Rock climbing in Kalymnos, Greece

Secret Garden, a new climbing sector in Kalymnos



Perhaps you’ve heard of Secret Garden – an important recent addition to Kalymnos climbing, already widely considered as one of the major crags on the island. With stalactites growing horizontally out of the red, slightly overhanging cliff face, it’s a cross between Odyssey and Ghost Kitchen. The climbing at Secret Garden is exceptional, with a mixture of tufa jugs and single pipes and with plenty of opportunities for knee bars and sit-down rests. Secret Garden is in a remote and wild area on the north coast of the island; it is very close to the sea and it overlooks Leros Island, the islets of Pitta, Kalolimnos and Imia, and Turkey’s east coast. The word about this phenomenal new crag has steadily gotten round, and on any given day during the NF Kalymnos climbing festival as many as 40 climbers were there.


The main equippers Aris Theodoropoulos, Claude Idoux, Luca Salsotto, Simon Montmory, and George Kopalides started to put up routes in November 2010. At the moment, Secret Garden features 32 routes and the bolting continues (approximately 15 more routes are in the works: easier on the left, harder on the right). So if you happen to be there when the drills are working, please stay well out of range for your own safety and to allow them to work.


The existing routes at Secret Garden have already been climbed quite a bit, so they are relatively free of sharp and loose bits; however, as always, wear a helmet and don’t stand below a person climbing as loose bits may still come off. Also, please don’t feed the goats! They will stop at nothing and won’t hesitate to steal food straight from your bags. Don’t encourage them.


Last but not least: Pick up after yourself! Bring a bag to collect poop, papers, wrappers etc. PLEASE!



















Sun: One of Secret Garden’s greatest assets is that the cliff is in the shade most of the day: in the spring and summer the sun comes at 18.00; in fall and winter there is shade all day.


Exposure: Northern


Approach: Go to Skalia village and take the road over the col toward Palionisos (as for sectors Sikati and The Beach). Drive past the parking spot for Sikati and continue down the winding road; park as for The Beach sector (where the paved road intersects a short dirt road on the left leading to a small clearing). Walk down the dirt road to the clearing and continue NE to the col. The path is clearly visible and marked with cairns and blue paint. Go over the col, then down and rightwards into a small ravine. Don’t worry if you can’t see the cliffs yet. Keep following the blue paint around the hill and to the right. Once you get around the small escarpment on your right, the cliff reveals itself down to the right. The path is very good and the area beneath the cliffs is flat and comfortable.


Total walking time: 25 min.


GPS Coordinates: Latitude 37.03 13.05, Longitude 26 58 05.69


After climbing at Secret Garden you can pop over to Palionisos for a drink and a swim in the emerald green waters of the bay; it’s less than a 10-minute drive away.


ROUTES (from left to right; all names are marked at the start of each route)


Printable Version


1 Achinos 2* 6a+ 25m
2 Ricci di Mare 2* 6b+ 28m
3 Sam Suffit 3* 7a 20m
4 Markoutsi 3* 7b 25m
5 Magioros 3* 6c+ 25m
6 Remetzo 3* 6c 20m
7 Bratsera 3* 6c 20m
8 Margarita 3* 6b+ 20m
9 Dirlanda ♪ 7b+ 25m
10 Syrtaki Lessons ♪ 8a 25m
11 Savina 3* 8a 25m
12 Chien Jaune 3* 7b+ 35m
13 Half Job 2* 7b+ 30m
14 Pomponpidoux 3* 7b 30m
15 Route 69 3* 7b+ 30m
16 Melodrama ♪ 6c+ 25m
17 Frapogalo ♪ 6c 25m
18 Ballos 2* 7b 25m
19 Adolflahaut 2* 7a+/b 25m
20 Ikariotikos ♪ 7b 25m
21 Ricounet ♪ 7a 25m
22 Crisis 3* 7a 25m
23 Princesse Marine 3* 8a 25m
24 L’insoutenable légèreté de l’être 2* 7b 25m
25 Apocalypse 3* 6c+ 20m
26 The Floodgates Part 1 2* 6c+ 18m
27 The Floodgates 3* 8a+ 40m
28 Stigma 3* 7b 20m
29 Bourré mais pas pleine 3* 7b+ 40m
30 Puffa Puffa Puffa 2* 7c 30m
31 Mayumba 2*/0* 7a+ / 7c? 25m/30m
32 Ymer 2* 6b 15m

This entry was posted on Friday, October 5th, 2012 at 19:11 and is filed under Kalymnos news. 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.

