TTAG Backcountry Expedition
Embark on an exhilarating 7-day Backcountry Expedition, immersing yourself in the unparalleled beauty and challenges of Greece's snow-covered landscapes. This alpine journey begins with two days in Vasilitsa, where the snow-cloaked peaks offer an ideal canvas for mastering essential splitboarding and ski touring skills and engage in a comprehensive avalanche course, ensuring you are well-equipped to navigate the pristine terrain that awaits.
Embark on an exhilarating 7-day Alpine Expedition, immersing yourself in the beauty and challenges of Greece's snow-covered landscapes. The journey begins with two days in Vasilitsa, where the snowy peaks offer an ideal canvas for mastering essential splitboarding and ski touring skills and engage in a comprehensive avalanche course, ensuring you are well-equipped to navigate the terrains to come.
Transitioning to the quaint alpine village of Samarina, nestled in the heart of the Pindus mountain range, the next two days will be spent on Mt Smolikas, Greece's second highest mountain. These first four days of this adventure are led by Accredited Mountain Guide Lazaros Botelis, ensuring not only the knowledge of a local, but also an unwavering focus on safety.
The expedition then moves to the iconic Mt. Olympus with a day of travel in between, providing a perfect interlude before tackling the slopes the mountain of the Gods. The final two days are dedicated to scaling the majestic heights of Mt. Olympus, exploring slopes that offer both challenge and stunning vistas and maybe be lucky and catch a glimpse of the Gods taking a break from the Pantheon. For this leg of the journey we will be joined by professional mountain guides from "Trekking Hellas Mt Olympus" adding an extra layer of expertise to the expedition.
Beyond the physical journey, this expedition delves into the soul of Greek mountain culture. Connect with local communities, savor traditional cuisine, and gain insights into the rich tapestry of these remarkable landscapes. The allure of the TTAG "Backcountry Expedition" lies not just in the ascent but in the immersive journey.
This isn't merely a snow-filled escapade; it's a curated odyssey through the heart of Greece's alpine wonders. So join us in this adventure, and write a new chapter in your alpine story.
The following are included in the price:
- Transfers: Seamless transportation with a mini-van, ensuring comfort and convenience throughout the journey. The trip commences and concludes in Thessaloniki.
- Accommodation: All lodging arrangements are taken care of, offering a comfortable and welcoming retreat each night. Accommodation includes shared refuge dorms or cozy rooms for 2 to 3 people.
- Meals: Daily provision of breakfast and dinner, fueling participants for the day's adventures.
- Snacks: Snacks are also provided to keep energy levels high during excursions, sourced from "Join The Juice" – a store renowned for its super-healthy and pure products.
- Guide Fees: Payment for professional guides, including Lazaros Botelis and guides from Trekking Hellas, ensuring a safe and enriching experience.
- Insurance: Comprehensive insurance coverage for each participant, recognizing the unique challenges of alpine terrain. Note: Helicopter assistance is not available in case of an accident in Greece.
- Photography Services: A dedicated photographer captures every moment, immortalizing the breathtaking landscapes and participants' experiences.
Participant Experience Level: Tailored for intermediate enthusiasts, this 7-day alpine expedition seeks individuals with medium-level ascent and the ability to easily navigate off-piste descents, especially in powder conditions.
Participant Equipment Requirements:
Participants are required to bring the following equipment for the 7-day excursion:
- Ski or Splitboard Equipment: Personal skis or splitboards to navigate the diverse mountain terrain.
- Crampons and Ice Axe: Essential for secure footing during challenging ascents and descents.
- Avalanche Safety Kit: Including a transceiver, probe, and shovel for heightened safety in alpine environments. (Renting option available)
- Fully Equipped Backpack for Ski Touring: A backpack designed for ski touring, equipped to carry necessary gear and supplies.
- Water Container: Carry a water container of at least 1 liter to stay hydrated throughout the day.
- Warm and Technical Clothing: Adequate layers for the dynamic weather conditions of the mountains, ensuring comfort and protection.
- Sleeping Gear and Towels: Not required, as nights will be spent in equipped accommodations.
