Climbincrete



Posted on: Apr 8, 2011


By: Stelios Asmargianakis
An overview of climbing in Dikti

Climbing the route Diktamos in winter of 1999In Dikti you will find the best climbing spot for climbers who are looking for to try traditional climbing routes without dealing with high grades of difficulty. The most difficult rock climbing route is around 6a+ and there are plenty near to 5a/5b+. Having said that, the long routes, the loose rock in places and the long (in some routes) access, contributes to an absolute adventure.
During winter, things are more complicated. Rock, frozen snow and rarely ice, lead to the ultimate escape from the daily routin. Be aware that winter climbing in Dikti's gullies are quiet difficult and is not recommended for newbies.

Things you need to know before going for climbing in Dikti

As in most places in Crete, limestone is here too. During the summer months, temperature usually goes up to 40oC easily, while during the winter -15oC. Due to this huge difference in temperature there are plenty of loosen rocks almost in any route. It's best to climb second for a few times and then try to lead a route if you have zero experience in trad routes.

Unfortunately during the last 5 years the amount of snow on the mountain is quiet low due to global warming thus leaving just a small opening window for winter climbing.

What gear to have with you

A full climbing gear is recommended. Be aware that in this area you wont see a bolt; that is no permanent protection exist apart from some very old nails, which however is not recommended to use them as those are been placed before 2000....do not trust them!

It is recommended to have at least 12 quickdraws, 10-15 slings, 3-4 pitons and a hammer, 5 friends (small numbers),many nuts and most important a helmet!

How to get there

The best way to get there is to reach first the small village Avrakontes and from there to follow a smaller road to Limnakaro plateau. The best way to reach Limnakaro is to ask a local how to get there as it's a small road going there without any signs and difficult to explain here. Do not worry as you will always find someone to ask for. I have include maps below (appear on the next page, just click on the link on the bottom) to get a better view of how to get there so no worries.

Directions from Heraklion to Avrakonte

 


You need to pay attention to the topo showing on the next page to get an idea how to come back when you finish the route from the E4 path and also how to reach the starting point of the routes.

Number 1 shows the Lasithi plateau. If there is a lot of snow you will need to start hiking from there. Usually there isn't so much snow.
Number 2 shows the Limnakaro plateau. All rock climbing routes starting on the right from the number 2 as it appears on the photo. You can leave your car in the small church located in Limnakaro and start walking from there. You will need around an hour to reach most of the routes except from 'Indianos' which takes much more (around 2 hours).

As soon as you reach number 3 you follow the E4 signs until you reach the summit (one and a half hour from there).

Pay attention when it blows and especially during the winter months as even the normal E4 path is exposed in the wind for the last 15-20 minutes of the path.

If you need any other information please post a comment here or add a question to the forums.