Paolo Sartori Explores The Climbing Mecca | Part 2
For probably any rock climber, Kalymnos represents a place of immense power. It’s a small island between Greece and Turkey that was completely unknown until early 2000s. When climbers then opened the first routes on the island and discovered it’s incredible potential for rock climbing. Since then the island became a true climbing mecca, a place that a climber must visit at least once in their life.
So when the team at Vertical Sailing Tour and LifeProof asked me if I was available to join them for a week in Kalymnos, living on a sailboat and climbing, I jumped at the opportunity and started counting down the days before my trip. Check out part two of my full run down of my seven day adventure.
Today we travelled to Telendos, a smaller island in front of Kalymnos, where there are many incredible spots for climbing. For me the best part of the day was something else… while we were sailing back to Kalymnos a bunch of dolphins joined us on the journey. They swam to the front of our boat and jumped together as a pack, it was so beautiful!
After this the mood our day was so high, we enjoyed our climbing for a bit too long and ended up having to paddle back to our boat in complete darkness.
The team after paddling back to the boat in complete darkness.
Today we’re headed to the Sikati Cave, one of the most impressive places we’ve ever seen. It’s a circular cave with an opened roof and to access the cave you have to down climb inside. The team was so excited to be here, nobody expected the place to be so incredible and challenging. We all tried, time and time again with no avail, then Federica provided us all with a lesson in climbing art when she managed to climb the route in full, we were all so overjoyed when she completed the climb. We don’t think about failing or the grades of the routes, we’re all just enjoying the act of climbing and being together, we’re all stoked when someone completes a route.
As the end of the trip is growing closer, we are trying to climb more and more, milking every last drop from the journey. Our bodies and hands are feeling the pressure from all the hard climbing that we have completed, but we push through. We woke up at sunrise, swam to the shore and climbed a crag called “The Beach” it was the perfect way to start the day and warm up our aching muscles. We all stop to take in the beauty around us. Having our LifeProof cases attached to our hips with the LifeActiv Belt Clip was the perfect tool for snapping pictures while we climbed.
Around noon we begin to move on to reach another spot. As we arrived we could smell fresh fish cooking on a BBQ, we were super excited as we hadn’t eaten since breakfast. It was the perfect meal to set us up for climbing the rest of the day.
After the day came to an end we all gathered on the boat and began talking about the amazing week we had together. I then realised that what was just a crew of climbers at the start of the week is now more than that, we’re friends who have experienced something unique together. These memories will stay with me forever.
Our last day. All we had to do was bring back the boat and clean it, no time for climbing… As we sailed back to the harbour we spotted a place that we could climb directly from the sea. We grabbed our dinghy and went straight across, then we spotted some bolts had already been fitted. We were so happy, we had about an hour left before we really had to get moving so we could climb one last time. It was a funny situation as we had a climber on the wall, the belayer on the dinghy as well as of course myself at the top of the route pointing my camera down and shooting like crazy. We only had the time to climb one route, but this really made the whole trip worth it, nothing was planned, it was climbing at it’s purest.
Climbing the unknown wall we discovered on the way back to harbour.
By the time we arrived on the harbour we had already decided that we would come back next year.
Stay tuned for more of my adventures with LifeProof.
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