To Bolt or Not To Be?
On Kalymnos new routes can be put up either from the bottom up or from the top down, by abseil. In addition to the lines suitable for single pitch routes there is ample scope for lots of multipitch routes of up to 5 pitches. Our aim is for the routes here to be as safe as possible so that climbers can concentrate on the technical difficulty of the routes without worrying about risks to life and limb. While there can be no objection to climbers climbing on the island with traditional protection (nuts and friends, etc), it is the policy of the local authorities that all new routes must be protected with bolts for the safety of those making repeated ascents. Traditionally protected routes are not accepted on Kalymnos.
Particularly because of the proximity of the sea you should use stainless steel bolts and hangers, the former being at least 10mm in diameter and either express type bolts, gouzon or glued in with epoxy resin.
Always put the first bolt about 2.8m off the ground, the second about 1.2m further up and the third 2 metres above the second. This will help avoid climbers hiting the deck.
Each belay point should be equipped with two bolts joined by a chain carrying an inox karabiner for lowering off. As long as stocks hold out, chains and stainless steel karabiners can be obtained free of charge from the information office of DAOK on the road between Masouri and Emporios, beneath Odyssey.
To keep up these high standards of protection climbers wanting to put up new routes are advised first to climb some of the model routes on crags such as Arche and Odyssey to get a clearer picture of what is intended. New routes should be equipped to the same standard, following the guidelines given below, thereby avoiding dangerous run-outs:
* Never place bolts on stalactites.
* Never drill either stalactites or the rock simply to place a sling. Slings as permanent protection should not be placed even if there are good natural holes. Instead of these bolts should be used.
* No chipping holds, and no placing of artificial holds.
* Clear your route of loose rock and of any vegetation that gets in the way of climbing. The judicial removal of ultra-sharp edges with a hammer is acceptable.
* If your route is to be over 30m you should arrange an extra belay point to enable climbers to lower off using a single 60m rope.
* If par example, the first 20m of a route is 6b and the last 15m is 7c, fix a belay point after 20m so that the route can be enjoyed by more climbers and not just by the guys in the 7c league.
* Those putting up new routes should discretely write the name of the route in Latin characters at its base. This should be in blue paint, not in felt pen, which disappears so soon.
* Most of the route names derive from Greek mythology and Greek history, following the respectful lead set by the first Italian climbers on the island. For instance, at the Poets crag all the names are those of ancient Greek poets. We think that this tradition should be continued (so dust off that copy of Greek myths and bring it along with the drill !).
* No further routes should be put up in the Grande Grotta partly because there are already so many and partly so as to protect this marvellous work of nature with its wonderful stalactites.
* It would also be better if no more routes were put up on Odyssey, especially on the right side of the crag where the routes are already dense. When there is so much rock elsewhere on the island with no bolts in sight there is no reason to squeeze new routes into already crowded crags. Be adventurous and head off for the as yet untouched crags.
* Finally you should contact us before and after putting up these new routes.