Climbing on Kalymnos island
Climbing on Kalymnos has very recent history. It is said that Kalymnos has the highest concentration of sports routes anywhere in the world. Quite a bold statement but it is certainly true there is a colossal amount of rock to climb here. The current Kalymnos rock climbing guidebook describes 64 sports crags, mainly west and south facing, with nearly 1,700 routes ranging from F4a to F9a. The existing routes only cover a tiny portion of what is available to climb here. There are some quality crags still waiting for their first route – all they demand is a little longer walk-in.
The rock is top quality solid limestone, which is a little sharp in places. The style of the rock climbing has everything from stalactites and tufas on steep and overhanging wall to delicate slabs and pumpy walls with pockets and smaller tufa features. The majority of the routes are single pitch of around 20 to 30m. However there are a few longer routes reaching 3 to 5 pitches. The limestone at Kalymnos is as yet almost unpolished, and this will be slow to change given the particular rough surface of the rock.