Expedition for a day
That Saturday I got up at 04:00, just after a couple of hours of sleep. It took several coffees to awaken completely and left Athens at 05:00 with a bunch of friends, driving approx. 300km to
Athanasios Diakos village at 1000m, on the slopes of Mt. Vardousia 2495m. This mountain complex is often characterised as the Alps of southern Greece due to its intensely steep terrain and piked peaks. Snow coverage all over the mountain was not ideal – precipitation was adequate but temperatures had been above freezing level lately – but at least it started only 200m higher than the village. Thus we set off by foot initially and then by skidding our skis uphill through the dence fir forest and the bare alpine zone later on.
After a short break to greet our old friends Kostas and Elias, mountaineers themselves and wardens at the local EOS refuge at 1900m, we continued further up to Mega Kampos via the steep and frozen Portes passage. There we took the decision to descend via Koprisies, a gully with a couple of steep downhill sections. Snow was tricky to ski, with a frozen ice layer on top and soft snow underneath, making manouevring a toilsome – and quite risky for knee injury – procedure.
Anyhow, couple of hours later we were back safe and sound in civilization, ejoying the delicasies of the the local taverns and a further couple of hours we were back to our homes. That was a nice day to remember!
Tags: Christian Mayer, Michalis Aftias, Vasilis Triantafyllou, Giannis Dimitrakis, EOS Amfissas