- Additional Snacks and Supplies: Participants are advised to bring extra snacks, food, and drinks from Thessaloniki, as finding provisions on the mountains can be challenging.
This comprehensive package ensures participants can focus on the thrill of alpine exploration, with all logistical aspects taken care of for a seamless and unforgettable adventure.
Booking Information: Reserve your spot with a downpayment of 600 euros via our website until 5/2/24. Detailed instructions for finalizing the remaining amount will be provided by email. Please ensure settlement before the commencement of the trip's first day.
If the full 7-day adventure isn't feasible, reach out to us at [email protected]. We're open to exploring possibilities and crafting a tailored experience that suits your schedule and aspirations.
Monday, February 19th
Day 1: Thessaloniki to Vasilitsa – Alpine Welcome
6:00 AM: Gather at the vibrant heart of Thessaloniki for a spirited rendezvous. Excitement fills the air as we embark on our alpine expedition.
9:00 AM: Reach the majestic slopes of Vasilitsa and set foot in the winter wonderland that awaits. Our home for the next two nights is the charming Chalet Robolo, nestled conveniently as a ski-in, ski-out haven.
09:30 AM: Meet our seasoned guide, Lazaros Botelis, a maestro of these snow-laden landscapes. Lazaros will warmly welcome you with a detailed presentation of the upcoming days. Dive into the program, acquaint yourself with the specialized equipment, and get an insider’s glimpse into the routes that will become your snowy playground.
10:00 AM: Gear up for our first exploration on the introductory slopes of Vasilitsa aiming for the summit (2249m. , D+ 520m). Lazaros will lead the way, ensuring everyone is comfortable and ready for the days ahead. During our first tour we will be given professional instructions on ascent techiques, using the avalanche transceiver and the rest of the equipment (crampons, ice axe).
16:00 PM: After a full day ski touring and splitboarding and maybe some riding in the ski resort of Mt Vasilitsa we will return to Chalet Robolo, where a cozy evening and dinner await.
Day 1 sets the stage for an unforgettable journey, blending excitement, education, and the cozy comforts of Chalet Robolo. Get ready to make the mountains your playground!
Tuesday, February 20th
Day 2: Gomara Summit Ascent
7:00 AM: Wake up to the crisp mountain air at Chalet Robolo and a hearty breakfast. Today, we embark on a thrilling ascent, kicking off with breathtaking views of the majestic Tymfi and Smolikas.
9:00 AM: Lace up your boots and set out on a route that winds through the centuries-old robolas, a living testament to the rich history of this mountainous region. Reaching the peak at 2177m (D+ 480m), gaze upon the panorama from the old fire tower, a historic structure dating back to 1963. The panoramic view of the entire Pindos range unfolds before you, a spectacle that captures the essence of these rugged landscapes. Enjoy a well-deserved mountain picnic, savoring the beauty of the surroundings as we replenish our energy for the descent.
The return journey offers flexibility – whether retracing our steps, descending along the lakeside of Vasilitsa, or exploring the northern slope, our guide, Lazaros Botelis, will decide the optimal route based on conditions and the team’s readiness.
7:00 PM: As dusk blankets the mountains, gather for a memorable evening at a local taverna. Indulge in the warmth of Greek hospitality and delight your palate with a feast of local delicacies and drinks, a perfect way to share tales of the day’s adventures.
Day 2 promises a summit conquest, breathtaking vistas, and a taste of local flavors that will linger in your memory. Get ready for an evening of camaraderie, laughter, and the joy of a day well spent in the embrace of the Pindus mountains.
Wednesday, February 21st
Day 3: Smolikas Traverse
7:00 AM: Rise and shine with the amazing view of Chalet Robolo. After a wholesome breakfast, pack your belongings as we prepare to bid farewell to Vasilitsa.
08:30 AM: A scenic 30-minute drive takes us to the charming village of Samarina, our home for the next two nights. Nestled amidst the Pindus range, Samarina exudes an enchanting atmosphere.
