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Abas gorge 8c+?

Abas gorge and climbing routes
In the summer of 2003 Kabourakis Manolis and Psaraksis Kostas decided to descend the gorge of Abas in Asteroussia mountains, which starts from the village of Paranimfi and ends down in the sea at Tris Eklissies. This is the reason that we didn't follow the path which goes up in the east edge of the gorge but instead we went along the course of the water. This bring us to an end where we had to climb down the 160 metre waterfall, and believe me, that was not so easy.

There are some places in the waterfall which have a negative inclination and the stalagmite rocks which exist almost everywhere cannot be secured. Finally, our efforts were successful resulting in the opening of the gorge of Abas, and the security of both the waterfall with four belays and the rest of the gorge with thirty belays. There are approximately thirty waterfalls of 5 to 25 metres. All the equipment was donated by Kontaxakis Yannis, the owner of the Mountain Club shop in Heraklio.

The descent was attempted again by the school of advanced level which was carried out by Andreou the following year. Apart from the beauty of the gorge, what strongly impressed us was the expansion and the relief of the rocks of the amphitheatre on the waterfall. The easy access and the southern exposure  protects it from the north winds. This is why we considered it as one of the future climbing areas with a special character and touch. The amphitheatre (about 200 metres in height) is divided horizontally by an accessible plateau which extends as far as 50 metres from the top.

At this level, 10 routes from 6a+ to 8c+?? have already been opened up and another one 200 metres from the bottom to the top is in progress and it will join the upper and the lower level. This route (which has already been named as "green star", although it has not been completed yet) next to the waterfall is easy, and makes the lake at the base of the waterfall as well as the whole area of the base approachable.

This means that a group of people from Heraklio, for instance, needs about 45 minutes to reach Harakas, then they will ascend to Paranimfi in a quarter of an hour and in about five minutes they will be able to stare at the open sea from that spot. From up there, they can climb down (there are 8 belays) to the "zawn" and try the routes of the first level. Then, if they go down to the lower level, they can visit the dreamy place of the waterfall and return to Heraklio on the same day.

Psarakis Kostas Abas gorgeKabourakis Manolis

Author/Pictures: Psarakis Kostas, Kabourakis Manolis

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Posted on: 20/09/2016