Ascent of Olympus on 2017-09-13

Climber: Mark Trengove

Others in Party:KE Adventure Travel group of 7 others
plus guide Ivo Stoilkov.
Date:Wednesday, September 13, 2017
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Elevation:9570 ft / 2916 m

Ascent Trip Report

The second day of a four-day trek on the Olympos Massif.

From the summit of Skala 2866m to Mytikas 2918.8m/2355m, and return to Skala.

Four of our group declined the option of the Grade 2 scramble to the summit, so Ivo our guide had four of us in his summit party. I was of two minds myself, as I am not a confident scrambler. However, I had wanted to climb to the summit of Mount Olympus since I was a boy, when my passion for Ancient Greece started. I had come a long way and invested a lot of physical and emotional effort in scaling this summit, so it was not a hard decision and I joined the summit party. With helmets donned as protection against stone-fall (a constant hazard on this peak, due to its popularity) we set off.

The first part of the scramble was relatively easy. It was down the shaded narrow gully of the Kakoskala, with little in the way of exposure. Then followed an exposed but easy traverse below the ridge crest down to the Skala - Skolio col at 2810m, with views west down into the yawning gulf of the Megala Kazania cwm, with its floor some 500m below.

Once past the col the up-scrambling began. This was an ascent of a steep couloir on the flank of the false summit of Paramytikas, using cracks and ledges in a series of zig-zags to gain height. The scrambling here was not hard, but we were in constant risk of stonefall from those above us, and a slip here could have been lethal. I was glad of my climbing helmet.

Once at the top of the couloir we traversed right around the summit of Paramytikas. This involved a few awkward scrambling moves round a tight corner with considerable exposure and a short down-scramble, but the rock was good and no mishaps occurred. On rounding this narrow neck a full view of the summit could be seen only about 100m away. An easy scramble left up a wide gully (more stone-fall risk) brought us up onto the summit ridge and, within a few steps, to the summit itself.

We had the summit virtually to ourselves for some minutes, before a party of Germans arrived to join us. We helped each other with summit photos.

Then began the down-scramble to the col and up-scramble to the summit of Skala again. I took things slowly and cautiously. Down-scrambling I find harder than up-scrambling, and my technique is not elegant. Still, it got me down to the col safely and up onto Skala again. We all arrived safely with no mishaps, to be greeted by the rest of the party.

Also see log and photos at and
Click on photo for original larger-size version.
Me on the summit (2017-09-13). Photo by Mark Trengove.
Click here for larger-size photo.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:591 ft / 180 m
    Total Elevation Loss:591 ft / 180 m
    Round-Trip Distance:0.6 mi / 1 km
    Quality:6 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Exposed Scramble
    Gear Used:
    Nights Spent:3 nights away from roads
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Clear
Dry and sunny
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:361 ft / 110 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 328 ft / 100 m; Extra: 33 ft / 10m
    Loss on way in:33 ft / 10 m
    Distance:0.3 mi / 0.5 km
    Route:Kakoskala - Paramytikas - summit
    Start Trailhead:Skala 2866m  9242 ft / 2816 m
    Time:1 Hours 5 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:558 ft / 170 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 328 ft / 100 m; Extra: 230 ft / 70m
    Gain on way out:230 ft / 70 m
    Distance:0.3 mi / 0.5 km
    Route:Summit - Paramytikas - Kakoskala
    End Trailhead:Skala 2866m  9242 ft / 2816 m
    Time:50 Minutes
Ascent Part of Trip: Olympos Traverse (3 nights total away from roads)

Complete Trip Sequence:
1Olympus2017-09-13 1591 ft / 180 m
2Olympus-Skolio2017-09-13 2361 ft / 110 m
Total Trip Gain: 952 ft / 290 m    Total Trip Loss: 1448 ft / 441 m

Statistics by Day

Day Elev. Gain Elev. Loss Distance Hiked Max Elev. Camp
# Date Description Ft M Ft M Mi Km Ft M Name Ft M
12017-09-12Prionia to Refuge A36751120312953.5425.767592060Refuge A67592060
22017-09-13Refuge A to Refuge C4593140021336505.9039.595732918Refuge C95732918
32017-09-14Refuge C to Refuge A, via Touba 2801m and Profitis82025028228603.4185.591962803Refuge A91962803
42017-09-15Refuge A to Prionia31295374011403.5425.76759206067592060

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