6 - 7
FATMAP difficulty grade
One of the classic ski mountaineering routes in Greece.
The direction of the stream valley is North, and the snow quality is usually good.
Snow cover - due to the northerly direction, often persists until late Spring.
The valley is initially wide and with a gentle slope, while at an altitude of 1830m it narrows temporarily and fragmentarily (up to an altitude of 2200m), while at the same time the slope increases.
From an altitude of 2300m, the route enters the wide and impressive Megali Gourna (enclosed alpine plateau formed between the peaks of Scolios, Agios Antonios, Trypes, Christakis).
From the large Gourna, access to the above peaks is possible, while the difficulty varies.
The easiest option is definitely the ascent to Christaki peak 2707m.
The South-West slope is wide and offers plenty of descent lines.
Its orientation, however, sometimes affects the quality of the snow accordingly.
From the top - as long as the snow cover allows it, there is an uninterrupted descent of 1300 meters. The route initially follows a secondary dirt road that gains height in the smooth forested valley.
At an altitude of 1620m we meet a metal fence and continue on the dirt road for a little while longer, until it decreases.
We now enter an impressive alpine plateau between the peaks of Christakis and Flambourou, while at the same time the tree cover disappears and we continue in a bare field. The Christaki hut at Megali Gourna 2420m (unfortunately in the summer it gives access to non-climbers, dirt road, starting from the valley of Elassona), often in winter it is covered by snow and access inside it is impossible.
Therefore no one should rely on it for protection against adverse weather conditions. The route is generally moderately difficult, but it varies depending on the quality of the snow.
Knowledge of movement in an alpine field as well as avalanche diagnosis are essential for the realization of the route.
The corresponding equipment is also necessary. The starting point of the route is located at a bend in the dirt road at an altitude of 1380m, where there is also a typical concrete tank.
The width of the dirt road at this point offers enough space for parking vehicles. Access to the beginning of the route takes place either from the village of Kokkinopilos, or from the village of Petra.
The passability of the dirt roads is moderate (subjective issue), while depending on the snow cover, their accessibility varies.