E4

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stas
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E4

Δημοσίευση από stas » Παρ 22 Οκτ 2010, 21:08

Hi there!

We're a band of 3-4 friends planning to ascend Mt. Olympus as the final stage of our West-East hiking trip through Greece. The information about E4 in Greece is extremely scarce, and I haven't been able to find a precise description of the E4 route.

We're coming from South-west by E4, and my question is by what path the hike goes?
Do we still go through Litochoro before we go up, or do we come from a completely different side?
And what about Refuge A, do we pass that?

Maybe someone knows the E4 around Mt. Olympus?

Cheers
Stas

stas
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Re: E4

Δημοσίευση από stas » Σάβ 23 Οκτ 2010, 16:11

I think I've actually found the answer after all. Found a very old scanned map with some routes.

We will have to go down the Ennipeas to get to Litochoro after being at Mytikas.

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nkroup
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Re: E4

Δημοσίευση από nkroup » Δευ 25 Οκτ 2010, 08:29

The path E4 is crossing Olympus mountains from Litochoro to Kokkinoplos.
The most popular route is from Litochoro to Olympus' high peaks and it is good path.
Actually, tha path starts from upper side of Litochoro town (350m altitude) and crossing the Enipeas gorge up to Prionia (3-5h) (http://www.hellaspath.gr/index.php?p=2&m=1&mntid=38#81). Prionia can be reached also and car, a road is started also from Litochoro and it is about 18Km to reach Prionia.
From Prionia it is 3h good path inside the gorge to reach Refuge A', usally in summer many people following this route, because most use to drive up to Prionia and start from there.
From Refuge A' (2100m) the path id going up to the peaks and can follow 2 routes th Mytikas Summit, from Skala Summit - Kakoskala -Mitikas (http://www.hellaspath.gr/index.php?p=2&m=1&mntid=38#73). Or the most popular route Zonaria - Louki - Mitikas (http://www.hellaspath.gr/index.php?p=2&m=1&mntid=38#74).
Most part of previous routes are common but it is changing in the final part of the Mitikas ascent.
If you need further info let me know
Nikolas

stas
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Re: E4

Δημοσίευση από stas » Δευ 01 Νοέμ 2010, 21:25

Thanks for the info and the map.
We're hiking to the mountain, so no cars :) And we're coming from Kokkinopilos. As I've understood, we're passing Skolio and then Skala.. and can then continue to Mytikas, correct?

My only concern is spending the night. I've dug up information that there is a place called Megali Gourna (Bivouac Xristaki) on the ascend to Skolio. But I'm not sure how much time it will take from there to Refuge A. I hope and assume that it's feasible to walk in one day. Do you know about this cabin/lodge?

Stas

peternik99
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Re: E4

Δημοσίευση από peternik99 » Τρί 02 Νοέμ 2010, 17:17

You have not mentioned the time of the year you wish to do this, because if there is snow you certainly need to bivouac en route and the climb to Mitikas becomes a technical alpine climb. On the contrary, in summer (e.g. after June) you can make the trip from Kokkinoplos to Mitikas and then to Refuge A in a long day (8-9 hours). Then you need another day to go down to Litochwro (6-8 hours). Regarding the bivouacs. There is indeed one cabin bellow Xristaki peak, one bellow Ag. Antonios peak and one on Ag. Antonios peak but I have no idea about their current condition.

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niki_kar
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Re: E4

Δημοσίευση από niki_kar » Τρί 02 Νοέμ 2010, 23:36

Hi stas,
peternik99 is right about the time of the year. These days here in Greece it's dawning in 07:00 and it's getting dark in 17:30 approximately.
I 've walked the route from kokkinoplos to 300m below Xristaki bivouac (I reached 2250m. height) and it took me about four hours in April with tough snow from about 1450m. and up. The first snow that we met was an old avalanche. I estimate that you need one more hour to reach Xristaki bivouac. There is an old small building and next to this there is a newer and bigger building which is strongly recommended to avoid sleeping there because it is said it is dangerous to get collapsed due to damages in some columns... So, prefer the old building which is always open, but not in the best condition. You will need sleeping bags.
From that bivouac you need about 2 hours to get to Skolio and 1,5 to get to Mitikas without snow.
From Mitikas you have the following choices:
1. Go back to Skolio and continue to the summit of Agios Antonios. On the summit there is another hut, it is not organized and it has the minimum fascilities for sleeping. It 's about 2-2,5 hours from Mitikas. The next day you can go down to refuge A and finally to Litohoro.
2. Go to the plateau of Mouson where there are 2 organized huts. One of them maybe it is open. Sleep there and the next day go down to refuge A and Litohoro.
3. Go straight down to refuge A and the next day to Litohoro.

One good plan would be: Kokkinoplos - Ag. Antonios (sleeping) and the next day from Ag. Antonios - Mitikas - refuge A - Litohoro. For every day you will need about 9 hours and you need good weather without snow.

stas
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Re: E4

Δημοσίευση από stas » Τετ 03 Νοέμ 2010, 19:35

This is great help, guys!

About the time of year:
It's meant to be a hiking trip from Igoumenitsa to Olympus, which would take 2-3 weeks, given the length of it. My current plan is doing it in May (culminating at Olympus in the end of May or first days of June). My impression was that it was a not too warm month, and very few tourists. But it it actually too cold? Is July better? Taking into account that we might need to sleep outdoors.

