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near Samariá, Crete (Greece)
Gigilos peak from parking in Omalos, just outside of the entrace to National Park of Samaria Gorge.
0,0k at 1240m - Omalos, parking. I arrived something about 7:00AM and temp outside was just 12 C (see photo)!! Pretty chilly for a summer morning, but it is over 1200m altitude so now wonder...
Most of the people here will go into Samaria gorge. Only few actually know, that there are other directions from here :-P During my hike, I passed only 4 couples!
The route starts right from the entrance with nice sign "Gigolos, 3h". I decided to make it part of my preparation for mountain marathon, so tempo was running/power hiking just from the start. First section is quite steep and I managed to keep running cadence only about 20% of the time, power hiking the rest. Still, I was pretty comfortable with my effort.
2,0k at 1450m - Porta. For a moment, route is descending until place called "Porta" - a gate shaped rock that You pass under and rest of ascent countinues.
2,2k at 1490m - Spring. The only water available on the route. Still maintaining power hiking effort with very few running pieces up to the pass.
3,0k at 1690m - Mountain Pass. The good path ends here (by good I mean well vissible and very well marked - it is E4 route). E4 continues down to the other side of the pass, while route to the Gigilos peak leaves to the left. It is less vissible and much more steep, but it did have some fresh markings in yellow - very easy to follow. All the way to the peak, it is more of climbing than hiking, with more hands to be used - great fun, slow tempo :-P
3,9k at 1955m - First peak. Last couple of meters are again fairly flat and on the path. At first I thought that was it and even had a snack and some photos. Just when I decided to begin my descent, I noticed that there is some trail continueing to the peak just next to the one I was already on. It didnt look much higher, but it actually was something like +20m more. I did follow the markings (pretty difficult section!) and got to the second peak about 5-6min later, to find out that this was the correct Gigilos peak!
4,3k at 1970m - Gigilos peak. How I knew it? Because I found the book of local mountaineering organization from Chania saying so :-D And I even wrote my name in it :-D My time to the peak was something like 1h22min (clean time without pauses recorded on my GPS watch was exactly 1:12:07). Pretty nice :-D compared to 3h from the sign heheh
Another selfie and on my way back.
5,3k at 1760m - Cave. I did notice some signs on my way up, but only now I saw a huge vertical cave, so deep and black I couldnt see end of it. It was well marked as dangerous place and even had a cross in memory of dead greek hiker from summer 2000. It did make me slow down a bit...
8,6k at 1240m - Omalos. The whole descent took me about 50min, without making it a race. Overall, I am pretty happy with the effort :-D Short but intense.
I mark it difficult climb mainly for the last section from the pass to the proper peak. Lots of hands needed there. Awesome views!