From October 9-12, the Greek island paradise of Kalymnos played host to the 2014 The North Face Kalymnos Climbing Festival. Thousands were on hand to take part in the event, participating in climbing competitions and celebrating legends of the sport. The North Face climber Matt Segal traveled to Kalymnos for the four-day festival, and came away with a reminder of how rich his sport’s history is.
In a typically Kalymnian way, the climbers were blessed with splendid sunshine, a nice breeze and, of course, an incredible panorama. For the first time ever, 6 legendary climbers of the 80s and 90s worked together to climb 15 new routes ranging from 7a to 8b+. By the end of the day, Japan’s Yuji Hirayama, Austria’s Gerhard Hörhager, Spain’s Patxi Arocena, Great Britain’s Ben Moon, USA’s Boone Speed and France’s Jean-Baptiste Tribout accomplished 9 of the 15 routes under the gaze of climbers from all over the world.
7 things you didn’t know about Kalymnos (including facts about goat raiders, dynamites and pirate treasure)
When Simone Moro and Manolo were one of the first ones to climb on the island in the late 90s, the locals thought they were looking for pirate treasure up in the mountains, as climbing was such a foreign concept to them. The climbers tend to have to share their meals with the local goats as they are prone to raiding their rucksacks during the climbs. This year’s Kalymnos Climbing Festival is the first time the 6 legends of climbing Ben Moon, Jean-Baptiste Tribout, Yuji Hirayama, Boone Speed, Gerhard Hörhager and Patxi Arocena will climb together.