7 Responses to “Secret Garden, a new climbing sector in Kalymnos”

  1. Nick says:

    I am sorry but I do not understand where the routes of the north face competition are. For example fruit ninja or early bird. Can someone help me please ?

  2. carl dawson says:

    Hi Nick, the routes used in the North face competition are NOT at Secret Garden Sector. They are on a completely new crag on a different part of the island. If you go to the petrol station at Elies and look up. high on the mountain, there is a large and very VERY obvious band of cliffs. That’s where the competion routes are!

  3. Nick says:

    Thank you Carl for the quick answer.
    Is there also a guidebook/list of routes available for the routes of the competition ?

  4. carl dawson says:

    Hi Nick
    There is a topo on the North Face web site showing the lines…

    … but no grades yet.

    I’m sure Aris will be getting something up here very soon.
    Best wishes

  5. Admin says:

    We opened 5 new (easier) routes at Secret Garden.
    From the far left:

    Parthenis 5c(+) 25m
    Pantremenos 5c 25m
    Roofianos 6b+/c? 18m (take care – some loose rock left of the roof)
    Kalolimnos 6a+ 20m
    Nissos Pita 6b+/c 25m

  6. Aris says:

    New routes and some corrected (sorry!) grades:

    1 Parthenis 2* 5c 25m
    2 Pantremenos 3* 5c 25m
    3 Roofianos 1* 6b 18m
    4 Kalolimnos 3* 6a+ 20m
    5 Nissos Pita 2* 6b+ 25m
    6 Achinos 2* 6a+ 25m
    7 Ricci di mare 2* 6b+ 28m
    8 Luca e Betty 2* 6c 18m
    9 Luca e Betty extension 2* 7a+ 28m
    10 Baglamas 3* 7a+ 20m
    11 Sam Suffit 3* 7a 20m
    12 Markoutsi 3* 7b 25m
    13 Magioros 3* 6c+ 25m
    14 Remetzo 3* 6c 20m
    15 Bratsera 3* 6c 20m
    16 Margarita 3* 6c 20m
    17 Dirlanda 3* 7b 25m
    18 Syrtaki Lessons 3* 7c+ 25m
    19 Savina 3* 7c+ 25m
    20 Chien Jaune 3* 7b+ 35m
    21 Half Job 2* 7b+ 30m
    22 Pomponpidoux 3* 7a+/7b 30m
    23 Route 69 3* 7b+ 30m
    24 Melodrama 3* 6c+ 25m
    25 Frapogalo 3* 6c 25m
    26 Ballos 2* 7a+ 25m
    27 Adolflahaut 2* 7a+ 25m
    28 Ikariotikos 3* 7b 25m
    29 Ricounet 3* 6c+ 25m
    30 Crisis 3* 7a 25m
    31 Princesse Marine 3* 7c+ 25m
    32 L’insoutenable légèreté de l’être 2* 7b 25m
    33 Tricky Katie 3* 7a 20m
    34 Apocalypse 3* 6c+ 20m
    35 The Floodgates Part 1 2* 6c+ 18m
    36 The Floodgates 3* 8a+ 40m
    37 Stigma 3* 7b 20m
    38 Khaos (Stigma ext.) 3* 8b+ 40m
    39 Bourre mais pas pleine 3* 7b+ 40m
    40 The Silence of the Abyss 3* 8a+ 38m
    41 Abyssos 3* 8b/b+ 38m
    42 Puffa Puffa Puffa 2* 7c 30m
    43 Dogma 3* 7c+ 30m
    44 Narcissus 3* 8a/8a+ 30m
    45 Kaly Diva 3* 7c 30m
    46 Play Buzuki 3* 7c+/8a 30m
    47 Mayumba 3* 7a+ 25m
    48 Mayumba extension 1* 7c 30m
    49 Ymer 2* 6b 15m

  7. Admin says:

    Two recently bolted new routes at Secret Garden have now received their first ascents by Alex Megos:

    Abyssos 8b/8b+
    Khaos 8b+

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