Kalymnos – a climbing paradise
by Martina Cufar
A few words about the Ultimate Routes: I can only write in superlatives - the longest, the most overhanging, the most rope friction, the longest one pitch climbing (1h), and so on. On the first day the conditions were really bad; the grey rock was as greasy as if somebody had put butter on it – it was hard to hold even a jug. So while studying it, no one reached the top in one hour. Also the rope friction was too big.
The next day a north wind blew and dried up the holds. Charlotte was the first to go and after switching the rope in the middle, she managed to flash the upper roof which we hadn’t been able work out the day before. She reached the top! This gave me motivation! She explained to me the complicated roof section (one would need a compass) and I went on a journey over, under and around stalactites. It’s complex climbing. Your all body is working, and I really mean “all”. I was REALLY happy when clipping the anchor; exhausted, with a hole in my trousers, but full of emotions. On the last day also Daila Ojeda did the route, so there were three women and three men (Chris Sharma, Dani Andrada and Steve McLure) to get the prize – a one-week holiday on Kalymnos!
On Saturday there was the Freeride Rally, when all climbers who were on Kalymnos were challenged to see how many routes they could do. Local climbers Daniel Christos and Aris Mauromatis did an amazing number of routes and won a great prize package from Petzl. The »pros« were not taking part. The sea was still warm enough to swim and we had a perfect rest day, gathering some energy for other challenging new routes in the Sikati cave. Once again I have to say “thanks” and “chapeau” (in French) to the tiredless route setters. Without them the event wouldn’t have been possible.