Hike Niato - Kastromeno - Kastro Share and discuss the many routes and paths in the mountains, along the coast, and on the plains of Sfakia. Post your walk description, add photos, and discuss safety. Use information at your own risk.

kokkinos vrachos
Posts: 32
Joined: 01 Nov 2020, 20:35
Location: Hamburg

Hike Niato - Kastromeno - Kastro

by kokkinos vrachos » 07 Nov 2020, 11:33

Kalimera, shortly before Kastromeno at the two cisterns it goes up to the left. (The new marked E4 path begins shortly afterwards) It is marked with the typical E4 symbol sign. The first short piece, which is still overgrown with Maccia, there are colored dots on the stones as markings. Then you cross a stony valley / depression and then it goes steeply uphill on a narrow slope towards Kastro and Koutala Seli. Here are the typical E4 poles a few hundred meters away. You always have to look where the next E4 pole is. In the valley / depression and on the further ascent, many of the poles are bent in the middle. As if a giant bent the bars in anger.

At the top of the Grad it is super quiet and you have a beautiful view of the Kastro, Kastromeno and Kako Kastelli. The new E4 path runs under one. The texture there looks very interesting and unusual.

As beautiful and lonely as it is up there, on the other hand it is also a little monotonous. The climb up the grade just never ends. You think you've made it straight away, then there's another E4 pole. It goes on and on. Shortly before the branch to the Kastro, I turned back.

I got a serious sunburn on the hike (in the neck, back of the knees and calves), although I was tanned well before. The wind, the blazing sun and the reflected snow fields are not to be underestimated. So apply some grease.

Kalo dromo, kv
"I hope nothing, I fear nothing, I am free."
Nikos Kazantzakis

jimb
Posts: 21
Joined: 17 Nov 2015, 16:11

Re: Hike Niato - Kastromeno - Kastro

by jimb » 11 Nov 2020, 12:01

Hello Kokkinos,
Thank you for all your recent posts as it is nice to see someone doing really mountaineering and enjoying the mountains as they should be enjoyed.
I can sympathise with your frustration on going up Kastro by that route, I found it very hard work, for every 2 steps up I slipped back one step on the loose stones. I gave up much lower down than you did and decided that this was not a route for me.
Some years later I returned, I went straight across the Niato and went up the vegetated scree slope facing as you come across the Niato. I found not problems going up or coming down a the end of a long day. It was all just grassy terraces with some rock outcrops, a pleasant scramble.
I just worked my way up and eventually climbed up right to join the ride leading up to the summit. As I gained height it became extremely windy and had to walk off the crest of the ridge to avoid being blown over. I got to the top, signed the visitors book and to get the the true summit had to almost crawl to the top and sit down to take some photographs.
I choose this ascent route because, if I had to retreat again it would not be so far to walk back. This route also protected me from the very strong wind and only had to fight into it when I got near the top.
Good luck on your next attempt on Kastro.
As I wrote in the visitors book
" A bloody long way up and looks like and even longer way down"
Regards
Jim

kokkinos vrachos
Posts: 32
Joined: 01 Nov 2020, 20:35
Location: Hamburg

Re: Hike Niato - Kastromeno - Kastro

by kokkinos vrachos » 11 Nov 2020, 19:48

Kalispera Jim, "I got to the top, signed the visitors book and to get the the true summit had to almost crawl to the top and sit down to take some photographs."

yes up there you are totally exposed to the wind .....

In this life I will not climb the Kastro anymore. You don't get any younger ...

The area around the Niato plateau is something great. I camped on the Niato plateau for 3 days in May 2019 - that was really nice. just me and the sheep. After 3 nights I canceled, it got colder every night and then I went back down to Ammoudari.

The area from Katastromeno towards Kako Kastelli is also very interesting.

You need GPS for the stage, otherwise finding the way is too cumbersome and time-consuming.

From Niato to Katastromeno it's on the gravel road. From the second cistern in Katastromeno there is a short stretch on a goat path on clay soil. Then it gets adventurous. The further course (the area) looks insurmountable. On the right side a larger insurmountable depression, and on the left side a wild and adventurous "moonscape". The nature of the landscape is unique and probably not to be found again on the island.

have a nice evening, kv
"I hope nothing, I fear nothing, I am free."
Nikos Kazantzakis

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