Ascent of Mount Ida on 2012-04-05

Climber: Rob Woodall

Others in Party:Andrew Tibbetts
----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Thursday, April 5, 2012
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Mount Ida
    Elevation:8058 ft / 2456 m

Ascent Trip Report

We climbed Psiloritis (Ida) the day after our Titiron and Afkades ascents. There had been high winds for the last two days and these were forecast to continue. We planned to use Bob Packard's route from the north (see below for details) as this is short and should be sheltered from the southerly wind. However, arriving in the dark we were misled by the satnav and got onto the wrong road, which promised a route to the trailhead but in fact the paved road led round to the east side of the mountain and the short road linking our road with Bob's road is undriveable.

We were stopped at N35.25032 E24.80667, 1223m by snowdrifts so we parked there for the night. The wind continued strong overnight and was forecast to strengthen further at midday so we started hiking at 6 a.m. hoping to miss the worst of it. We hiked the paved road which we expected to lead to Bob's trailhead. It led us in the wrong direction and we found ourselves 4km due east of the summit. The ground is fairly straightforward so we fitted crampons (continuous firm snow above 1400m - an unusually snowy winter) and headed for the summit. We crossed a col and could see a few buildings plus a few metres of exposed tarmac which we correctly assumed was the road above the northern trailhead. We headed straight up a spur (about 300m of snow at 45 deg, icy in places) to reach a minor cairned summit (N35.22242 E24.79758, 2257m, P10m?).

We could now see our target about 2.5 km due west. The wind was strong but manageable. We descended into a small hollow then angled up onto the ridge, across a 40 deg snow slope. A small descent brought us to a saddle then we headed up the east ridge across a small false top to the summit. The wind was very strong, maybe 50 mph. We were constantly blasted by ice fragments and knocked off our feet a couple of times.

The summit shrine (N35.22632 E24.77090, 2448m, horizontal accuracy 3m), bearing a summit cairn, was almost covered by snow; it wasn't possible to get inside. I grabbed a couple of photos and a waypoint and we quickly headed down. Initially we went due north but this quickly became steep (in retrospect we should have gone NW). We traversed east a short way on steep snow then headed down an easy reentrant. The gradient was perfect for a sitting glissade - we descended 600m rather quickly! We could see the trailhead buildings and plunge-stepped down through soft snow to reach them.

The refuge (N35.24174 E24.77799, 1552m) at Bob Packard's northern trailhead was buried in snow almost to roof level so we wandered onto the roof, took off our crampons and soaking boots. We could now celebrate Andrew Tibbetts' 50th Ultra properly - with chocolate cake! After our elevenses we headed down, following the approximate line of the road which was buried under 1-2m of snow. Lower down, the snow cleared and we could see the tarmac. It was evident that we were heading straight for the car. In fact, this road passes approx 100m above the one where we were parked, so we scrambled down the bank at N35.25161 E24.80573. Given the conditions and the route choice we were pleased with a round-trip time of 6h15.

After lunch at the car we made the short drive north to Kutsotripis which we climbed in the afternoon.

The route we should have taken: Bob Packard says to turn in the village of Livadia, apparently at N35.304273, E24.807222: this paved road leads to the trailhead (parking area in summer with a refuge building, N35.24174 E24.77799, 1552m). From here a trail, obvious in summer, heads north, presumably turning a little R to reach the ridge at the obvious nick a few hundred metres W of the summit.

Psiloritis photo album

Note: Pachnes is allegedly 6cm higher than Psiloritis: see note on Summitpost

Quote (posted on the Sfakia-Crete forum on October 4, 2006): ‘In today's Chaniotika Nea newspaper there is an article by Paris Kelaidis that claims that the latest charts by the Greek Military Geographic service show Pachnes, of the White Mountains, the highest peak on Crete at 2,453.65 and Mount Ida at 2,453.59, a difference of 6 cm in favour of Pachnes, reversing the previous view that Mount Ida was 2 meters higher.’
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:4144 ft / 1263 m
    Total Elevation Loss:4144 ft / 1262 m
    Round-Trip Distance:9.9 mi / 15.9 km
    Quality:7 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Snow on Ground, Snow Climb
    Gear Used:
Ice Axe, Crampons
    Weather:Cold, Very Windy, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:4144 ft / 1263 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 4046 ft / 1234 m; Extra: 98 ft / 29m
    Loss on way in:98 ft / 29 m
    Distance:6.2 mi / 10 km
    Route:East ridge
    Start Trailhead:above Mariniana  4012 ft / 1222 m
    Time:4 Hours 10 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:4046 ft / 1233 m
    Distance:3.7 mi / 5.9 km
    Route:N couloir
    End Trailhead:above Mariniana  4012 ft / 1222 m
    Time:2 Hours 
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Rob Woodall
Click Here for a Full Screen Map
Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

Download this GPS track as a GPX file

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