16th March 2018
Vlaka Tomy – 6a – Lead O/S
Politiki Kouzina – 6b – Lead O/S
Dont Panic – 6b – Lead O/S
I am a Hero – 6a+ – Lead O/S
Nirvana – 6a+ – Lead O/S
We didn’t quite make it to Mad Wall on our first attempt, coming to a halt at Picollo Wall. On reflection I’m quite glad we didn’t, as Mad Wall is quite tough for its grades, but full of excellent routes and it would have been a shame to sandbag ourselves on the first day.
The day was enhanced by a great group of climbers, sharing experiences and gradually working through and finding the best routes. When you get a sociable crowd, it only enhances the experience and this culminated in a great climbing day.
We met John, Danny and Bethan a group of English climbers. A good age range in that team! And put us all to shame. Also we bumped into Michael and Veebka a German couple looking to do the 6b. Interestingly they remarked on how good the atmosphere was in comparison to their previous day’s climbing which they shared with their countrymen. I think getting the right combination of characters can be the difference between having a good day and having a great day 🙂
Quite a few of the climbs at Mad Wall are sandbags if you go by the Leonidio Guide. In the Climb Greece guide they are mostly a grade harder, which suited me as I ended up with two 6b’s under my belt. I loved the climbing here. Steep and fingery at times and with some challenging moves. Given its proximity to the road and the grades on offer I was really surprised it wasnt a bit more polished. But Leonidio doesnt do polish at the moment. Far too new.
The views into the valley emphasise the towns history, with a patchwork of small farms nestled on the fertile area. This was probably Leonidio’s mainstay for income (except for a few months when the crowds from Athens came), but now with the new climbing industry, a new lease of life is there. Its great to see the population embracing this opportunity. Shame Newquay never had that foresight!!