Vigla canyon is situated about one kilometer from Zakros village. It is one of the canyons here that are more distant from the sea, unlike Dead Gorge or Katsounaki canyon in Xerokambos village. Due to this, it is windier there compared to those crags that are close to the sea and not so hot even in sunny summer days if you are in shade. Due to its orientation to the east and north-east the best time for climbing there in summer is in the afternoon. Limestone in Vigla canyon is excellent quality, it does not suffer from the presence of salty air which is typical for spots right at the sea.
Vigla belongs to a local group of crags surrounding the villages of Xerokambos and Zakros. There are at least ten canyons, that are close to each other and where climbing can be developed. Xerokambos has six of them, Zakros has three. Currently climbing is at the beginning here, only a tiny part of all possibilities is exploited.
This local cluster of crags has the potential to become one of the best climbing areas in Greece and this potential is still waiting to be discovered. Our Zakros team is working here hard, however, we are only a small group of climbers. We will be very happy to invite every climber to our team to help us with our effort.
The Vigla canyon remained unnoticed by climbers until summer 2019 when Czech climber Petr Fiala went to the canyon for a walk and discovered these nice walls.
Pitches that are currently done in Vigla canyon are in a sector called by locals Katalava. Routes are between 5b-7b, there is huge potential of another development, Tens, maybe hundreds of routes are waiting to be done there. Ready routes are done on leaning slabs to vertical walls, only sometimes slightly overhanging.
1. Sokolík, 6b, 15m, Petr Fiala, Petr Fiala Jun., 2019
Nice route along the crack.
2. Black and white, 6c, 11m, Petr Fiala, Petr Fiala Jun., 2019
Short route with bouldery finish to the anchor.
3. White and black, 6a+, 10m, Petr Fiala, Petr Fiala Jun., 2019
Slab climbing, nice moves.
4. Mission possible, 7b, 18m, Petr Fiala, Petr Fiala Jun., 2019
Interesting climbing with some bouldery moves and far reaches.
5. Fluidum, 7a+, 18m, Petr Fiala, Petr Fiala Jun., 2019
Interesting climbing with a few bouldery moves in the lower part of the route.
6. Wet dreams, 7a, 19m, Petr Fiala, 2019
Very nice route, very technical in the upper part.
7. Klimatik porno Greta, 7a, 18m, Petr Fiala, 2019
Easy lower part in grey limestone, difficulties start in the upper part with small edges and crimps.
8. Katalava, 7a, 22m, Petr Fiala, 2019
Beautifull climbing on small holds and pockets in the upper part. Easy lower part.
9. Peťa and Natka, 6b, 24m, Petr Fiala Jun., Petr Fiala, 2019
Very nice easy climbing on good vertical pockets with one harder section in the middle of the route.
10. Greetings from Zakros, 6b, 24m, Petr Fiala Jun., Petr Fiala, 2019
Easy slab climbing on pockets and small cracks. The crux is in the middle part.
11. Easy task, 5b, 24m, Petr Fiala Jun., Petr Fiala, 2019
Easy nice climbing on big holds and vertical pockets.
12. Enjoy it!, 6b, 22m, Petr Tužil, 2019
Nice climbing on good pockets and holds with harder upper part of the route.
13. No doubts, 6b+, 25m, Petr Fiala, Petr Tužil, 2019
Beautifull slab climbing with difficulties in the upper part on smaller pockets and edges.
Katalava Right Part
Picture: The new routes between the Cave and the Katalava Central Part. These routes were bolted in November-December 2019. All of them are opened projects as of 8.1.2020.
1. Bitter Moon - open project, 35 m - this project consists of two pitches. The lower part is fingery, then an easy climbing to the first belay station. The second pitch leads in a slightly overhanging wall with small holds.
2. Marathon open project, 24m - a bouldery lower part with small crimps and slopers, then a continuous climbing to the anchor.
3. Punks in the gorge, 32m - Very bouldery lower part, then a continuous climbing along the aréte.
4. Wild strawberries, open project, 25m - a bouldery lower part on small crimps, then a continuous climbing to the anchor.
5. Wild strawberries variant, 25m - An easy variant of the Wild strawberries project.
6. Shampoo open project, 23m - An easy nice climbing.
7. Smaointe open project, 25m - This route leads along the aréte. Very nice climbing.
8. Hodina vlka open project, 25m - Technical climbing, the crux is in the central part on small crimps.
9. Hodina vlka variant, open project, 25m - very bouldery start on small holds. Then a continuous climbing, difficulties also in the central part.
10. Abseil route, 30m, two-pitch route - You can use this route to get down from the upper part of the Katalava crag ( by abseiling).
11. Kokain, open project, 15m - Very nice slab. Climbing on small holds.
The best is to go with a car from Zakros village using the road to the small church of Agios Giorgos. The road starts right at the end of the village. From the main road leading to Xerokambos turn right on a very steep concrete road leading up among olive trees, the dirt road starts after a few hundred meters. The dirt road is mostly in a good condition even for a smaller car. Park close to the church, but let there free room for turning big farmer´s cars. From this parking lot follow the path up to the canyon which you see above, you can follow small red dots sprayed on the rocks. There is a gate at the entrance, please don´t forget to close it. The path is about 15 minutes to reach the big cave, then 3 minutes to the left part of Katalava crag where are routes.
Picture: Petr Fiala jun. in "Easy task", 5b.
Picture: Right: Katalava, 7a, middle: Peťa&Natka, 6b
Cave in the right side of Katalava sector. There are no routes yet, this crag is waiting to be done.
Picture: The upper part of the canyon is called Vigla ( the highest peak there is also called Vigla and this crag is a part of the mountain) - these walls have big climbing potential.