Ascent of Oros Giona on 2011-04-20

Climber: Rob Woodall

Others in Party:Andrew Tibbetts
----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Oros Giona
    Elevation:8235 ft / 2510 m

Ascent Trip Report

The day before, we had climbed Liakoura (Parnassos) in deep snow and white-out conditions. Giona is a little higher so we weren't surprised when this peak presented another hard day. But at least we had some visibility.

We followed Petter Bjorstad's trailhead directions, turning off the main road at N38.69286 E22.31943 GPSr. However, as we feared, we soon ran into snow deep enough to cause problems for the car, and parked at the side of the dirt road at N38.68288 E22.30900, 1241m. The snow was perfectly hikeable although of course it became deeper as we gained height, passing though coniferous forest. A crossroads is soon encountered N38.67788 E22.30447 - go straight over. Fork L at N38.67171 E22.29090. At N38.66852 E22.28066 turn sharp L. After 2h 10mins hiking we were finally at the trailhead! (N38.66517 E22.27006, 1507m). The area was deeply drifted - no place for anything other than a snowmobile today.

The start of the trail was clear even in the snow, traversing R up a steep bank. Then we trudged up through deep soft snow, reaching a sign at N38.66344 E22.26693, 1683m (keep L - not that we could see any trails). The route now traverses a slope, which drops fairly steeply R, into a gorge. Soon we were in cloud, a repeat of yesterday's white-out conditions, with Petter's description and summit waypoint but no intermediate waypoints. Luckily I had printed off a map than Petter linked from his report - not a great map but Andrew made good use of it, helping us pick a way through the craggy upper section. We guesstimated a few intermediate waypoints for the GPS and headed up, initially looking out for that unseen steep drop into the gorge. In time the route leaves the edge and heads up over a ridge (N38.65488 E22.26144, 1943m). Here to our considerable relief the cloud started to lift - just as well as we saw a cliff blocking our way. The route passes L of this, via the foot of a buttress (N38.65280 E22.26200, 1980m). Once past this obstacle it's a straightforward ascent to a saddle - look out for a cairn just above, at N38.64718 E22.25946, 2190. The route then heads directly for the summit for approx 200m then at about N38.64689 E22.25737 it traverses L, maintaining the same gradient, avoiding steeper ground above. Once within 250m of the summit, we curved R to reach the ridge just below the summit which is marked by a cairn and a damaged trig pillar (N38.64711 E22.25224, 2503m). We were there at 13:10 - a slow hard 3h20 from the (summer) trailhead, 5h15 from the car.

Giona was Andrew Tibbetts' 30th Ultra, marking his entry into Andy Martin's Frontrunners list. Sadly no view to mark the occasion, just a white-out and a few cookies (wot no whisky?). At least we had a GPS track to follow back down, plus our own boot trail. We made quite good time on the steeper parts of the descent, although the more level sections were a bit of a thrash. Finally back on the (snowy) dirt road we marched out to finish in 8h. We then had a longish drive west, ready to bag Lefkas / Stavrota, the Lefkada island HP the next morning.

Trip photos
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:4491 ft / 1367 m
    Total Elevation Loss:4491 ft / 1367 m
    Round-Trip Distance:11.2 mi / 18 km
    Grade/Class:YDS 2
    Quality:8 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country, Snow on Ground
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Partly Cloudy
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:4327 ft / 1318 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 4163 ft / 1269 m; Extra: 164 ft / 49m
    Loss on way in:164 ft / 49 m
    Distance:5.6 mi / 9 km
    Route:from NE
    Start Trailhead:track SW of Kaloskopi  4072 ft / 1241 m
    Time:5 Hours 15 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:4327 ft / 1318 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 4163 ft / 1269 m; Extra: 164 ft / 49m
    Gain on way out:164 ft / 49 m
    Distance:5.6 mi / 9 km
    End Trailhead:track SW of Kaloskopi  4072 ft / 1241 m
    Time:2 Hours 45 Minutes

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