Monday, 28 September 2015

Mt Olympus, Highest Mountain in Greece

Climbing Mt Olympus

Mt. Olympus is the highest mountain in Greece.  It has three summits: Mitikas 2918m;  Skala 2866m;  and Skolio 2905m.  Mitikas involves some easy but exposed rock scrambling, so most walkers ascend Skala 2866m which is nearest to “Hut A” the nearest mountain refuge.  Although Skolio 2905m is only a short walk further than Skala, it is not so often ascended.

At the start!

The ancient Greeks believed that Zeus had his throne on the highest peak, Mytikas which was also home to the other 12 Olympians (Greek Gods).

Climbing Mount Olympus is a non-technical hike, except for the final section to the summit of Mytikas peak, which is a grade 1 or 2 scramble depending on the route taken.

Gaining the "Muses Plateau"

Mountain House Holidays have recently (September 2015) returned from running their first trip to Mt Olympus where everyone ascended Skala. Unfortunately it was a day spent in the mist and drizzle and the Guardian of “Hut C” where we spent the night before our summit attempt advised us that Mitikas should not be attempted in wet conditions as limestone is notoriously slippery in the wet. None the less a very successful trip made all the better by the helpful Greek people who were all keen to ensure that we had the best possible time.

Mules are used to supply the huts on Mt. Olympus

Next year (2016) we are including Mt. Olympus back on our itinerary though we will be going a month earlier when we are assured that the weather is better!

Mountain House Holidays will be organising 5 day midweek trips in August 2016. These trips will be led and supervised by qualified International Mountain Leaders. The programme will be as follows:

We meet you at Thessaloniki Airport and transport you Litochoro, where we will stay in guesthouse accommodation. If there is time in the early evening we can have a short walk in the Enipeas Gorge.

The mist rolls in!!

An early start taking a taxi to a high road head where we walk high into the mountains, initially through ancient forest. We continue steeply up the mountainside to reach a mountain hut at around 2600m on the spectacular “Plateau of The Muses” where we will spend the night. The refuge has dormitory accommodation, blankets and pillows, but you will need to carry a sheet sleeping bag and sandles or trainers.

The Summit of Skala
An early start will enable us to make a traverse of the mountain. For those who want to make the short scramble, Mytikas 2918m is a possibility. We will then continue for the non scramblers to Skala 2866m and possibly Skolio 2905m before descending to Hut A for a second night on the mountain.

We continue our descent off the mountain and reach a high road head in around 3 hours. We then descend through the spectacular Enipeas Gorge to  return to Litochoro and a well earned celebratory meal.

Dinner in Hut A.
We depart Litochoro and return you to Thessaloniki Airport