Rock climbing in Kalymnos, Greece

E.T., a new sector for summer climbing near Vathy, Kalymnos



E.T. is the latest addition to Kalymnos crags suitable for climbing on hot, sunny afternoons. Sector E.T. is located in the fertile valley of Vathy (or Vathys), just above the village of Metochi. The crag affords gorgeous views over the valley, the fjord of Rina and the Turkish coast. The crag practically named itself: viewed from a distance, the cliff’s relief forms a giant ‘face’ exactly like Spielberg’s E.T. (the caves on either side and at the foot of the cliff form the eyes and mouth, respectively) . E.T. was equipped in April 2010 by the tireless Frenchman –and permanent Kalymnos resident – Claude Idoux (photographed above by Nicolas Smalios climbing the first pitch of Orchid 6b). Over the last 3 years, Claude has equipped more than 70 routes on Kalymnos; his routes follow the rock’s natural line, his bolting is meticulous, and he dedicates a significant amount of time to the exemplary cleaning of each route from vegetation, dirt and loose rock. You may have noticed the artistic hand-painted rocks marking the names of many of his routes. The equipping of routes at sector E.T. is still underway, so more routes are expected to be bolted here in the near future.


Conditions: E.T. is ideal for afternoon climbing on hot days between May—October. Temperatures can be very cool here even on scorching hot days, so make sure you bring a long-sleeved top or windbreaker (you will need it when belaying!) The only relative drawback of sector E.T. is the 20-minute approach in the sun. In wintertime you can climb here in the morning, when the face of the cliff is in the sun. Avoid climbing at E.T. on very windy days, as the crag is openly exposed to all but the southerly winds.


Sun: In the shade after 12.00- 12.30 pm. Exposure: NE


Kids: At the moment the approach is not easy for kids, as the path is still unclear. However, it is expected to improve as climbers visit the crag. There are many flat areas for children to play around and below the cliffs.


Climbing: For the most part, climbing is on smooth inclines or clean-cut walls teeming with good pockets and slots. Climbing is delicate and balancey, and good footwork is imperative. Routes are long and sustained, and despite the frequent bolts they feel positively alpine. Some of the 6a-6b routes at E.T. compete for the title of Best Route on Kalymnos in this category. Some routes feature 2 pitches, from which you descend by abseil. The bolting is very good, albeit a bit spaced in some easy portions of the routes. To the right side of the crag is a large cave (20-30m high) with tufas and colonettes of excellent quality, and the potential for some very difficult routes. There are no routes in the cave yet, but we are confident that this hardcore crag will soon be further developed.


Gear: 80m rope and 16-17 quickdraws.


Approach: Follow the Arginonda – Vathy road toward Vathy. Pass the col; at the entrance to the village of Metochi, opposite the football field, turn right onto the narrow road next to the cemetery. Follow the road to the first junction (~ 400m) and turn right onto a dirt road. You will see the cliff which looks like E.T.’s face straight ahead. Park at a point where the road levels off; continue on foot along the same road as it gets rougher and begins to ascend. Pass behind the stone cistern. Close the gate behind you and continue for 150m. Go toward the right and walk uphill along the fence. When you reach a gate, climb over it using the stepping-stones and continue to the crag. There are some cairns along the way.


Total walking time: 20 minutes.


One of Claude Idoux's trademark route markers from a different sector


















1. Daisy (4*, 6b, 2 pitches, 61m: 1st pitch 6a 33m, 2nd pitch 6b 28m). 1st pitch: A slab full of pockets leads to a clean-cut corner.


2. Anemone (3*, 6b+, 2 pitches, 63m: 1st pitch 6a 35m, 2nd pitch 6b+ 28m). The slab and the well-defined wall.


3. Iris (4*, 6a+, 37m). A perfect, mountain-style pocketed wall.


4. Orchid (4*, ?, 2 pitches, 72m: 1st pitch 6b 37m, 2nd pitch project (?) 35m). 1st pitch 1: An amazing wall with “thank God” slots appearing out of nowhere.


5. Ibiscus (3*, 6b+, 2 pitches, 72m: 1st pitch 6b+ 37m, 2nd pitch 6b 35m). Absorbing, reachy and devious; tricky for the grade.


6. Poppy (3*, 7b?, 20m). A very steep, wonderfully sustained and pocketed wall. A second pitch is about to be equipped.


7. Rose (4*, 6b, 38m)


8. Lily (3*, 6b, 35m)


9. Snowdrope (4*, 6a+, 2 pitches, 78m: 1st pitch 6a 38m, 2nd pitch 6a+ 40m). 16 QD.



E.T. topo - Click to enlarge
















This entry was posted on Monday, June 28th, 2010 at 21:32 and is filed under Kalymnos news, New Sectors. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

2 Responses to “E.T., a new sector for summer climbing near Vathy, Kalymnos”

  1. Bruno FARA says:

    bravo … on ira en octobre

  2. Pascal says:

    Merci Claude. Au vu de tes réalisations à Arhi, je ne doute pas de la qualité de ces voies…Sans prises taillées!
    A bientôt de se revoir sur l’île aux plaisirs!

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