are notoriously lax when it comes to safety. How is the fixed protection in Meteora? Is the gear in good shape or old and manky? I did not read the details of this post, but I assume it is trad and sport from the looks of that corner you are climbing.

Thanks

Jude
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 3, 2007 - 02:59pm PT
Jude,

In many ways it is an area overlayed with a rich German climbing heritage.
Dieder Hasse was extremely prolific & strictly trad (probably still at it); Heinz Zak did some stellar routes.
I hear sportclimbing has since settled in and there would be some good ones if this is so.
All the towers/routes have Greek, German, and English nomenclature.
Aghion Pnewma = Heiliger Geist = Holy Ghost
Germans put in many of the bolts and they were, 15/20 yeras ago, very beefy ring bolts.
That's what I know.

Happy Cobbling!
Roy
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 3, 2007 - 03:16pm PT
That said, from Dieter Hasse's METEORA:

Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 3, 2007 - 03:22pm PT
It is an honor & a pleasure Matt,
Thanks for coming to the party!


(photo Dieder Hasse)
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