Meteora Part 2

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09/14/08. Sudwestkante (VI-, 6P) on Heiliggeistwachter

Though we were planning on Traumpfeiler route, the approach trail brought us right past the base of this obvious line. Two pitches of scrambling, one pitch of steeper but very positive knob pulling and one “VI-“ move to set the grade and we were on the summit. We found the rap ring – the fact that it was a single piece of hardware no longer seemed to bother us; the fact that it was on a flat slab made it a pain to lower the knot and later pull down the ropes. The weather turned stifling hot and so we called it a day.

Unfortunately, the next day we woke up to rain. Rain!? In Greece in Spetember?! WTF – just our Pacific Northwest luck. Did a sightseeing drive tour all the way out west to the Ionian Sea via the scenic towns of Metsovo and Ioannina.

09/16/08. Via Scorpion (V- A0, 2P) on Spindel & Nordostweg (V+, 4P) on Heiliggeistwachter

Unsettled weather continued in the morning – we slept in and decided to scope out some approaches. By the time we got to the base of the very-much-phallic-shaped-Spindel, rained stopped and blue sky was showing. Decided to give the aid line a go. Free to first belay followed by a bolt ladder to the summit. Nice views of the surrounding formations and a cool rappel from the top of the very-much-phallic-shaped-Spindel. Some on/off drizzle rolled through and we took it as a sign to do more approach scoping. We checked out the start of Traumpfeiler but again once we were there the sky looked promising. We went for the “other” route on the Heiliggeistwachter Tower just next door. Though the first two pitches are not too hard, the moist lichen made them quite thought provoking. The whole line had the ambiance of a Columbia Gorge climb back home though the rock was solid. As we topped out, the skies opened up and it started pouring. Despite having lowered the knot, the wet ropes made the pulling job into an afternoon project in the pouring rain. Finally we collected our junk and were tossing down dolmas and two liters of table wine at a taverna a short while later.

More rain next day and so again we took another driving trip, this time SE to the scenic Pelion Peninsula on the Aegean Sea.

Photos

Meteora

Heiliggeistwachter. Sudwestkante is on the right and Nordostweg is on the left (Sept. 2008).

Heiliggeistwachter - Sudwestkante

Leading pitch 1 or 2 of Sudwestkante on Heiliggeistwachter (Sept. 2008).

Heiliggeistwachter - Sudwestkante

Doupianifels from near the base of Sudwestkante on Heiliggeistwachter (Sept. 2008).

Heiliggeistwachter - Sudwestkante

Shirley on pitch 2 or 3 of Sudwestkante route (Sept. 2008).

Heiliggeistwachter - Sudwestkante

Views of Kastraki village (Sept. 2008).

Heiliggeistwachter - Sudwestkante

Leading pitch 4 (Sept. 2008).

Heiliggeistwachter - Sudwestkante

Shirley on pitch 4 of Sudwestkante (6 pitch VI-; Sept. 2008).

Heiliggeistwachter - Sudwestkante

Arriving at the belay (Sept. 2008).

Heiliggeistwachter - Sudwestkante

Starting up pitch 5 (which we combined with 6; Sept. 2008).

Heiliggeistwachter - Sudwestkante

Views from Sudwestkante route on Heiliggeistwachter (Sept. 2008).

Heiliggeistwachter - Sudwestkante

Leading pitches 5 and 6 to the summit (Sept. 2008).

Heiliggeistwachter - Sudwestkante

Shirley on the final pitch (#6 per guidebook; Sept. 2008).

Heiliggeistwachter - Sudwestkante

Shirley topping out on Sudwestkante route on Heiliggeistwachter’s summit. Kastraki is below and Holy Ghost formation is on the left (Sept. 2008).

Heiliggeistwachter - Sudwestkante

Summit log (Sept. 2008).

Heiliggeistwachter - Sudwestkante

Shirley on the summit of Heiliggeistwachter formation after our climb of Sudwestkante route (Sept. 2008).

Heiliggeistwachter - Sudwestkante

Views northwest from the summit of Heiliggeistwachter. On the left is The Kelch and another 14th century monastery is at the center (Sept. 2008).

Heiliggeistwachter - Sudwestkante

This is the start of the rappels off of Heiliggeistwachter Tower (Sept. 2008).

Heiliggeistwachter - Sudwestkante

Climbers at the second belay on Sudwestkante route on Heiliggeistwachter (Sept. 2008).

Heiliggeistwachter - Sudwestkante

Shirley hiking out after our climb of Sudwestkante on Heiliggeistwachter Tower. There’s a party at the 2nd belay and a suspicious jackass watching us (Sept. 2008).

Heiliggeistwachter - Sudwestkante

Hiking back to the village for some feta, tomatoes, and a liter of table wine (Sept. 2008).

Meteora

Monk hermitages on Pixari (Sept. 2008).

Meteora

Monk hermitages on Pixari. A functioning monastery built into the rockface is on the right & provides scale (Sept. 2008).

Meteora

A closer look at Monk hermitages on Pixari (Sept. 2008).

Greece

Another rainy day road trip. This is I think a street in the town of Ioannina in western Greece (Sept. 2008).

