How we started bolting in canyons of east Crete in 2016


The idea of making new climbing routes in east Crete first came to my mind sometimes in 2010. It was after my first visit to Xerokambos and Kato Zakros when I discovered amazing canyons there. However, it took me still many years until I finally decided to turn my ideas into action. I found one young friend of mine, Karel Hronek, who was willing to go with me upon my promise to enjoy perfect climbing and some fun while bolting new routes there. Well, the reality was different from what we expected. Bad luck accompanied our trip from the beginning. We left the Czech Republic on November 18, 2016. We came to Piraeus  30 hours later after 1850 km drive.  However,  it was like a bad dream to find out that ferry companies operating ships to Crete just started a strike. So we spent eight days waiting until the strike ends. It ended at the moment when Cretan farmers were so angry because of the situation that they started to burn ferry boats in Heraklion port.  We finally left Piraeus and reached  Crete at the beginning of December. Our arrival to Xerokambos was accompanied  by bad, cold weather and this weather did not leave us during our whole stay. Some days were so severe that locals were buying stoves like mad. They did not experience such cold weather for at least 30 years. And we were drilling new routes in canyons every day.  Our accommodation was lacking one substantial thing under such conditions:  Heating. We were accommodated in a small summer apartment close to the beach, but this will not help you to warm up during cold nights when the temperature drops to 5 degrees Celsius, and you spent all day in cold, rainy weather, and everything on you is wet. Fortunately, not all days were like this. But one half is enough. After one month of stay, my friend Karel had no more motivation to stay and left home. I spent another three weeks working alone. 

 

We shot some material from the trip on our small camera. In fact, it was rather poor work that we made in this sense. At least some sequences could be used for video, so I made it. Here you can see it.     

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mepCR4TzASw&t=4s

 

 And what is the result of our effort? We made in total 25 pitches or projects. We have continued this year, and to this day, there are 70 routes done.  The next two pictures show only a small degustation of what is done there. You can get more informations on www.27crags.com.  

 

 

 

 

 Petr Fiala

 

 

 

 

terraminoika zeus appartman katerina appartman