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Kalymnos - ET

By: Aris Theodoropoulos, photos Nikolaos Smalios
Country: Greece, Region: Kalymnos, Town: Kalymnos (Dodecanese)

E.T. is the latest addition to Kalymnos, suitable for climbing on hot, sunny afternoons. E.T. is located in the fertile valley of Vathy (or Vathys), just above the village of Metochi and offers gorgeous views over the valley, the fjord of Rina and the Turkish coast.

Viewed from a distance, the cliff resembles a giant face, exactly like Steven Spielberg’s E.T. - the caves on either side and at the foot of the cliff form the eyes and mouth.

E.T. was equipped in April 2010 by the tireless Frenchman – and permanent Kalymnos resident – Claude Idoux. Over the last 3 years Claude has equipped more than 70 routes on Kalymnos; his routes follow the rock’s natural line, his bolting is meticulous and he dedicates a significant amount of time to the exemplary cleaning of each route from vegetation, dirt and loose rock. You may have noticed the artistic hand-painted rocks marking the names of many of his routes. The crag still holds potential, so expect some new routes in the near future.


Approach: Follow the Arginonda – Vathy road toward Vathy. Pass the col; at the entrance to the village of Metochi, opposite the football field, turn right onto the narrow road next to the cemetery. Follow the road to the first junction (~ 400m) and turn right onto a dirt road. You will see the cliff which looks like E.T.’s face straight ahead. Park at a point where the road levels off; continue on foot along the same road as it gets rougher and begins to ascend. Pass behind the stone cistern. Close the gate behind you and continue for 150m. Go toward the right and walk uphill along the fence. When you reach a gate, climb over it using the stepping-stones and continue to the crag. There are some cairns along the way. Total walking time: 20 minutes.


Climbing is predominantly on smooth slabs or clean-cut walls teeming with good pockets and pockets. Climbing is delicate and balancy, and good footwork is imperative. Routes are long and sustained, and despite the numerous bolts they feel positively alpine. Some of the 6a-6b routes at E.T. compete for the title of Best Route on Kalymnos in this category. Some routes feature 2 pitches, from which you descend by abseil. The bolting is very good, albeit a bit spaced in some easy sections of the routes. On the righthand side of the crag there is a 20-30m hgh cave with excellent quality tufas and a huge potential some very difficult routes. As yet there are no routes in the cave, but we are confident that this hard-core crag will soon be developed further.


Kids: At the moment the approach is not easy for kids, as the path is still unclear. However, it is expected to improve as climbers visit the crag. There are many flat areas for children to play close to and beneath the crag.


Kalymnos Rock Climbing Guide – All New 2010 Edition. Aris Theodoropoulos. 360 pages, 1700 routes, 64 sectors, English

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Sun: In the shade after 12.00- 12.30 pm. E.T. is ideal for afternoon climbing on hot days between May — October. Temperatures can be very cool here even on scorching hot days, so make sure you bring a long-sleeved top or windbreaker (you will need it when belaying!) The only relative drawback of sector E.T. is the 20-minute approach in the sun. In wintertime you can climb here in the morning, when the cliff is in the sun. Avoid climbing at E.T. on very windy days as the crag is openly exposed to all but the southerly winds.


80m rope


6a - 7b









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