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Rock climbing in Kalymnos, Greece

Two new sport crags in Leros, the island just north of Kalymnos


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Leros is a quiet, quaint island just north of Kalymnos. At their nearest point, the two islands are just 2km apart. Less populated than Kalymnos, Leros is a verdant island with gently sloping hills and complete with its own Medieval castle, interesting architecture, numerous small bays and beaches, and the feeling that it has evaded the ravages of mass tourism. Although Leros does not have the distinguishing, rocky physique of its neighbor Kalymnos, it still features some decent cliffs, which are now home to two sport climbing crags featuring a total of about 35 routes. The crags were equipped by the well-known German climber Toni Lamprecht and a group of other climbers from Bavaria, who responded to an invitation by Dimitris Prantzos and Waternative to develop the area. As a result, the crags were bolted in May 2014 during an Aegean sailing trip; the trip and the bolts were sponsored by Waternative and the local municipality Industrial Association of Leros.
 
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Climbing in Leros

 
There are two sport crags in Leros: Xirokampos and Punta Bianca. Climbing in Leros is on good limestone, very similar to what is found in Kalymnos. The best seasons for climbing are spring and fall.
 
Leros is so close to Kalymnos you don’t need to stay overnight; however, if you want to climb at both crags we would suggest you spend a night in Leros. Also, having your own transportation is highly recommended. You can rent a scooter or car in Leros, or bring your own from Kalymnos if you travel via catamaran (see below).
 
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Getting from Kalymnos to Leros

The best two ways to get from Kalymnos to Leros are on the local boat from Myrties to Leros, or the catamaran from Pothia to Leros.
 
a) For a day trip, take the local boat from Myrties (the jetty close to Masouri where boats to Telendos depart). The boat departs to Leros early in the morning and returns about 8 hours later. Ask for details at the travel agency in Masouri or any other travel agent in Kalymnos. Note that if you plan to take your scooter along, we don’t think it is allowed on this boat. Make sure to ask beforehand.
 
b) An alternative is to take the catamaran from Pothia (the main port of Kalymnos) to Leros. It departs around 10:00 or 11:00 each morning and returns around 15:00 in the afternoon. You can bring your scooter or car along on the catamaran.
 
 
 
 
 

LEROS CRAGS

 
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1. Sector Xirokampos

Xirokampos is a small village in Leros directly facing Kalymnos. Sector Xirokampos is situated relatively close to the sea on a picturesque, easily accessible hillside.
 
Climbing: On grey and red limestone of very good quality. The cliffs are quite similar to those of Kalymnos. Bolting is relatively good, cruxes are distinct, and the view over the bay of Xirokampos is nice. Routes were bolted in 2014 by Christian Gaab, Dennis Illing, Toni Lamprecht, Nicki Schramm and Ben Ullmann.
 
Gear: A 70m rope and 15 quickdraws.
 
Kids: Good; the approach path is not too long or hard, though it is not clearly defined.
 
Shade: After 15:00
 
Exposure: NE
 
Approach: As you face the sea in Xirokampos village, go to the right edge of the bay. Go past the outdoor basketball court and park at the small marina with the fishing boats (37.107081, 26.868877). Follow a path that starts behind the concrete wall of the marina and goes south along the coastline. Walk approximately 5 min then start going uphill towards a small shack (or animal pen, we’re not sure) and the cliffs. Walking time: 12-15 min.
 
 
 
Leros_Xirokampos_Routes
 
ROUTES
 

1) The captain did not come 6a+ (FA: Dennis Illing)
2) Paramythi 7b+ (FA: Nicki Schramm)
3) Toxic Baglava 7a (FA: Toni Lamprecht)
4) Kokkino Diambinli 7b (FA: Nicki Schramm)
5) Mr. Miagi und seine Schnecken 7c+ (FA: Ben Ullmann ,Toni Lamprecht)
6) Für Uli (Project) (Ben Ullmann)
7) Photo Charly 5b (FA: Dennis Illing, Toni Lamprecht)
8) Dilayla’s oil 6b+ (FA: Christian Gaab)
9) Tholoura 7b+ (FA: Dennis Illing, Nicki Schramm)
10) Buzzin Hornets 8b+ (goes straight up from the middle) (FA: Toni Lamprecht)
11) Japophobia 7b+ (goes to the right to the anchor in the middle of the cave) (FA: Christian Gaab)
12) Nicki Naki 6c (finishes at the same anchor than number 11) (FA: Nicki Schramm)
13) Calypso 8a (FA: Toni Lamprecht)
 
There are two more projects in the cave:
 
14) Mythos 8a? (goes right from the finish of number 11 all the way to the anchor of number 13, dotted line) (Christian Gaab)
15) Nicki Megalo 8a? (goes left from the anchor of number 11/12 all the way up into number 9, dotted line) (Nicki Schramm)
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2. Sector Punta Bianca

 
Sector Punta Bianca in Leros is near a cape on the east side of the island, not far from the seaside village of Pandeli.
 
Climbing: On red and white limestone of average quality (somewhat similar to sector Palionisos Red Wall on Kalymnos). Bolting is relatively good, climbing is rather bouldery and the crag feels remote and wild, since it is just you and the sea. Here, too, routes were equipped in 2014 by Christian Gaab, Dennis Illing, Toni Lamprecht, Nicki Schramm and Ben Ullmann.
 
Gear: A 70m rope and 15 quickdraws.
 