Greece

One of the key activities we engaged in while in Greece (esp. on rainy days) – drinking many Greek coffees. This I think is on a road trip out wast & the town of Metsovo (Sept. 2008).

Greece

A canopy of grape vines above an outdoor coffee shop in Metsovo (Sept. 2008).

Meteora

The view of Kastraki village (Sept. 2008).

Meteora

Grand Meteora Monastery (Sept. 2008).

Meteora

Shirley at the Grand Meteora Monastery & sporting a required skirt (rented out at the entrance; Sept. 2008).

Meteora

Views form the Grand Meteora Monastery (Sept. 2008).

Meteora

Doupianifels as seen from the Grand Meteora Monastery (Sept. 2008).

Meteora

Shirley & a very friendly kitten at the monastery (Sept. 2008).

Spindel - Via Scorpion

Like my knobs? Pitch 1 of Via Scorpion on Spindel Tower….don’t look at my rack – you don’t need any gear (Sept. 2008).

Spindel - Via Scorpion

Higher on pitch 1 (Sept. 2008).

Spindel - Via Scorpion

Shirley on pitch 1 (Sept. 2008).

Spindel - Via Scorpion

Shirley arriving at the first belay on Via Scorpion (Sept. 2008).

Spindel - Via Scorpion

Shirley topping out on pitch 1 of Via Scorpion on the Spindel (Sept. 2008).

Spindel - Via Scorpion

Leading the pitch 2 bolt ladder (Sept. 2008).

Spindel - Via Scorpion

Pitch 2 bolt ladder of Via Scorpion on Spindel Tower (Sept. 2008).

Spindel - Via Scorpion

Pretty village of Kastraki framed by Pixari (left) and Spindel from which the photo was taken. Pindos Mountains are on the horizon (Sept. 2008).

Spindel - Via Scorpion

Shirley topping out on Via Scorpion’s pitch 2 and the summit of the Spindel (Sept. 2008).

Spindel - Via Scorpion

“Is it one or two ‘Ls’ in phallic??” Shirley working feverishly on our summit register entry…..OK, I joke: we adhered to the strict formatting guidelines as called for by the guidebooks when signing these things (Sept. 2008).

Spindel - Via Scorpion

Summit register atop the Spindel. Multi-language and with descriptions of established routes on the formation as well as the rappels and a highly structured entry form for signing in…typical of Meteora summits (Sept. 2008).

Spindel - Via Scorpion

Sourloti from the summit of the Spindel (Sept. 2008).

Spindel - Via Scorpion

Shirley getting ready to rap off the Spindel (Sept. 2008).

Spindel - Via Scorpion

Another view of Shirley on the summit (Sept. 2008).

Spindel - Via Scorpion

A wider angle view with Sourloti in the background (Sept. 2008).

Spindel - Via Scorpion

Spindel and Sourloti (and Shirley rapping off; Sept. 2008).

Spindel - Via Scorpion

The southeast aspect of Sourloti formation (Sept. 2008).

Meteora

The gorgeous Sourloti from Kastraki (Sept. 2008).

Spindel - Via Scorpion

Shirley back hiking through the village of Kastraki (Sept. 2008).

Meteora

Unknown climbers on pitch 2 of Nordostweg on Heiliggeistwachter (Sept. 2008).

Heiliggeistwachter - Nordostweg

Starting the lead of pitch 1 of Nordostweg (4 pitch, V+ route) Heiliggeistwachter formation. We were reminded of some Columbia Gorge climbs back home (but on much more solid rock of course; Sept. 2008).

Heiliggeistwachter - Nordostweg

Shirley arriving at the first belay (Sept. 2008).

Heiliggeistwachter - Nordostweg

Leading pitch 2 of Nordostweg (Sept. 2008).

Heiliggeistwachter - Nordostweg

Shirley on pitch 3 (Sept. 2008).

Heiliggeistwachter - Nordostweg

Shirley topping out on pitch 3 of Nordostweg route (Sept. 2008).

Heiliggeistwachter - Nordostweg

Starting the lead of the 4th (& final) pitch of Nordostweg route (Sept. 2008).

Heiliggeistwachter - Nordostweg

Shirley atop the pitch 3 belay on Nordostweg route (Sept. 2008).

Heiliggeistwachter - Nordostweg

Shirley topping out on the Nordostweg route (pitch 4) on Heiliggeistwachter’s summit (Sept. 2008).

Heiliggeistwachter - Nordostweg

Shirley hiking down a mossy gully after our climb & descent off of the summit of Heiliggeistwachter (Sept. 2008).

Greece

Driving through the scenic Pelion Peninsula on the Aegean Sea (east coast of Greece) with an unconcerned village resident taking a nap in the middle of the highway (Sept. 2008).

Greece

Shirley in an olive orchard somewhere on the Pelion Peninsula on the east coast of Greece (Sept. 2008).

Greece

Olives (Sept. 2008).

Greece

Pelion Peninsula on the Aegean Sea (Sept. 2008).

Greece

Pelion Peninsula on the Aegean Sea (Sept. 2008).

Greece

A tiger killing time in some coffee shop (Sept. 2008).

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