Forget what you knew about Poets—it is a crag reborn! In our editions of the guidebook, we desribed Poets as “a strip of compact grey slabs directly above Armeos. It is the closest sector to the village of Masouri, so it is perfect for getting a first taste of the rock as soon as you arrive.” It is finally time to revise that desription and give sector Poets the credit it is due. Poets is now a major sector. Its slabs are still grey and compact, of course, and it continues to be strategically located in the heart of all climbing activity—but those are no longer the main reasons to go. With most routes rebolted in 2015 as part of a major municipal rebolting project, and with the addition of about 20 new very notable routes by a strong team of experienced equippers (Claude Idoux, François Legrand, Massimo Datrino, George Kopalides, and Aris Theodoropoulos), the slabs and walls of Poets truly pack a punch.
CLIMBING: An impressive variety of styles, from crimpy, old-fashioned grey slabs to insane overhangs, tufa blobs, and endless extensions. On extensions, to avoid rope drag, it is best to top-rope the 1st pitch (so you don’t have quickdraws creating rope drag), then lead the extension. Or, climb the extension as a 2nd pitch. A note about the new routes: Many days were devoted to the thorough cleaning of the rock, and two old routes (Damocles and Poetic License) had to be destroyed in order to remove very large dangerous blocks. Some massive loose flakes (the size of a small car) sitting against the wall were also removed; it was an operation involving a couple of large crowbars, a car jack (destroyed), and a determined set of people.