Olympos - Skolio - N. Face

Faidon Galinos

Rock, Traditional

The first ascent of the route "Faidon Galinos" (VI, 550m) was realized in summer 1999 by A. Spanoudis - Ch. Kotta - P. Sarantakos.

This route is the result of many climbers' long attempt on the impressive dihedrals of Skolio. The history starts in 1967, when O. Ioannidis - E. Eleftheriadis climbed the first four pitches and then continued to the right in a big chimney and stopped there. Since then, A. Spanoudis targeted the line, but during an attempt he made in 1968 he only managed to get to the 4th belay. In 1989, D. Sotirakis managed to reach the 4th belay as well and he went on a little bit, but finally he had to retreat because of the rain. A. Spanoudis came back in 1995 with Ch. Kotta and together they got -once again- just a bit above the 4th belay. So, A. Spanoudis tries again in summer 1998, this time with P. Sarantakos, and they manage to get to the 8th belay. A year later, they come back and they finish the route.

It is a fantastic route, one of the most beautiful on the Hellenic mountains, rigorously grated (VI), characterized by very good rock quality for the first, and most difficult, 8 pitches, while the ones that follow, from the 9th one up, are loose and dangerous. Moreover, the elevation change is big (400m), the length as well (550m) and the feeling of isolation pretty strong.

The 1st pitch starts with a dihedral, at the beginning of which there is a piton with a black sling. All the belays from R2 to R8 are equipped with two bolts and one abseil ring each, which means that escape is easy and fast. From that point after, making an escape becomes more difficult and requires inventiveness and great caution. The most difficult pitch is the 7th one, as it requires good technique and self-control.

In order to climb this route, one should be equipped with a full set of nuts, a full set of friends, some pitons, slings, good technique and stamina for the successive dihedrals and of course convenience in natural pros' placement.

A simple look at the frictionless dihedrals of the route is enough for one to imagine what can possible occur when snows melt or when it rains. The rock falls can cause serious accidents and the only places where climbers are adequately safe are under the roofs above R6 and R8. Climbers can also feel safe and comfortable on the big ledge of R9, which is convenient even for bivis, if necessary. But, even that spot might be dangerous for the belayer, when the leader is above him, on the ramp of the 10th pitch, which is full of unsteady broken rocks.

On summer 2013, some climbers reported that 5th pitch has only 1 piton (in the traverse) instead of 4, and 9th pitch is now equipped with 2 pitons.

Approaching the route requires traversing under Mytikas (90min), while returning is possible from Kakoskala (90min).

The upper part of the route

The lower part of the route

Source: Anevenontas i. 10, D. Mavropoulos, A. Adamidis
Photographs:
Translation: E. Katsikerou
Editing: Routes.gr
Area: Olympos
Location: Skolio
Published: 2003-05-01
Modified: 2013-08-19