Kyparissi – Tufa paradise in Greece
I’ve had Kyparissi in mind since I first recognized the potential of all the untouched cliffs above the tiny ocean village in November 2014. The urge to come back to establish new lines on the perfect limestone crags became overwhelming and I couldn’t await my return.
When I came to Kyparissi this June I met the main Greek pioneer Aris Theodoropoulos to get some information about this huge wall. He told me that there are just a few established routes in the sector Babala, the rest of the huge crag is still to be established. Upon hiking up there I first realized the endless package of amazingly steep and futuristic tufa lines. I was glad to have my boyfriend Bernie with me to help me with the bolting, which turned out to be kind of tricky. I needed some time until I was finally able to decide which of all the stunning lines I was most psyched to try. It felt like cherry picking when we than put our attention on two independent lines. The first is about 35 meters long, extremely overhanging with all kinds of tufas. It turned out to fit my style totally and despite the fact that I’m quite sure it’s 8c I managed to send quickly. The second line we bolted however turned out to feel way harder. Not as long and not as steep as the other one, the complex movements on tufas, pintches and crimps immediately turned out to be a real power testpiece. On my first try I even had problems doing even all the single moves, it actually took more than one session to even make it to the top. Progress came slow but steadily, but the fact that the entire route lacks good footholds kept me falling over and over. Days passed by and either the bad tufa on the beginning, the complex middle part or the tricky tufa at the end always prevented the successful ascent. It wasn’t till the very last day that everything went right and I finally clipped the anchor super happy but with totally pumped forearms. I decided to call the route 'Gloom of Triumph' in remembrance of all the big moments I had during my climbing career. I suggest 8c+ for grading but I hope repeaters will soon share their impression.
The passion to doing first ascents is a completely new experience for me. Up to now I have just made a hand full of new routes and it is something special to be the first one to lay hands on rock features that haven’t been touched before. Apart from my personal fulfillment I think it is special to be able to leave something for other climbers to get a taste of after having had success yourself.
I’m pretty sure Kyparissi will see many climbers in the future. To my opinion the sector of Babala hosts some of the best tufa lines I have ever climbed and it is definitely worth the 50 minutes walk up there, which rewards you not only with stunning climbs but also with a great view of the sea. Especially strong climbers will find their projects on the main wall, but all climbers will get their money’s worth in diverse crags around Kyparissi eventually. In combination with the sea and the already existing crags around Leonidio not too far away, Kyparissi will for sure establish itself on the climbing map soon. For me it was definitely not the last trip there, I’m actually boarding the plane to Greece already again tomorrow to take part in the climbing festival at Kyparissi upcoming weekend! See you there…