Kalymnos 2006 Petzl RocTrip Report

Yet again Petzl have come up trumps with another fantastic rock trip, this time on the Greek paradise island of Kalymnos.For this trip a collection of the finest climbing athletes in the world were invited out to challenge themselves against newly bolted routes in the ?Sikati cave?.

The huge cave which held the ´super routes´ Photo: Steve McClure

The super-overhanging woman?s route went on forever, at a grade of 8b it climbed 60 meters on tufas and stalactites. The men´s route, at over 50m long and 8c was not only endurance orientated but had several distinct cruxes: a bouldery lower section, a long, hard span (especially for the short) under the main roof to reach a 6-foot stalactite, and a steep headwall with tufa blobs. The route climaxed with 10m of relatively easy (about 7b!!) tufa climbing on crumbly rock to add a bit of spice to the finish!!

Chris Sharma cranking hard & Steve McClure ´hanging around´ finding interesting rest positionsBoth Photos: Anna Piunova, Mountain.RU

But the rock trip is way more than just a competition. For any climbers on the island of Kalymnos at this time this festival was a real treat. Every evening there were free slide shows and films presented by some of the world?s best: Chris Sharma, Alex Huber, Arnaud Petit and Stephanie Bodet. Aris Theodoropoulos also gave a presentation of the history of climbing on Kalymnos and introduced the newest edition of the guidebook.The municipality of Kalymnos graciously organized a Greek-themed evening with traditional music, dancing, food and wine, again all free to all. There was also a fun competition open to all with many great prizes. Free to enter it was just about going out and climbing some routes! On the final night, the Petzl sound system cranked up and rocked the local club till after 4am with techno vibes accompanied by the awesome multi-instrumentalist climber Said Belhaj. A fine chance to see your climbing heros staggering around after too much ouzo!!

Dave Graham on the Mens super route, F8c Photo: Steve McClure

The 15 men and 7 women were presented with a real challenge on their ultimate routes. They were allowed only one hour each to work the route before attempting a redpoint a few days later. Not an easy task when the route is 60m long – imagine remembering that many moves! However it still didn?t stop Martina Cufar (SLO) Charlotte Durif (FRA) and Daila OJeda (ESP) from clean ascents. The men?s route was proving more tricky especially with some of the tufas remaining damp and no one managed success on their first redpoint attempt. However, considering the standard of the climbers it was only a matter of time with Steve McClure (UK) and Chris Sharma (USA) getting it in their second attempt and Dani Andrada (ESP) on his third. Another fantastic event from Petzl, not just a competition but a climbing festival in the spirit of climbing, organised by climbers for climbers. Look out for the next one!

Steve McClure turning the lip at the end of the Mens super route Photo: Steve McClure collection

Below is the list of climbers who where invited and attended the Petzl 2006 Kalymnos RocTrip Men Dani Andrada (ESP) Klemen Becan (SLO) Said Belhaj (SWE) Dave Graham (GB) Alex Huber (GER) Ivailo Krastev (BUL) Thanasis Ktenas (GRE) Tony Lamiche (FRA) Chris Lindner (USA) Steve McClure (GB) Shawn McColl (CAN) Arnaud Petit (FRA) Ethan Pringle (USA) Manu Romain (FRA) Chris Sharma (USA) Women Katie Brown (USA) Stéphanie Bodet (FRA) Martina Cufar (SLO) Charlotte Durif (FRA) Melissa Lacasse (CAN) Daila OJeda (ESP) Liv Sansoz (FRA)