Thursday, December 7, 2017

MIRELLA KA: Climbing Parnassus Mount with 10 Beaufort

If before last weekend someone has told me that on I would be climbing the Peak of Parnassus Mount - Liakoura (2457 m.) in a furious storm (89–102 km/h), which is measured with 10 from the maximum of 12 according to the Beaufort scale and that I would be camping in an active ski station in the middle of the middle of Ελλάδα, being really curious if my tent would be blown away by the storm with me inside… for sure, I wouldn’t believe them!   To see all the photos click here!

The initiators of this latest adventure from last Sunday are my priceless friends from the Mountaineering club of Kalamata ΟΡΕΙΒΑΤΙΚΟΣ ΣΥΛΛΟΓΟΣ ΚΑΛΑΜΑΤΑΣ. We started last Saturday, in the late morning. A modest team of 7 enthusiasts got in the club van and took the way for Central Ελλάδα. Tents, sleeping backs, batons and some food was important part of the equipment, because the plan included camping somewhere in Parnassus. French, English and Greek languages were alternating all along the trip, because of the presence of two international representatives, very welcomed by the local group. On the way, nearby Athens traces from the floods were obvious and reconstructions were happening on full steam. 

The first stop of the mountaineering group was in the beautiful city of Arahova. Amazing landscape combining urban charm with nature - all the cozy and attractive shops, restaurants, bakeries and cafeterias and the spectacular mountains in the background. The clock and the bridge are these one symbols of the city that gives its sure-footed identical vision. Christmas spirit was everywhere in the streets and on the shop windows.

The hiking team took a visiting tour in the archeological museum, where interesting facts about the Greek revolution from 1826 were mentioned and an exhibition of the traditional handicrafts was shown. After this pleasant meeting with local history and art from national scale, the team went for a hot chocolate/coffee/beer in one of the cozy cafeteria and nice chats about mountains, trips and adventures took place there. The next stop was gyro bar, where the vegetarian part of the group could enjoy their cheese bread.  An amazing magazine with beautiful photos and enriching stories about the places around and about ancient times revealed a completely different world and made the readers travelling to Delhi and the Sacred Oracle, for instance.

Later on, everyone was back in the car and then the task was to find a good place for spending the night in the tents. On the way, there were parts with heavy rain, then obscure fog, then stormy wind. It was difficult to find the way, signs were fallen to the ground and were not readable in the fog. But after all the group faced the best of luck and found the perfect building to squat (settle in). That was some inactive ski station, where the tents were perfectly protected from the severe weather conditions. Or almost perfectly… Because the wind was so furious all night long that even if it could enter just from one of the sides, tents were moving in a way it was giving the impression they will be blown away.

Anyway, the new day started and the team was ready to climb. The obscure fog was still there and the wind was not very gentle, so in the air was spread some hesitation if the Peak of Parnassus Mount - Liakoura (2457 m.) could be climbed. The best way to know that is to try doing it! So the fantastic 7 started their trail. Trekking surrounded by fog when the spectacular scenery is hidden is not very satisfying, but as 4 seasons easily change for a while in mountains it’s always worth to continue and expect for some clear view. And it happened! Sunshine penetrated the clouds and beautiful ocher mountains appeared. Perfect timing to take the opportunity for some photos!

Some hours later the trekking partners were already on the top of the mountains fighting with the huge wind and trying to memorize by camera the moment. Hats were flying, people were falling down by the snowy storm but the adrenaline and satisfaction were on high level.

Suddenly a nice meeting with someone who opened a shelter happened like a present for the climbers. Fire, mountain tea and some snacks were conducting the nice chat.
In a while the trekking part of the trip was already going to its end. The trip in the car was cozy with nice music and tired travelers inside. Another coffee stop in Amfikleia, where the thermometer was showing more than 20 degrees, which was quite big amplitude from the Parnassus peak’s storm from some hours earlier.

The adventurous team returned safe and refreshed to Kalamata on Sunday evening ready to start the new week and impatient for the next Sunday’s meeting with the mountains!

“Mount Parnassus (/pɑːrˈnæsəs/; Greek: Παρνασσός, Parnassos) is a mountain of limestone in central Greece that towers above Delphi, north of the Gulf of Corinth, and offers scenic views of the surrounding olive groves and countryside. According to Greek mythology, this mountain was sacred to Dionysus and the Dionysian mysteries; it was also sacred to Apollo and the Corycian nymphs, and it was the home of the Muses. The mountain was also favored by the Dorians. It is suggested that the name derives from parnassas, the possessive adjective of the Luwian word parna meaning house, or specifically temple, so the name effectively means the mountain of the house of the god.”, Wikipedia

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