By Dimitris Dermentzis
Kato Kosmos climbing crag is located 10 minutes by car south-southeast of Nafplio city centre and 5 minutes from the organized beach Karathona. It is an all-season climbing crag as it is located below the ground providing shade all day and natural coverage from light rainfall and strong winds. It consists of 15 routes of easy and medium difficulty 4+ to 7b, 14-18 meters and there is also the possibility of opening a few more new routes.
The location is epic as you enter under the ground, it’s like changing world. The name of the crag ‘Kato Kosmos(Greek: Κάτω Κόσμος) means underworld in English and most of the routes’ names are inspired by the ancient Greek mythology of Hades.
The crag is divided in 3 sectors: Terrace which is in the entrance of the crag, Balcony and the main one Left and Right. The right side is grey limestone and easy climbing ideal for beginners with pockets and jugs and the left side which is slightly overhang orange technical wall with tufas, crimps and sloppers.
At the top of each route are placed two anchor points for the lowering-off, each consisting of one hard-wire gate carabiner. The equipment used for all routes is certified with European standards EN 959:2018, EN 795:2012, EN 365:2004 but also with UIAA, type AISI 316L and quality 8.8 manufactured by “Lappas S.A”.
*Except the route Ploutonas which is partial equipped with Lappas S.A. climbing bolts.
The materials needed to repeat a route are 10 quickdraws and >50 meters of rope.
Locking carabiners, slings, cords, helmet and first aid kit should be an essential part of every climber’s equipment. It is recommended to always have a third person on the field for safety reasons as there is no signal on the phones at all.
Due to the physical configuration of the field, the climbing is pleasant all year. The main entrance of the crag faces South while the eastern and western walls in the main sector are separated by a narrow space with the effect of shadowing each other as well as protecting it from cold air and light rain. In the deep summer when the sun faces the centre of the field from 13:30 to 15:30 a leisurely dip in the beach of Karathona in 5′ is recommended.
Children friendly. Pet friendly. Non-climbers friendly.
Drive 2.5km in the main road from Nafplio centre to Karathona beach. It is the same direction as Karathona climbing crag and Anatoli Climbing crag. Park before the first U-turn. The spot is not recognized from the road but you can see some orange scattered boulders. There are two parking places and two approaches.
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One easy path around and above the climbing area which is recommended for young children (7’-8’) and one shorter path which starts on the characteristic dug steps on the dirt slope (2’-3’) across the tiny chapel by the road and just before the “dangerous turn” sign.
Rescue and rescue training is possible in the field; Above the main left wall between Kerberos and Persephone there are 4 anchor points that can be used in several rescue techniques. The local climbing community of Nafplio has competent persons with all the necessary equipment for such rescues. In 2023, the location of the stretcher will be publicly known so that it is accessible to everyone and more details will be announced.
High-line is also possible in the field as both sling sides and anchor points are accessible. In 2023 more details will come after the first highliners visit the crag.
Coming out of the north exit of the field there is a boulder with a 7A? crack. Crash-pads are recommended.
The spot, as known, first used by the “speleology group of Nafplio” who were having training in 2004 when speleologist Ioannis Kofinas drilled the first M6 bolt. The spot had also few visits at the boulders surrounded in the same decade. It is not yet known how and when the field physical created or how it was used in the earlier period and still is research.
The first climbing routes equipped by Dimitris Dermentzis in 2022 when he moved to Nafplio. Climbers and non-climbers from the whole region and further participated in the creation of the climbing crag such as Kostas Tsouklidis, Dimitris Sotirakis, Christos Rigas, Thanos Dimopoulos, Vasilis Kampilafkas, volunteers from Nemea, Argos, Astros, Ermioni, Tripoli and Athens were included in the team. Special thanks to Alex Michael and “ZEM tattoo artist” who undertook the design of the names on the bones at the base of the routes and of course yoganafplio and especially Marianna Thymiaki for her unconditional support and the tender touch she gave to the field.