In the past couple of weeks I have walked the Aradena Gorge both up (from Marmara to the bridge) and down (from the bridge to Marmara). When going up the gorge I walked the path that bypasses the ladders. When going down the gorge I went down the ladders.
A few comments on the ladders / by-pass area.
First, an apology. It is NOT possible, as I said in previous post, to avoid the ladders / by-pass by going up to the Agios Athanasios Church. I was misremembering the order of things.
So, if you're going to walk the length of the gorge, you have to pick - either the ladders or the by-pass path. I have a couple of suggestions. Please, if anyone has any contact with the authorities who might be able to do something about these issues, pass these suggestions on to them.
Others have mentioned that the railing on the by-pass path is, in places, in terrible shape. (Pieces of it are laying in the bottom of the gorge.) Even when the railing is in apparently decent shape I would not want to trust my life to it by putting any serious weight on it. I've also walked between Loutro and Chora Sfakion a number of times in the past couple of weeks. In areas both before and after Sweetwater Beach there are a number of places where a cable has been bolted into the rock along the path. This cable provides help in getting in getting up some difficult bits, and also feels a great deal more secure than the decaying railings in the Aradena Gorge.
Could cable of this sort be added to the by-pass in the Aradena Gorge?
Finally, many people mention the ladders. I don't have a problem with the ladders. But I do have a problem with the bit where one has to climb up a rock using a rope. I had no problem getting DOWN that bit. But, I'm old. I'm no longer confident that I have the upper-body strength to pull myself UP that rock. Perhaps a short ladder could be placed there. Or, if a rope is necessary, perhaps some extra stakes for footholds could be added.