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Climbing the towers of Meteora

Meteora is one wondrous and very unique place.
Towers of sandstone, gravel, stones and pebbles rise up as high as 300 meters,
forming cracks, chimneys, roofs and couloirs that can satisfy the wanderlust of every rock climber.

flower meteora towers doupiani

The style of climbing is very different and the safety not the best it could be, 
so if you're going there for the first time (like I did)
make sure you gather some information from locals about the routes.
You can search for info at the climbers' preferred camping place, "Vrachos"
and/or buy the official Meteora guide book.

meteora climbing gear equipment
One last check on the equipment, Doupiani tower in the background.

My trip to Meteora was short,
but I had the chance to climb multi-pitch for the first time.
I learnt a lot about safety techniques, my equipment and the importance of my rope mates.
In one week I'm setting sail towards the Julian Alps of Slovenia and then probably the Italian Dolomites with a great respect for nature and awe of the summit.

Tzoumerka, a place to return to.

Some information about the places mentioned.

Tzoumerka is a mountain range in northwestern Greece, part of the wider Pindus range.

Kalarrutes (Kalarites or Καλαρρύτες) is a mountain village in the Ioannina regional unit, Epirus, Greece. It is located in the heart of North Tzoumerka (Joomerca or Τζουμέρκα) and is surrounded by some of the most beautiful and challenging mountain summits in Greece.

At the time me and my friends arrived to Kallarrutes it was already really dark.
Still the glowing snow of the summits surrounding the village indicated what would follow and left us with high expectations for the first morning light.

Strogoula, Tzoumerka summit
There is an endless number of possibilities for hiking and trekking in the area.
We only had enough time to navigate through two trails.
With the first being a hike up a hill covered with snow, without following a specific path, but improvising directly to the summit.

This photo was taken a few meters before the top.
They look like wolf prints, don't you think?
Wolf-prints in Tzoumerka mountain region
Summit of "Loula"
Summit TzoumerkaThe other trail was a steep walk down a gorge and then all the way up to the village of Syrrako (Sirako or Συρράκο).
Very scenic route with a great variety of landscape that included walking on snow under melting icicles to crossing a wild torrent over a poorly made old steel bridge.
Unfortunately I don't have any good photos from that one.

In conclusion I can definitely say that I'm going back there and soon.
Maybe for hikes more technical and physically challenging.
Tzoumerka is a place to return to.
Stay tuned :)

(Click photos for better resolution)