I was born in a big City. As an active and curious kid of adventuring and exploration I heard of snowboarding and got stuck with it at the age of 10. After trying it I fell in love with it. Mount Parnassos became my home mountain. As a big fan of jumps it drove me into the backcountry world. Nowadays I am more into hiking, freeriding the backcountry and exploring new mountains. Today I still live in Athens and I am in the search of all the Greek unexplored Mountains.
Knowing every time how far we can take it according team’s limitations and unforeseen factors.
In other words: Coming back home safe- as JP Auclair had said.
Listening, Seeing, Feeling. Mountains don’t belong to us. We belong to the mountains.
Weather change and snow conditions are some of the factors that we have to be careful of. Mountains speak to us in many ways. We can’t change the rules, we have to go with it.
Working on our skills is hard and it can’t be done on our own. We need the right time and the right people. I also believe that every single Greek mountain has the Gods within. We have to listen to the messages they send us for protection. So, going with it snowboarding becomes an unbelievable game of confronting, of challenging and of life.
The Journey. A hike can be a lifetime’s journey compressed in smaller timeframes. Obstacles are on our way. Will we stop? Weather can change. Will we fall back? Snow looks different from a closer look. Will we change our route?
This is the satisfaction of it. Waking up our ingenuity, being creative, facing our insecurities, breaking through our fears and many more. The riding is just the result of the journey.
A mix of all the emotions and feelings together, makes us satisfied on that journey-
Snowboarding is not just a sport it is a way of life and can be practiced from everyday living. Everything connects with each other when we are on the mountains and life can give us similar situations for snowboarding.
Visualizing – Something that has already been seen before we have ever done it. Everything is possible.
As a big fan of building jumps and finding new spots, for the built of “ouzo gap” (more info here) step down with friends, it has taken us a little longer than any other jump to start building. I was standing still for 40 minutes, at the edge of the rock, watching the gap and the landing. It was the time I needed to visualize it since I had no past experience on going that big and that fast.
In Greece, the riding level is low as we do not benefit from any major infrastructure such as big snow parks, half pipes, etc. and it makes it a little bit more difficult. There are great tools to use to improve but we don’t. We can make it a lot easier. 40 minutes of time can help someone visualize things.
I saw it before I had done it. Our mind is the greatest, the most powerful and the most incredible tool we have but we still have to be careful with it. It can easily fool us. Once we start learning how to use it, we can start believing, much bigger, much faster.
The ones giving love. The more we give, the more we receive. It is a vice versa human communication that keeps us strong and alive.
-It is better to be over equipped than under equipped- when I first heard this, having the wrong mentality for mountaineering, it was by Costis Gortzis and I didn’t really realize what he really meant…
Mount Olympus was a unique experience when I went for the first time (more info here). Taking “ski resort’s“ mentality out there was a huge mistake. Everything in my mind about the mountains changed after that trip.
Moving out of the ski resorts and taking higher risks needs a different mentality. Realizing that the mountains are the real leaders and they lead our path. Predicting the unpredictable makes us want to take more than less with us.
Olympus and Timfi are the most beautiful mountains I‘ve been so far in my life. There are many other on the list. Vardousia and Crete are few of the next ones.
The Orlias gorge is located in Dion Pieria, on the northern northeastern slopes of Olympus and is divided into three parts.
We leave the cars in the small chapel of Saints Constantine and Helen located at the 4th km of the forest road Dion – Koromilia. This is the starting point of the trail that leads up to the shelter Koromilia. We can leave the trail in several points and admire the beautiful waterfalls from far away.
Section I with gorge downhill duration 5.30 – 6.00 hours is considered of moderate difficulty level and is open to participants aged 15 and over.
Crossing the trail and after hiking for 1 hour and 35 minutes alongside the stream bank through impressive vegetation, we reach the entrance of the gorge at an altitude of 770m.
In this section we find six gorgeous rappels into the vathres (small lakes) with crystal clear waters, from 7m to 28m in a landscape of unparalleled beauty!
We enter the trail again at an altitude of 550m (Altitude difference 220m) and after 40 minutes hiking we are back in our cars.
The best time to visit is from May to October.