Sport First Ascents - Kalymnos
'My love affair with new routing on the magical island of Kalymnos lasted for over a decade. You can’t pick a bad crag out there and the experience of a trip to Kalymnos leaves a lasting impression. The routes are described from north to south (or right to left as you view the crag) starting from Zeus sector and finishing at Spartacus.' NG
References: Kalymnos App – ‘The Send’ / Kalymnos climbing guide, Aris Theodoropoulos, numerous editions.
The routes are described from right to left as you face the crag....
ZEUS, IANNIS & KALYDNA
Pipe Cleaner 7b+ Zeus, 09.04
The continuous single tufa on the right hand side of the wall. The crux is getting established on the pipe but it remains sustained throughout. I cleaned the route with a wire-brush as I climbed it on the first ascent, hence the name. Bolted by Nick Smith.
Tufa King Pumped 7b+ Iannis, 09.04
A fun example of steep, Kalymnian stalactite pulling, which seems to have become the classic of the sector. Beware the tricky crux on the headwall, which comes when all the jugs run out. I take no responsibility for the name, which was the inspiration of my belayer, Steve Bunting.
Aurora 8a Kalydna, 09.04
Guidebook quote: 'The central line of weakness in the giant amphitheatre of Kalydna has become a classic of the island'.
The difficulties escalate and the crux is the last move, which uses a mono-pocket to reach the top of the wall. The route is approximately 45m high and is possible with a 70m rope, provided you scramble up to the small belay ledge at 8m and /or re-thread the intermediary lower-off (7b to here). When I first looked at this stunning wall I couldn’t believe that the glaringly obvious central line hadn’t been climbed. Sure enough, it was the first route to go all the way to the top and the grade is relatively amenable, considering the territory it covers. My favourite new route in Kalymnos.
AFTERNOON & THE END CAVE
Dinosaur Junior 7b Afternoon, 09.03
My first new route in Kalymnos. An extension pitch above Kalo Taxidi and Blu. The single tufa is hard to start and sustained at the finish.
The Beginning at the End 7b+ The End Cave, 09.03
The first route to be climbed in the End Cave. A bouldery start leads to some great tufa-swinging action and a tricky slab to finish. Named after the nightclub in London where I met my wife. The End was owned by pioneering tech-house DJs, Layo and Mr C, and it closed in 2009.
Harlem Nights 7b+ The End Cave, 9.2003
The left-hand line in the cave is a ‘one move wonder’ and may suit those looking for something a little shorter. Named after DJ Steve Lawler’s tech-house night, which ran at the End nightclub in London between 2000 and 2005.