08 Jan Snowboard Greece – Checking out Parnasso
Parnasso has long been the go-to mountain for most Athenians, which makes it a pretty good hub for the ski and snowboard community. The first time I ever ventured out past the resort boundaries was with George Ouzounis. The whole TTAG project was still in its infancy and I was looking for the unknown and the less-heard-of. What I saw blew me away. A wealth of terrain that rivals any alpine landmass in steepness and contour. The mountain was huge. The ski resort barely covers 10% of the skiable terrain and there was more than plenty of fun ridges and slopes to play on.
Over the course of 2 seasons I made it up a number of times with different crews, took different routes and explored a pretty wide variety of terrain. What really caught my attention after all was said and done was the sense of community on the hill though. Apart from the occasional skier-snowboarder bout, the fact that the hill is almost never packed makes it function like a dysfunctional but loving village. The liftees and the Cat drivers belong to the old system, the public sector and are pretty long standing members of staff. The skiers and snowboarders are also made up mostly of people who have spent a few seasons systematically venting at the staff and administration for the lack of infrastructure, or development of a park and so on. They bicker, but in essence there is a co dependancy that becomes almost romantic through its drama.
Bottom line – Parnasso has huge potential for being more than just a few lift rides and a hot coacoa. There’s a ton of terrain left to explore, and it’s awesome to see people getting out there and doing just that.