And I mention only skiing because the majority of the recent (10 days ago) snowfall was confined between 500 and 2200m. Over a meter of heavy “Aegean” type powder accumulated in the trailhead of Gortsia. Recently the road from roadside refuge of Stavros was opened all the way to Prionia.
As for last week, “hiking” was out of the question as it took fellow climbers more than 8 hours to cover 6km along the classic winter ascent route from the east side of Mount Olympus (Gortsia – Petrostrouga Refuge – Skourta – Laimos Ridge – Plateau of Muses). As I checked from Mytikas the roads of the north side seem to have been blocked by snow in low elevations. The road to the military camp (KEOAX) on the west side of Mount Olympus, is always open and skinning starts from the car!
Windy conditions on the upper mountain blew away the powdery snow creating unique nival formations (mainly big waves) and wind slab conditions on the north facing slopes. North facing slopes still need further caution. Climbing conditions on the east face of Stefani and the north face of Skolio remain poor.
Following last year’s very poor snow season, it seems like we are experiencing exactly the opposite: a heavy winter; the scientific explanations for this extreme contrast will be summarized by the end of the winter season, once I will have a more seasonal view and more data.
For the time being I leave you with some recent photos and my Best Wishes for a Great Winter!
Gortsia. At the start of the trail.
The sunrise from Petrestrouga refuge.
Kick turning in the forest above Petrostrouga refuge.
Exiting the treeline.
The first view of the summits.
The ridge of Laimos & Giosos Pass.
Testing the Tyrolian spek.
The couloir of Mytikas.
Post climbing refueling.
Tree skiing powder.
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