Ascent of Olympus on 2014-09-19

Climber: Rob Woodall

Others in Party:Andrew Tibbetts
Date:Friday, September 19, 2014
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
    Elevation:9570 ft / 2916 m

Ascent Trip Report

Superb mountain, my second time up it. Well marked trail then exposed scramble to highest (Mytikas) summit. We descended the alternative (gully) route from Mytikas. Helmet recommended as there is rockfall hazard.

After yesterday afternoon's Smolikas ascent we drive partway across, finishing the journey in the morning. Hence a later than normal 1120 start for our day hike. The trailhead (trail starts at N40.08347 E22.40689, 1085m, top end of car park) is easily found, signposted from the village of Litochoro.

Three hours steady work following the main trail gets us to the first summit, Skala N40.08295 E22.35715. Here the fun begins! Fine view of Mytikas looking impressive, and quite difficult. However the route is densely paintmarked, and not technical, just nice scrambling (YDS3) on good rock with some exposure. A large group we catch up are wearing helmets and this may be advisable as it's quite a busy route and there are a fair few small stones on terraces.

We're at the summit (trig pillar, cross) in 3h30 from the car. After 10 mins I head off to see if I can find the way across to the slightly lower peak Stephani. There's a paintmarked route descending steeply East down a rocky gully which connects with our outward route: I guess the route to Stephani involves crossing the arete then a downclimb.

Andrew comes down to investigate and we decide to descend by the gully route. It's not difficult but steep and exposed - and we get the impression we're going down an up route. The rock scenery is very impressive. 45 minutes careful scrambling gets us down safely. There are a few bolts in place although it hardly seems the place for roped protection. Finally a zigzag path leads down to the main trail contouring around the foot of the cliffs. At the foot of the route N40.08646 E22.36134 2722m is a rather comprehensive warning sign. Main issue is rockfall, and the advice to wear a helmet and avoid the route if crowded, seems sensible, although on a Friday pm we see only one other small party on the route and the danger doesn't seem high.

We turn R onto a very scenic contouring trail which follows a terrace across the steep mountainside with very little exposure - at least compared with what has gone before! We rejoin the main trail at N40.07587 E22.36441, 2487m. If doing the circuit it would be better to fork R here and ascend by the gully, descending by the standard route via Skala summit.

We complete our descent to the trailhead (1h50 from foot of gully). We pass a few parties descending plus quite a few ascending (it being Fri eve).

We drive south to climb Pourianos Stavros (a P1473 near miss) the next day - a very different peak!
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:6273 ft / 1911 m
    Total Elevation Loss:6273 ft / 1911 m
    Round-Trip Distance:10.3 mi / 16.6 km
    Grade/Class:YDS 3
    Quality:10 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Exposed Scramble
    Weather:Hot, Breezy, Partly Cloudy
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:6240 ft / 1901 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 6010 ft / 1831 m; Extra: 230 ft / 70m
    Loss on way in:230 ft / 70 m
    Distance:5.2 mi / 8.3 km
    Start Trailhead:3560 ft / 1085 m
    Time:3 Hours 30 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:6043 ft / 1841 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 6010 ft / 1831 m; Extra: 33 ft / 10m
    Gain on way out:33 ft / 10 m
    Distance:5.2 mi / 8.3 km
    End Trailhead:3560 ft / 1085 m
    Time:3 Hours 5 Minutes
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Rob Woodall
Click Here for a Full Screen Map
Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

Download this GPS track as a GPX file

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