I've found the Ag. Antonios on this map http://travel.valek.net/browse.cgi?cp=4&map=o
It seems to me that the route Skolio-Ag. Antonios is neither ascending or descending much, so I'll consider it.
Perhaps a trip could be:
Kokkinopilos - Skolio - Ag. Antonios - Refuge A (leave stuff) - Mytikas - Muses plateau - Refuge A (pick up stuff) - Lotohoro (so as not to cover same ground twice)
Unless we're fed up by walking by then and make it the shortes way ;)

But really, is July too hot, or is it just fine? In Epirus-North Thessaly.

peternik99
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Re: E4

Δημοσίευση από peternik99 » Πέμ 04 Νοέμ 2010, 10:55

I believe, end of May to beginning of June is the best time to do it in terms of scenery. During the day the temperature will be perfect for hiking, and will be enough water, but during the night it will be a bit chilly and you should be prepared for occasional rain. You will encounter a few snow patches e.g. in Gamila, Peristeri and Olympus but they should not be a problem. July will be OK too as soon as you are high, the weather will be stable, but at lower elevations the heat will be a problem.

Your suggested itinerary is fine, but by the time you reach Skala probably the peaks will be hidden in clouds. So I propose that you continue to Refuge A (or Apostolidis refuge at musses plateau), spent the night there and go for the peak next morning (6am). Then of course you will have a very long descent to Litochoro. Otherwise you may also leave your stuff at Skala peak (it should be safe, just take your valuables with you), climb to Mitikas from Kakoskala and return the same way (2 hours), take your stuff and go down to Refuge A (or Refuge B) for the night.

Regarding your itinerary from Igoumenitsa to Litochoro, I have to warn you that long-distance paths in Greece (especially E4) are usually only "on papers". There are some well marked sections in Pindos but otherwise do not rely on them. I propose that you buy maps from Anavasi (http://www.anavasi.gr/en/) and use a GPS. We make suggest specific routes once you have a rough itinerary. Try to plan first the crossing of Pindus from Konitsa to Grevena (about 10 days). The rest will be mostly on roads.

stas
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Re: E4

Δημοσίευση από stas » Παρ 05 Νοέμ 2010, 01:37

peternik99 έγραψε:Regarding your itinerary from Igoumenitsa to Litochoro, I have to warn you that long-distance paths in Greece (especially E4) are usually only "on papers". There are some well marked sections in Pindos but otherwise do not rely on them. I propose that you buy maps from Anavasi (http://www.anavasi.gr/en/) and use a GPS. We make suggest specific routes once you have a rough itinerary. Try to plan first the crossing of Pindus from Konitsa to Grevena (about 10 days). The rest will be mostly on roads.
We'll definitely have a map or gps.

Actually, the route I've roughly planned is Igoumenitsa - Ioannina - crossing Peristeri/Lakmos - Metsovo - Kalampaka, and then just follow E4 to Olympus.
Mt. Lakmos I haven't been able to find maps of online, but somehow I think we'll just take it as it comes.
This route seems to be the shortest coast-to-coast and we go through Meteora.

More questions :) :
Is the road over the Pindus nicer than the one I've come up with?
Should we skip the Igoumenitsa-Ioannina part?

stas
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Re: E4

Δημοσίευση από stas » Παρ 05 Νοέμ 2010, 01:42

stas έγραψε:Mt. Lakmos I haven't been able to find maps of online, but somehow I think we'll just take it as it comes.
This they actually do have at Anavasi.

peternik99
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Re: E4

Δημοσίευση από peternik99 » Παρ 05 Νοέμ 2010, 14:19

Dear stas your route is certainly shorter (it follows the national road Ioannina-Kalambaka) but you miss the best places. These are: The Vikos Gorge, the Aoos Valley and Gamila, mount Smolikas, Valia Calda (north of Lakmos). If you want to go through Ioannina I propose:
1. Cross Mitsikeli mountain arive at Monodentri (1-2 days)
2. Monodentri - Vikos Gorge - Papiggo - Gamila Refuge (1-2 days).
3. Refuge to Vrisochori (the best hike in Greece). (1 day)
4. Vrisochori - cross Aoos - Palioseli - Alpine lake of Smolikas. (2 days)
5. Smolikas peak - Samarina (1 day)
6. Samarina - Distrato - Vovousa (E6 path) (1-2 days)
7. Vovousa - Valia Calda (1 day)
8. Valia Calda - Flega Lakes - Metsovo (1 day)

These gives as 9-12 days of the best trekking in Greece. You though have to camp in the wild in some places (4 and 7) and is also quite strenuous. Most of the above trails are well marked. The section between Igoumenitsa and Ioannina is covered by the E6 trail (purely signed) and goes through Dramesi - Paramithia - Tiria - Dodoni - Katsika. I have no other info about this.

stas
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Re: E4

Δημοσίευση από stas » Παρ 05 Νοέμ 2010, 18:21

Peternik,
Thanks a lot. I've heard the Vikos Gorge was beautiful. I have no preferences with regards to Ioannina. I guess I'll think of doing this route and combine it with a bus ride.
We'd like to see Meteora as well, so I'm now thinking of taking a bus Igoumenitsa-Ioannina and Metsovo-Kalampaka.
It's also a question of where we can fly to. And Corfu seems to be the closest place.

stas
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Re: E4

Δημοσίευση από stas » Σάβ 12 Μάιος 2012, 04:49

Well. I guess it took me a while to write back.

We had a incredible trip :w00t: We spent 4 days on the O3 and 8 days on the E4 with some rest in between in May-June 2011. I must admit, some points were literally a survival trip (maybe because we're newbies), but this is what hiking is all about, not knowing what's ahead, but still making it and having fun meanwhile. Also Greeks are soooo nice and hospitable :60:

Since there is very limited information both on the net and on the ground, I feel obliged to put together a guide, which is what I'm doing now. There'll be a plotted map as well as guiding with regards to food, water, shelter and directions. I'll post a link to my new website here as soon as it is done (within perhaps 2-3 weeks).

Thank you all for your help!
I'm looking forward to coming back to Greece again

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