Hello, so with the help of a lot of nice people here I was super prepared to tough it out in the wild for 5 days all alone.
So, i got to Konitsa at around half 6 in the morning, waited for about 45 minutes for the sun to come up so I had enough light, prepared my gear and took off in high spirits. (Pics are below).
After a brisk walk, I got to the “path” I had clearly seen on google maps (yes, i know, stupid of me to just trust google maps for a hiking path).
This “path” turned out to be a dry river bed of some sort which meant that it was full of loose good sized rocks and sparse vegetation as long as the eye could see.
I started laughing at how impossibly stupid i’d been and how impossible climbing that was.
After about 10 minutes i said fuck it and started climbing.
I cut a branch of a tree to use as a walking stick (thank fuck for that).
As i started getting a bit higher i realised what i was getting myself into.
This thing was at best a 60 and at worst a 70 or more degree incline. My backpack was a good 21kg full of all the right stuff. To top it off, after a while, it got super hot.
So here I am cursing myself and the mountain and still going up though.
This fucker was so steep that at times i was on 4s trying to make it up.
Anyway, i got to about 1300m (from 500m where the river was) in 4 hours or so and it was decision time. The fucking mountain would not level out anywhere in sight and in the distance i could only see sheer rock face. I had a glimmer of hope for what was on the left side but i’d need to climb another good 100m to get to where i could see that way.
So, having drunk half the water already, drenched in sweat, with no cell signal and lots of people undoubtedly worrying about me, i thought to myself i had little left to prove to myself and started making my way back down.
Btw, sliding down loose rocks is a lot of fun, super dangerous and tiring and quite a bit faster than climbing up Oh, and - for those of you that have seen it - Bear Gryll’s stick anchor technique actually works! Was planning to drink my own piss at the end of the 5 days just for shits & giggles but alas, I have disappointed you, Bear!
So I made it down to the river after about 3 hours, found a nice little spot with some sand, took off basically all my clothes, wiped crotch, feet, armpits with baby wipes, changed socks (after i’d soaked my feet in the river a bit and let them dry cause they were in not good shape), underwear, t shirt, left my clothes to dry a bit on some rocks and made my way back to Konitsa to catch the bus home.
All in all, bad decision making and bad prep, should’ve taken more water and less food. It was awesome and I will do it again, being alone up the mountain felt amazing! Kinda sad it didn’t go as planned but I’m happy with the decision I made to come back down and with how fit i actually am for making it up that far