Olympus: the mountain of Gods and Muses - Page 3

The unknown Greece - mini travel guides It is obvious, from the above list, that some people tried more than once to climb Olympus. Apparently the motivation was a combination of the attraction of mythology, natural environment and the untrodden peaks. The latter is obvious in Boissonnas writing when he managed to reach Myticas summit, the top of the mountain in 1913 “We're finally here. On the untrodden summit of Olympus. We're here, the first people after the gods abandoned the place”. All the above information comes from Nikos Nezis book “Olympus” (1998, 2003) and also Sakis Kourouzidis book A brief chronicle of the first ascend In July 1913 the Swiss photographer Frederic Boissonnas (1858­1946) and his compatriot Daniel Baud Bovy (1870­1958), photographer – publisher, writer and also dean of the School of Fine Arts in Geneva, after their visit to the liberated Epirus, reached Salonica after an official Greek state's invitation in order to watch and take pictures of the warfare. The two Swiss, wanting to make Published by: Nature Friends ­ Greece | www.nfgr.org the best between the two mandatory cholera vaccinations decided to explore mount Olympus, fulfilling an old dream of theirs. On July 28th, they arrived by boat to Litohoro from Salonica (usual for the time) and hired Christos Kakalos (1882 ­ 1976), a wild goats hunter, to be their guide. On the following day, they set off for St Dionyssios Monastery where they arrived at noon. Fred. Boissonnas and D.Baud­Bovy at Mytikas, six years after the first historical ascend. (photo: H.Boissonnas 1919) 12. 1859 P. Uspenskij – Russian traveller 13. 1862 Th. Orphanidis – Greek herbalist 14. 1862 H. Barth – German geographer 15. 1865 H Tozer – English geographer, alpinist 16. 1869 M. Gorceix – French professor 17. 1875 Gerstner – Austrian officer 18. 1875 M. Neumayr – Austrian geologist 19. 1875 D. Burgestein – Austrian geologist 20. 1889 P. Sintenis – Silesian (Polish) herbalist 21. 1891 P. Sintenis – Silesian (Polish) herbalist 22. 1891 J. Bornmueller – German herbalist 23. 1892 J. Glennie – Scot traveller 24. 1904 J. Cvilic – Serbian geologist 25. 1905 J. Cvilic – Serbian geologist 26. 1905 L. Adamovitsch – Serbian herbalist 27. 1907 Parthenios – Bishop of Kitrus 28. 1909 Ed. Richter – German engineer 29. 1910 Ed. Richter – German engineer 30. 1911 Ed. Richter – German engineer (arrested by bandits) On July 30th, they left Petrostrouga and its burnt forest. From the plateau they climbed down steep scree and in two hours they reached the edge of the forest, where there was a hut used by loggers. In that hut they realized what exactly was the "path" to the top of mount Olympus. On July 31st and although the team had planned to return to Litochoro village, they changed their minds and decided to climb up towards the highest summit of Olympus. Before dawn they set off in rather extreme weather conditions with severe fog, hail and strong winds. After a laborious ascent through small gullies, scree and steep slippery rocks, they reached a narrow ridge. They climbed in the mist, with Christos Kakalos leading the climb barefoot followed by the two Swiss tied with a rope. They eventually reached a slender eroded peak which they named "Victory Top", thinking it was the highest peak of Mount Olympus. The Swiss climbers wrote a few words about the climb on a small card, put it in a bottle and carefully placed it under a pile of stones to protect it The unknown Greece ­ mini travell guides, Issue 1 Olympus ­ the mountain of Gods and Muses 3