09:30 AM: Gear up for an awe-inspiring ski touring/splitboard adventure. Today, we embark on the Smolikas Traverse, a circular route along the borders of Valia Kirna, showcasing the unparalleled beauty of Smolikas, the unique mountain that graciously offers us the perfect Alpine playground.
4:00 PM: Complete the 14km-long circular route with a cumulative elevation gain of 1000m. Revel in the achievement and absorb the breathtaking vistas that accompany this alpine odyssey.
7:00 PM: As the day’s adventure draws to a close, unwind and share stories over dinner at a local taverna. Indulge in the rich tapestry of local tastes and wines, a perfect way to conclude yet another day of alpine exploration.
Day 3 invites you to traverse the captivating landscapes of Smolikas, creating memories against the backdrop of this unique mountainous sanctuary. Get ready for a night of delectable flavors and the warmth of Samarina’s hospitality.
Thursday, February 22nd
Day 4: Majestic Peaks and Alpine Beauty
7:00 AM: Begin your day with a delightful breakfast in the mountain village of Samarina.
9:00 AM: Today’s adventure unfolds with an exploration of another captivating route on Smolikas. Embark on the Samarina – Romios – Bogdani – Mosia route, a journey through beech forests, towering robolas, and an enchanting alpine landscape. This 14km-long trek with an elevation gain of 950m promises to be one of the most beautiful mountain routes in the region.
3:00 PM: As the mountain vistas leave an indelible mark on your senses, descend from the heights of Smolikas, reveling in the accomplishment of the day’s traverse.
7:00 PM: Return to Samarina and gather once more at the same local taverna, creating space to express gratitude, bid farewell to the stunning Pindos mountains, and extend our heartfelt thanks to our guide, Lazaros. Share memories, toast to the adventures lived, and savor the flavors of Pindos one last time.
Day 4 concludes our alpine sojourn with a magnificent traverse, immersive landscapes, and a heartfelt evening of connection. As we dine together, we celebrate the beauty of Pindos.
Friday, February 23rd
Day 5: Journey to the Heart of Mt. Olympus
8:30 AM: Enjoy a late-morning wake-up as you savor a leisurely breakfast in Samarina, bidding a temporary farewell to the captivating Pindos landscape.
10:30 AM: Pack your belongings, load up the car, and embark on a scenic journey towards the tallest, most iconic, and historically rich mountain of Greece – Mt. Olympus. The road to Olympus is a 4-hour drive filled with panoramic views and anticipation for the next leg of our alpine odyssey.
3:30 PM: Arrive at our destination, a local guesthouse nestled in the embrace of mythical Olympus. Unpack, unwind, and take in the serene surroundings as we prepare for the adventures that lie ahead.
5:30 PM: Gather for an evening session with the guides from Trekking Hellas, who will unveil the exhilarating program planned for the next two days. As we delve into the details of our upcoming exploration, savor a relaxing evening, knowing a good rest is essential for the challenges that await.
7:00 PM: Conclude the day with dinner at a local taverna in the heart of Mt. Olympus.
Day 5 offers a respite from ski touring and splitboarding, providing the perfect interlude to soak in the majesty of Mt. Olympus and prepare for the robust adventures that lie ahead.
Saturday, February 24th
Day 6: Ascending the Olympus Peaks – KEOAX to Agios Antonios
7:00 AM: Rise and shine to the crisp mountain air of Mt. Olympus. Fuel up with a hearty breakfast as we prepare for another great day of ascent and descent.
9:00 AM: Begin the ascent from the KEOAX camp at 1800m, embarking on a journey towards the peak of Agios Antonios at 2820m. The initial part of our climb follows the pylons of the lift from the small Olympos ski resort, reaching an elevation of 2400m, where a pit stop at Migotzidis Refuge awaits. Here, within the alpine field of the mountain, panoramic views and peaks above 2500m surround us.
11:00 AM: Continue our ascent through a traverse path, leading us to the pass of Agios Antonios at 2600m. The final leg takes us uphill to the summit, where a small emergency shelter at 2820m provides a moment to enjoy the breathtaking vistas.
