Here is a little report about my Kalymnos trip last October. I got invited by The North Face to the project competition and I had two weeks on the island.
When I arrived on Kos I didn't have a climbing partner or a place to stay. Everything was spontaneous. At the port of Kos I luckily met Dennis and Lander from Belgium that invited me to climb and stay with them the first week. That was super nice and we had a good week and a lot of climbing.
We went for the Grad Grotta the first evening. I did an amazing 8a through all the steep overhanging part of the cave!! I really enjoyed onsight- climbing on Kalymnos. It’s so much fun to climb 30 m and more surrounded by big colonnettes.
A few days later I onsighted two 8a's and two 8a+`s. The last one was "Ne pas toucher a me bite" a cool traverse. Sadly it was very chalked and polished, but it was a very exciting onsight in the dark with head lamp.
After a rest day I did my first 8b+ onsight "Trois dans l'air" :-)
I thought that an 8b+ onsight is something very spectacular... For me it was a funny surprise, because it felt much easier. It happens that a route feels easier than it is while onsighting. To be on the save side I take this one as a joke, I don't think it's that hard.
A few routes left of "Trois dans l'air" was an attractive project "triste saccage" (8c?). I checked this one out and it worked well. The next day I could send it. I just was wondering, because there was some chalk on some holds, but only on very small structures and the best hold in the crux wasn't used before at all.
I knew that Alex Megos was on the island as well, so I thought if someone climbed it, than it was him. He sends it without much cleaning or a proper check out. He had a good trip, freed a lot of projects and won the project competition.
I enjoyed the competition as well. Meeting a lot for friends and staying in a fancy hotel. The hotel and the scooters we got were fun and a big contrast to my usual climbing trips :-)
The competition wall was a nice spot and good rock! It was a way to hot for me, so no sendings. There was one 8b+ I tried till the sun arrived, at least I have the record off the most tries in this route. I ended up on place 7 :).
The after party was really good! Good music, a pool and funny people. At the end 5 phones died in the pool. Not mine luckily :-)
After the event I had another good day in the Sikati Cave! Maybe it was one of the most beautiful places on the island. A very impressive cave, dark, dusty but amazing colonnettes
Did my first 8a onsight for warmup, 40 m very steep. Later I onsighted one of the most impressive routes that I did this trip, "Morgan Adam est une andalouse". 75 or 80m of climbing between big and long colonnettes! I needed two ropes and two patient belayers, thanks to Dennis and Lander. That was a really nice journey, with very beautiful rock shapes. I hope everyone climbs this one with care. The 4-5m long colonnettes are very fragile!!
Take care of the goats as well! First I thought we were friends… but then she stole my food.
So, Kalymnos was fun! Hope to go back soon.