14th March 2018
Tsonta – 6b – Lead Dogged
GHML – 6a – Lead
FUCK 88 – 5c – Second (Chris Lead)
Psila – 6a+ – Lead (inc extension)
The nicest part of getting to this crag, was that it involved walking from the house. Red Wall is a really imposing face that sits up behind where we were staying at Leonidio Apartments, so it seemed an obvious choice for a days outing. As it turned out, Red Wall was probably my favorite location of the trip. A strange venue with a weird ‘via ferrata’ belay line running across its lower wall which the belayer clipped into; which proved really useful. A very good idea given its situation.
Once again we came across a very helpful local (as we got lost for a change – I blame Chris) in a young lady who directed us to the correct path up to the crag. I cant believe how everyone seems so into the climbing. There’s no jadedness at all. Long may it remain so.
The best part of Red Wall is the height. This is where my 80m rope came into its own, with some of our routes hitting the 40m mark. In fact it was the rope stretch that enabled you to lower off safely with just a few metres spare. The result of this distance is solid sustained climbing with move after move after move. The rock is positive, but different to the standard limestone, with a lot more vertical cracks.
I thought it was brilliant, particularly in the top sections where the more compact nature of the rock led to crimpy, delicate moves on a gently overhanging face. Amazing exposure and stunning climbing. Loved it!
With all three of us feeling the mileage we moved across to Hospital. If we thought this was going to be an easier proposition we were wrong. Hospital is different rock again. More like standard limestone, but still with the compact band high up. If anything it was more technical, and just as long. Another great area. Chris led a distressingly name ‘Fuck 88’ which proved to be a real sandbag at 5c. Technical and difficult to place gear, this is not really standard 5 fare. For most 5 leaders it would be traumatic, but Chris dealt with it really well. Even on a second I found it tough, so be warned!
Back at the apartment we settled down to a nice omelette, courtesy of a local lady. I’d previously remarked on the nice fresh eggs our neighbour had in her bucket. Next minute we had a box full and enough for a cracking meal and salad. This was washed down with an excellent local red wine and a few beers. It was at this point we should have stopped….
But no. Out came the Ouzo and so started a very messy evening which culminated in some very bad Greek dancing and Tom crashing out fully clothed. That Ouzo is dodgy stuff. It creeps up on you. Especially when you shot it. Of course the usual ‘I love you…’ and ‘We’re the best friends ever…’ resulted. And probably at that point we were. Anyway, Alexandra’s sister advised us later that we should have had it with water. A bit late then, but next time I’ll know.
Greek beer isnt so bad either. Its probably the location, but the Mythos beer was pretty good and we found our local haunt for the trip. A bar which has the main square in Town. Not a bad place to relax after a good climbing session. Always the way – we find somewhere which epitomises our stay and watching the old boys sitting outside the pub and the crazy driving emerses you for a while in the Greek culture.