We set ourselves the ambitious target to climb Mytikas in one day departing Litochoro at 5:30am in the morning and returning at 9:30 pm at night.
A few things before I launch into details, fitness & determination are very important.
Here goes..6:10 am start time
Parking at Gortisa, climb 1hour 15 minutes towards Refuge C. However take the short sharp route up Anathema to Skourta Peak before Refuge C. This will save you valuable time & although the trail is sometimes difficult to find, its very hard to get lost to Skourta. Just head up with the cliff on your left.
We strapped on Crampons at Skourta Peak and ascended the ridge line up to Plateau of Muses, again easy to navigate with some exposure on the right hand side but nothing to overly worry about. There is a bit of via ferrata to help you get up onto the Plateau.
At the plateau of Muses we made for refuge A with the intention to traverse under stefani's cliff face (arriving at aprox 12pm) However after chatting with a few local climbers and with the sun heating up and there being a very real risk of avalanche and rock fall. Looking across the valley we opted to take a ridge scramble up directly opposite.. I think considering the conditions this is the best option. For the ridge scramble, look directly opposite the refuge and its the ridge leading up to the mountain.
Climbing the ridge we then met the Steffani path and traversed around further to the very distinctive Mytikas couloir (distinctive as there is a large buttress in the middle with two different gully's flanking it). Ok - so here is the bit which requires courage. With full ice equipment we free climbed up to the summit, an exhausting and scary 45 minutes if you are fit. Probably preaching to experienced people, but if you keep your head and focus on what's in front of you - this will be fine.
Coming down, we wanted to be safe so repelled down. (FYI - there are anchors pins in the rocks marked by red dashes which you are able to do this from). Time very much against us and darkness approaching we free climbed down after an initial 100m pitch. Although you are not fully secure, its perfectly doable, it just requires courage. Descending a 45 degree slope is much harder than ascending (bear this in mind before ascending!).
Coming back,it was much colder and we went for a quick traverse under steffani, basically dropping down into the bottom valley then headed up to refuge A. This is an avalanche risk area, get across it quickly.
Exhausted we reached refuge A just after 6pm. Flashlights out we headed back to Gortsia eventually arriving at 9:30pm in the evening. Thankfully Greek restaurants are open late and we devoured a huge amount of food.
All in all, a fantastic climb. Experience with ice equipment mandatory, fitness vital & a strong state of mind also important. Good Luck.
- Ice Axe (I would say 2 axes are better but my partner manages with one)
- Helmet for rock/snow fall
- Spare pair of gloves (I had to wear a disgusting sock after letting my glove fall)
- 3.5 Litres of water
- Plenty of sugar snacks
- Climbing Ropes etc (we didn't really use) but a lot of climbers have done. Up to you.