My friend Thomas and I have been here for a few days. Yesterday we were at sector Arhi enjoying the massive colonettes of Thetis. Nobody else was in sight except some goats watching from a distance. When another couple of climbers finally walked up the path we were ecstatic! We rushed to greet them and introduce ourselves; they did the same and we all started talking at once, barely able to contain our enthusiasm. We had just discovered paradise, and as with all good things, we felt the urge to share it. It was spring of ’99. Two decades ago but still feels like yesterday—yet the time has flown, taking with it the good and the bad. And so much has happened since. In a few hundred pages, this edition of the guidebook encompasses the last twenty years. I have experienced the wonder of Kalymnos since the early days—not long after that lucky day in 1996 when Andrea Di Bari discovered the island of our dreams—and have tried my best to contribute to it in a way that matters. The development of Kalymnos climbing has been outstanding. From 200 routes in 2000 we are nearing 3,500 routes at the tail end of 2018. Masouri, Armeos, and Myrties were flailing; now, dozens of local businesses are thriving, and hundreds of local families are not only depending on climbing for their living, but are also discovering a window to the world thanks to climbing, with a generation of budding local climbers starting to emerge. Greece, the beautiful but often struggling country I was lucky to be born and raised in, has Kalymnos as a shining example of sustainable tourism that other regions hope to emulate. None of this has happened in a vacuum. Bolts do not grow on cliffs like the fruits on a tree, and the safety that climbers take for granted on Kalymnos is the result of hard work by many people that never stops. Equipping and maintenance of routes is a job done mostly voluntarily. Despite the good intentions and occasional funding by the local municipality, a group of experienced climbers/equippers have devoted themselves to keeping Kalymnos safe all these years. We spend countless hours (not that we’re counting) cleaning vegetation, removing loose and sometimes very dangerous blocks, placing bolts on new routes. We go around the island and do the same for existing routes—whatever needs to be done to keep them safe. Time is precious for all of us, and our resources are limited. But if we stop, Kalymnos will stop being a safe haven. Our main resource is this guidebook. The money that comes from the sale of the guidebook stays in Kalymnos. A big part of it goes straight back into climbing. This is how: Since 2010, we have set aside a minimum of €5,000 every year after taxes for bolts, anchors, clippable carabiners for lower-offs, and other hardware or equipment needed for bolting and rebolting. This is how you, the climbers, help make this happen; not by making a vague donation, but by paying for a product with both immediate and long-term returns. In the long run, you can keep enjoying Kalymnos safely knowing that there is a handful of people here looking out for you, listening to you, and taking your feedback very seriously. We are real people, we are here, and you will run into us at the crag sooner or later. (If so, please come up and say hello.) As for the immediate return, please enjoy this guidebook—a book that we work very hard to make worthy of the world-class climbing on Kalymnos. We do our own field work; make our own photo-topos; use our own photos or those contributed by amazing photographers who have also become friends; we publish the book in English, not our own language, to accommodate the global climbing community; and we strive to keep all phases of the production local, even when it would make a lot more financial sense to outsource some of them. In our digital age, which makes it so easy to access free beta or to copy information, we appreciate your support more than ever. It keeps us going, and it keeps Kalymnos alive. If you are considering making a donation to further support the island, please donate to the Kalymnos Rescue Team. The rescue team is a legitimate and fully registered Greek non-profit staffed by volunteers and relies on donations alone. You can donate online, or look for the orange metal lock boxes with the Rescue Team logo everywhere in Masouri. When the time comes to collect the donations, the orange boxes are unlocked in the presence of all members, as required by non-profit regulations, ensuring full transparency. Find the Kalymnos Rescue Team here: kalymnosrescueteam.org. Enjoy the new book, be safe, and see you at the crag!
meters climbed
average grade

Area ranking

Sort by