Kissavos part IΙ

Please read first part I here.

Kissavos refuge (Alt.1604m) –Summit Profitis Elias(Alt.1978m)

Our second day had nothing to do with the first one and the sun , from the very start,  gave us its heat. It is an ideal day for trekking. Our tents, a bit wet by the evening dew, are shining in the morning rays. We are drinking our coffee looking to the summit and we follow with our eyes the path that will bring us up there. Meanwhile, hikers and climbers are beginning to arrive, just to walk up on this beautiful mountain. You see, the city of Larissa is only 30 km away and the road brings you up to the refuge, which means near the summit.

The yesterday’s”summit team” would stay behind to prepare the lunch, while we will be starting our ascent to the peak. The route from the refuge to the summit is relatively easy. The mountain, on this side is a stone and dry land, so the hiker has a great open view in the horizon. Besides that, the uphill is not too bad. So the climber can follow different routes for hiking, since the orientation is very easy. A problem will only occur in the event of fog. In that case, the route must be done strictly from the classic marked path, following the red marks on the stones. On yesterday‘s ascent, we have chosen a different route, but today we will go from classical one.

In the small meadow outside the shelter there is a spring. This point is the begging of the summit path. Facing the spring, we are turning right, to climb the small hill between the high holly and we are into the remnants of an old ski slope. We turn left and heading south-east walking on the big stones of the old ski track. Where the track ends, there is a goat trail, which is actually our path. Far in the horizon, we can see our landmark, the abandoned telecom building. We continue our ascent until the end of the path. The path crosses the earth road under the telecom building. We turn right, having a west direction and we are following the earth road up to the base of the ridge that will lead us to the summit. The hiking field is almost lunar, only low vegetation and stones, without any tree for having shade.

So be aware , that at this point , you  are completely exposed to the weather and depending on the time of the climb, you must take care of having the right equipment with you.

The earth road ends and it turns into a small path that slowly climbs the ridge. The inclination is getting higher as we continue to climb. Even from here the view is amazing.

The refuge looks like a dot below us , while  the coasts of Larissa and  the Aegean Sea are in the background. We pass the first hill before the top and we communicate via walkie talkie with the friends who have stayed in the refuge. We wave at them and they inform us that they can see us with the binoculars, since the weather and the visibility are great. We continue uphill and now on our left we can see the other side of the mountain, deep green with beautiful forests of beech, chestnut and spruce trees that are reaching up the sea. Somewhere there, there is the canyon of Calypso, which although it was in our original hiking plans, due to the delay from the weather of the first day, we postponed it for another time. Now we are walking near the edge of the cliff and we continue to climb. On our left hand, down below, is the forest, while the stones and the grass is on our right, as if we are on the border between vegetation and desert. And in front of us, the Greek flag emerges from the top. Just a few meters more and here we are, on the top of Kissavos.

The peak of Kissavos is characteristic, because besides the concrete geographical column and the pole with the metallic Greek flag, it also has a small bell tower with a small chapel. It is the chapel of Prophet Elias. The chapel’s roof is the top of the mountain, while the chapel itself is inside the mountain. A small cavity leads you to the sacred place that, although small (smaller than 20 m2), fills your soul with great emotions and brings you closer to the divine.

The view, fantastic and wonderful, enchants you. To the south, someone  can see the forests of the mountain and a little further away Mavrovouni and Pelion Mountains. To the west someone can see the plain of Larissa and to the north mount Olympus. To the east , there are the beaches of Katerini and Larissa and the Aegean Sea as well, as the first foot of Halkidiki.   We ring the small bell in the small bell tower and write our names in the summit book (located in a small metal box for weather protection) in order to be a part of the mountain’s ascending history.

After a small rest, we started our descent to our camp using the same trail. We were back to our campsite in two hours and our  friends were waiting for us, having prepared a nice meal and they were ready to listen to our own experiences in conquering the summit.

It’s late in the afternoon and even if we do not want to leave this wonderful world, we have to. Taking the road back to town, we are carrying with us the pictures and the feelings of this beautiful excursion, thinking that we will come back, to walk in other places and locations  of this beautiful mountain