• Kaimaktsalan
  • 2528 m
  • Primary factor 1758 m
  • Greece
  • Location: North 40:55.841, East 021:47.158 (GPS at the summit)
  • Difficulty: YDS class 1.
  • Climbed July 13. 2010


How to get there: This mountain is located on the border with Macedonia, north-west of Thessaloniki. To drive there, you first go to the city of Edesa. The mountain is part of a ski area, however, there are no facilities open high on the mountain in the summer time. In fact, most people stay in the valley below and deal with about 1700 vertical meter of elevation difference every day. There are two paved road that run all the way up to the ski area. (A third road connects with the small village of Orma, but it has a pretty rough section of dirt road near its lower section. We stayed in the village of Loutraki, a place with many hotels and services.
This is one of very few European ultras where one must park the car a bit lower than the end of the road in order to gain a full 600 vertical meter on foot. Just after the two paved roads merge for a final climb, drive up to a sharp curve going right and park there. This location is N40:53.981, E021:49.360, elevation 1914 meter
Route description: From the car park, first hike up the rest of the road passing a ski lodge on your left before approaching the upper lodge. Leave the road here at location N40:54.826, E021:48.614, elevation 2076 meter. Head up the very gentle slope more or less along the skilift that serves the same hill. There is no convenient trail and there may be a couple of small, but wet meadows. After you pass the highest point of the chairlift, the mountain becomes quite flat as you head towards the highest point where a small church has been built. There are two highpoints, they are close and of almost equal elevation. The church (west) is slightly higher. There is a trigpoint marker on the eastern point.
Comments: We got up at 0500 and drove up to a curve on the road that barely exceeded 1900 meter of elevation. This mountain is one of very few in Europe where my minimum 600 vertical meter gain on foot rule has the unfortunate consequence that the first kilometer must be hiked along a paved road.
We started out at 0600, up the road, then up the hill next to the ski lift. The mountain gets very flat near its top where we arrived at 0715. There are two local tops, one with a trig-point, the other with a small church. The highest ground right in front of the church entrance is the highest one, measured to 2529 meter, so the quoted elevation of 2528 seems accurate.
The view into Macedonia is nice and the mountain is slightly steeper on that side. We had breakfast until 0735, had a look inside the church, then returned to the car arriving there at 0835. Heidi was quite surprised to see us back at the hotel already by 0915.
Our summer trip now continued to Smolikas.