1:00 PM: Pause at the summit to absorb the awe-inspiring scenery and prepare for the descent. The descent from 2800m to 1800m unveils a unique terrain with medium gradients, offering multiple options for exploration. Brace yourself for almost 5 kilometers of descent in the pristine white landscape of Olympus.
5:00 PM: Conclude the day’s alpine adventure, having covered a total distance of 10km with an altitude difference of 1000m.
7:00 PM: Return to our base, the local guesthouse, where a relaxing evening and a well-deserved dinner await.
Day 6 marks the first leg of our ascent, a journey that not only challenges us technically but also rewards with unparalleled views and the thrill of descending through the snow-covered landscapes of this mythical mountain.
Sunday, February 25th
Day 7: Alpine Grand Finale – Xerolaki to Christaki
6:00 AM: Awaken to the dawn chorus of Mt. Olympus, knowing that today marks the culmination of our alpine adventure.
7:00 AM: Embark on the final day’s program, the 2nd day of our descent from Xerolaki at 1500m to the majestic peak of Christaki at 2700m. This unique route takes us to the north of Olympus, offering diverse terrain and stunning landscapes.
9:00 AM: Begin the day’s journey in a pine forest, gradually transitioning to an alpine field along the Xerolaki stream. Surrounded by towering peaks, we follow the stream until we reach the Alpine valley of Great Gourna at 2400m. Here, amid breathtaking views, we prepare for the ascent to the summit of Christaki Peak at 2700m.
From here the 360-degree view of the entire mountain from the top of Christaki is breathtaking. Prepare for an exhilarating descent by choosing the west side, boasting wide expanses and moderate gradients. Glide through the alpine meadows, tracing the path of Rema Xerolaki, in what may be one of the most beautiful descents of moderate difficulty in the country. Descend over 7 km with a 1300m negative altitude difference.
4:00 PM: Conclude the alpine grand finale, having covered a distance of 14-15 km with an altitude difference of 1300m.
6:00 PM: Stop for a quick bite to replenish our energy before embarking on the journey back to Thessaloniki.
09:00 PM: Return to Thessaloniki, bringing an end to our alpine odyssey through the enchanting landscapes of Greece. As you bid farewell to the mountains, carry the spirit of this adventure and the bonds formed with your fellow adventurers. Until the next alpine escapade!
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We offer a range of adventures catering to different fitness levels. Check trip details for specific requirements and contact us for personalized recommendations.
Costs cover accommodations, meals as specified, activities, and expert guides. Refer to each trip’s details for a comprehensive breakdown.
Our pre-trip guide will provide all the necessary information, including a suggested packing list and any specific preparations needed for the adventure.
Safety is our priority. In case of adverse weather conditions, we may adjust the itinerary or provide suitable alternatives. We keep participants informed at all times.
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Refer to our cancellation policy in the Terms and Conditions. Contact our support team to discuss cancellations or rescheduling options.
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We understand that plans can change, and unforeseen circumstances may arise. Our cancellation policy is designed to be fair to both our customers and our company, allowing for flexibility while ensuring the sustainability of our operations.
- Cancellation Period:
- Cancellations made 14 days or more before the scheduled departure date are eligible for a full refund.
- Cancellations made between 7 and 14 days before the scheduled departure date will incur a 50% cancellation fee.
- Cancellations made within 7 days of the scheduled departure date are non-refundable.
- Refunds will be processed within 14 business days after the cancellation request is approved.
- Refunds will be issued to the original payment method used for the booking.
- No-shows, or participants who fail to join the adventure trip without prior notice, will not be eligible for any refund.
- Trip Cancellation by our company: The Thing About Greece:
- In the rare event that we must cancel a trip due to unforeseen circumstances or insufficient bookings, customers will be offered the option to reschedule or receive a full refund.
By booking a three-day adventure trip with The Thing About Greece, customers acknowledge and agree to the terms of this cancellation policy.
For any questions or concerns regarding cancellations, please contact our customer support at [email protected].
Thank you for choosing The Thing About Greece for your adventure in Greece!