Kalymnos, Greece: From Paradise to Paradise

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I recently took my first trip to Greece, the island of Kalymnos to be exact. Many of you who are climbers have certainly heard of Kalymnos, it is all you’ve heard about and more! I have been a long time trad climber, alpinist, ice climber, mountain guide and ski mountaineer. This was the first trip I’ve ever taken to just sport climb, the first trip that I’ve done with no alpine starts, no true suffering and I’ve gotta say I’m sold!!

Carolyn Kalymnos beach

I live in Carbondale CO, it is Paradise. People come to vacation, to climb, bike, ski, hike in my little valley known as the Roaring Fork. There really isn’t another place like it in the world and I’ve been all over the globe. So for me to say Kalymnos is Paradise as well, that I want to go back, and I wasn’t ready to leave, well that says a lot.

The typical day began with espresso, usually in bed. A relaxing breakfast, while listening to the waves caress the shore right outside our studio apartment. Then pack up for the day of climbing and beach time. Did I mention the primary form of transportation on the island is scooters?! Yep scooters, if you don’t already know how much fun scooters are well they are a blast. Ripping around the island (safely of course) watching out for goats knocking rocks on your head, because goats rule the island, is an absolute blast.

Carolyn Kalymnos scooter 2

We’d arrive each day at our crag of choice and begin to climb excellent limestone, pitch after pitch until the sun would come around and it would get too hot to climb. Mind you night time to day time temps were 65 – 80 degrees pretty darn perfect. Once the sun was on us we’d zoom off to our next destination the secluded beach of the day; which sometimes involved a short hike, sometimes not. Have a picnic, swim in the Aegean Sea, relax and nap for a bit before heading back to our temporary home in Massouri. Then it was off to have a fantastic dinner with friends, fresh tuna or swordfish caught that day, great wine and a relaxing evening stroll.

carolyn kalymnos climb 2

On rest days we’d hike to remote monasteries, visit castles and learn the deep and ancient history of this tiny island. Truly we just scratched the surface in our short time there. We will be back! Thank you Stonewear for providing the perfect climbing tops, shorts and pants for the trip! And Trango for the necessary 80M rope!

Monastery exploring on our off days :)
Monastery exploring on our off days 🙂

Signing off for now((:

About the Author:
Carolyn Parker an AMGA Certified Rock Guide and has been a mountain athlete (read climber, skier, cyclist, runner) for 30+ years. She grew up in the mountains and lives in the mountains of Carbondale, CO where she serves as a coach and trainer to other athletes. “I have a long resume of achievements: some were successes, some were sufferfests, some were epics, some were failures…each experience added to who I have become, each a learning experience, the building blocks of deep and lasting friendships, and pieces of the color of a lifetime of adventure”, says Carolyn.

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