Kids: Not good. There is no path and there is some scrambling involved; also, the terrain beneath the cliffs is not kid-friendly.
 
Shade: After 15:00
 
Exposure: NE
 
Approach: From Pandeli or Agia Marina and Platanos, go up the road leading to the Castle of Pandeli. When you get to the windmills, turn right onto a rather smooth dirt road leading to an old military camp at the top of the hill. Park at the end of the dirt road (37.153978, 26.869668). The crag is below, but you cannot see it yet. There is no path. Walk down in a SE direction guided by the smaller of the two islets visible ahead. When you get to cliff level, traverse slightly leftwards. Walking time: 15 min.
 
 
 
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ROUTES
 
1) Nimertis 6b (FA: Nicki Schramm)
2) Bee happy 6a (FA: Ben Ullmann)
3) Managa 6c+ (FA: Ben Ullmann)
4) Tzaki 6c (FA: Nicki Schramm)
5) Triftis 6b (FA: Toni Lamprecht)
6) Flash or Flasche 5c (FA: Dennis Illing)
7) Don’t tell it your mama 6c+ (Christian Gaab)
8) Benedikt 7a (FA: Ben Ullmann)
9) The freak in me 6c+ (Christian Gaab)
10) Greaster 6b+ (right anchor on top) (FA: Dennis Illing)
11) Bonanza 7b+ (finishes with number 10) (FA: Toni Lamprecht)
12) Japonoya 7b+ (left anchor on top) (Christian Gaab)
13) Fix Hellas 7a+ (FA: Toni Lamprecht)
14) Caprice Classic 6b (FA: Toni Lamprecht)
15) Augustiner Stüberl 6b (same anchor than number 14) (FA: Dennis Illing)
16) Bougatsa 7a+ (FA: Toni Lamprecht)
17) Pame 7c+ (FA: Toni Lamprecht)
18) Mamadopolous 6c (starts with number 19 and finishes with the top of number 17) (FA: Nicki Schramm)
19) Sirenas Aegean 7b (FA: Nicki Schramm)
20) The lady’s first 6b+ (FA: Toni Lamprecht)
 
 
And, lastly, here’s a fun video from the German climbers’ sailing and bolting trip in Greece:
 

 

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This entry was posted on Friday, February 20th, 2015 at 11:55 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.


6 Responses to “Two new sport crags in Leros, the island just north of Kalymnos”

  1. Tania Matsuka says:

    Hi dear Aris,

    happy to see this great article about Leros hosting at climbkalymnos.com, great quality of information regarding acess and climbing.

    I would like to mention that dear friend Toni was invited for bolting to Leros by Dimitris Prantzos and waternative.eu. Dimitris Prantzos discovered the crags and has invited Toni Lamprecht to develop the area. All the bolts and the trip was sponsored by waternative and the local municipality Industrial Association of Leros.

    Toni responded with a great enthousiasm after the invitiation in May 2014 and he did an amazing job. We thank all for this amazing spot just a few hours from beautiful Kalymnos, giving us an alternative …

    Friendly regards,
    Tania Matsuka

  2. Admin says:

    Thank you, Tania! We will update the text above to include this info 🙂

  3. tania says:

    Thank you Carl,

    last but not least … Many thanks to the industrial association of leros that they supported financial a big part of this project

  4. Admin says:

    Um, this is Katie, but you’re welcome! Changes you requested have been made above.

  5. tania says:

    Euxaristo Katie !!!

  6. Aris says:

    A very helpful Leros’ report, posted at our forum from Mike / Kalymnos Resole.

    “Just back from a 3 day trip to climb on Leros. Tried both crags. Both faced roughly Eastish and had morning sun, shade from about 12 – 1300. Bolts are all in good condition, and there is a mix of lower offs and threads.
    There are no paths, as mentioned on the web site but the walks are not too hard or long.

    Leros is beautiful, green, clean and very relaxing. We stayed in Panteli at Castelo Hotel. Both are good and recommended.

    The climbing is way under-graded compared to Kalymnos. Leave your ego at home because unless your comfy on 8’s it will get bruised and battered.

    Most of the routes are at least one grade down, many 2 or more (IMHO).
    At Bianca – ‘Fix Hellas’ gets 7a. I redpointed it and felt it more like 7b+ Excellent technical climbing and wonderful moves, but….. a shock at 7a.
    ‘Don’t tell it your Mama’ gets 6c+ and I reckon more like 7a+ for the moved through the bulge.
    ‘The Freak in Me’ was superb and close to the grade at 6c+
    ‘The Lady’s First’ was also great at 6b+…(maybe 6c)
    ‘Nimertis’ 6b. Didn’t do much for me and felt hard for the grade.
    ‘Flash or Flasche’ 5c. Brilliant route, lovely rock and well cleaned. Consider it 6a and enjoy some lovely moves at this grade.

    At Xirokampos… Worth noting is the only ‘hard’ route I tried before running off with my tail between my legs, was ‘Toxic Baglava’ – 7a. After a hard mid crux, which I had to work, the top section, getting to, and especially getting from the pocket to the top undercut was desperate. I reckon 7c/7c+ unless you’re 6’5″ tall with go-go gadget arms!
    ‘The Captain Didn’t Come’ was good at 6a(+) and ‘Nicki Naki’ was also fun, if a little intimidating.
    The one to do is ‘Delaylas Oil’ 6b+. brilliant climbing, long and sustained, a snip at 6c+

    Have fun, take a clip stick and a selection of leaver beaners!!!!!”

    Mike

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