Ascent of Spathi on 2021-10-23

Climber: James Stone

Other People:Solo Ascent
Only Party on Mountain
Date:Saturday, October 23, 2021
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Elevation:7047 ft / 2147 m

Ascent Trip Report

Getting there

I took Ken Jones' guidance in his trip report.

Google Maps will try to send you along one or other of the dirt roads referred to in Petter Bjørstad and Rob Woodall's reports. Instead I set my destination to Avrakontes once I had realised Google's preference. The "traffic circle/square" referred to in Ken Jones' report is shortly after you enter the village. It is not a roundabout as you would understand it in the UK. So I missed the turn on my first drive through.

It is a small triangular feature on the left of the road driving in from the north. It hides the road you need to take and the trees are no smaller so the sign to "Dikti" is still mainly hidden.

Once the turn is found, the rest is relatively straightforward though the road is initially very narrow with a sharp left turn shortly after taking the turn. The road becomes narrow again once the surface becomes a concrete one. I was certainly glad that I did not meet anyone coming the other way what with the hairpin bends, the lack of passing places, the lack of barriers to prevent careering off the road and the rocks that had to be avoided.

In my small rental car I did not drive up the final section of unmade road but instead pulled up amongst some trees in front of a small chapel. This is well seen on Google Maps Streetview if you search for Agion Pnevma, Lasithi Plateau, Greece. Agion Pnevma is Holy Spirit in Greek.

The climb

After the excitement of finding the correct start point, the climb is straightforward. The trail is self-evident, other than across the initial wash, even if quite rough overall. Even in the wash there are cairns that guide the way. Cairns, red/yellow paint marks and the E4 (Cretan Way) marker poles help if there is any doubt. The poles disappear on the final climb from a small saddle but the cairns and paint marks continue.

The path does not go straight up what appears to be an obvious ridge but skirts around its nose and makes a rising traverse below the ridgeline. I suspect that this is because of the extremely rough limestone pavement that is on the ridgeline. The final section of path goes up through loose ground to meet the ridgeline just before the summit.

Google Maps even does this route for you.

I had the summit clear, but a hazy atmosphere and some clouds prevented any long distance views though Psiloritis appeared briefly at one point.

I returned the same way. 2 hours 50 minutes up and 2 hours 20 minutes down, including a few short stops for photos and snacks. I only had goats and a few sheep for company. There were a couple of vehicles parked at the end of the road but I did not see their occupants at any stage.

Further info and pics in this blog
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:3392 ft / 1033 m
    Total Elevation Loss:86 ft / 26 m
    Route Conditions:
Unmaintained Trail
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:3392 ft / 1033 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 3306 ft / 1007 m; Extra: 86 ft / 26m
    Loss on way in:86 ft / 26 m
    Start Trailhead:3741 ft / 1140 m
Descent Statistics

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