A Letter from Marie Holmerud:

The best thing about climbing trips is to have all the time in the world to do what you love. Fortunately, I was warned before I tried climbing for the first time; “Climbing may be addictive”! 

The first time I climbed was in June 3 years ago. A friend of mine who had climbed for over 15 years asked me to go climbing with him. I had always wanted to try it, but it seemed too complicated. Of course I said yes with a big smile when he asked. I was hooked from the beginning!

There are many aspects of climbing making me unable to stop doing it. One of them is how you are forced to just be in the moment. I can’t think of anything else when I’m climbing. My mind completely blocks out from work, worries and planning that otherwise buzzes in my mind all the time.

Climbing gives me so much; The climbing itself, the moves, the movements of the body, the presence, being outside all day long, so close to nature, team work; Find good climbing partners that you trust and like to hang out with, travel to see new, amazing places, travel to be active, get in good shape, to play, have a fun work out session. The list is long.

Many of the world’s best climbers go to Kalymnos to enjoy a good climb. If you’re really lucky you may get some pro climbing pics taken by their photographers. This picture is from Kastor, 7a, on Ahri. Photographer: Liam Lonsdale, who was there with Alex Megos.

KALYMNOS – A CLIMBERS PARADISE THAT HAS IT ALL

I went to Kalymnos for the first time in September 2016. Even though people had talked about Kalymnos since I started climbing, I didn’t quite understand how it could be so much better than Ton Sai in Thailand (the destination of my first climbing trip). But yes. I love Kalymnos.

Before I got home again from last year’s trip to Kalymnos, we already discussed when it was possible to go back as fast as possible.

Kalymnos has everything I like. Sun, sea, not too many tourists in the climbing season, relaxed atmosphere, good food, healthy food, balcony to chill in the afternoon with a glass of wine and a good book, nice local people who recognize you every time you come back, the most beautiful sunsets – every night! In addition, hundreds of nice routes and crags with an amazing view! What makes Kalymnos stand out is that it has the whole package. There are many places that have many of the items I’m mentioning above, but I haven’t come across other places that have it all – like Kalymnos.

 

On The Palace. One of many drags with a beautiful view to the sea and the island Telendos. 15 min by scooter and 5 min walking.

AN EASYGOING PLACE TO BE

You rent a scooter that takes you to the crags, shops and restaurants are close, plenty of routes for every level. During the charter period it’s also easy to get there. 

The temperature changes often. One day it might be windy and cold, another day it’s sun and warm.

 

SOME ADVICES IF YOU WANT TO TRAVEL TO KALYMNOS

Try to rent a scooter before you travel if you travel in the busy periods, try to get a charter ticket directly to Kos to skip 2-3 stopovers and spend the whole day travelling. Get recommendations on what crag you should go to so you avoid going to places that are difficult to find. On the return journey, it is important to keep up with the wind a couple of days in advance to make sure that the boat to Kos aren’t cancelled. If the wind is too strong, it doesn’t drive.

If you started climbing recently I will strongly recommend you to travel with someone who has the experience, either with friends or an instructor.

 

WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO TRAVEL TO KALYMNOS?

For climbers I would recommend going in April-May and September-October. In June-July the temperature is really warm, which can affect both the friction and climbing conditions even if you stay in the shade, hence many climbers choose to travel in spring or fall.

 

CLOTHING

You should bring clothes for all kind of weather. A warm down jacket and trousers is recommended. On one and the same trip I have experienced days freezing and other days sweating in the shadows just wearing shorts and sports bra. It can be windy so bring a windproof jacket. For me it’s important not to freeze, so I always bring my down jacket no matter where I travel. If you rent a scooter, which you definitely should, you might freeze while driving, especially early in the mornings and late at night.

Good walking/running shoes are important for steep hiking on rocky trails.

It’s also many nice places to run on the island, so I always bring my running gear in my bag. If you like practicing yoga, you can join sunset yoga as well.

Here on Nirvana, 7c on North Cape. New personal rec!

Foto: Hanna Jordan

Follow Marie on Instagram: @marieholmerud