‘Mythical’ was the adjective that sprang to mind when considering a ski trip to Greece. At the last minute a ski race was cancelled and we found ourselves, in early February, with a fortnight free in the diary. Ski mountaineering is both a sport and a perfect tool for adventure and exploration. We just had to work out where to go. The Alps were desperately lacking in snow and it seemed that even in Arctic Norway it wasn’t much better. Our thoughts wandered from Scandinavia to Morocco and even Nepal in search of better snow conditions, but finally we decided to head to Greece. We were surprised to hear that enormous quantities of snow had been falling across the Balkans and Greece over the previous weeks. It was a recent book by a French Mountain Guide – Jean Annequin – that gave us the first few ideas of what might provide good objectives in Greece, and sent us searching for local contacts and more information about refuges and routes. Having booked flights and started to make plans only five days before our departure we were overwhelmed by the friendly and enthusiastic responses of local guides and refuge guardians in Greece. They helped us hone our ideas towards a sensible plan and the most interesting locations.
Text – Valentine Fabre + Ben Tibbetts