For our last week on Kalymnos we were joined by our friends Penny and Mark. This was Penny’s first climbing holiday, and we are delighted that she agreed to write a guest blog for us, giving her perspective on the week in Kalymnos.
It was with some trepidation that I accepted an invitation to join Jon and Gaynor for part of their climbing trip. Mark is an avid climber whereas I never became addicted. In recent years I have been to the climbing wall a few times and I can’t remember when the last time I climbed outside was. But Mark’s climbing friends rave about Kalymnos, and combined with the possibility of a bit of sun at this time of year, I was persuaded.
Arriving off the ferry from Kos, we were swept up by Jon and Gaynor’s enthusiasm and were on a crag by the afternoon. I made a rather shaky start but it did remind me just how much more enjoyable it is to climb outside. Of the nine days we spent on Kalymnos we climbed on seven. Each time we went to a different place and each place offered a range of grades so that we could all climb at the same location. Mark enjoyed the climbing so much that he didn’t find it a hardship to lead the easier routes for me to second. The crags were so spectacular that I was quite happy to watch the others on the harder routes when I had worn myself out.
Encouraged and mentored by the others, my confidence grew. The variety of climbing was such that it was possible to find routes that suited my style of climbing. For me the most satisfying routes are challenging but achievable. While I was there I climbed Ammohostos Vasilevousa at Summertime, my first 6a inside or out.
I left Kalymnos having enjoyed the climbing far more than the walking I had wanted to do (such as the walk around Telendos) and feeling enthused to seek out opportunities to do more outdoor climbing in the future.