Wednesday, March 8, 2023

Skiing the Mount Parnassus


Early morning by the olive trees. Too early, but I have a long drive, 3-4 hours from my hotel to Mount Parnassus, a premier ski resort in Greece. It is perhaps the resort that is known, if anyone has heard of any. A quite magnificent ski resort, I think. Slightly lover than the other one that I visited, Kalavrita, but with more slopes, lifts, and because Mount Parnassus stands alone (prominence: 1,590 m) it feels a much bigger mountain. There is a vast area of snow up there, and only tiny fraction of it is in the ski resort. This would be a wonderful place to do so ski touring!

As a well-known resort, Parnassus also attracts a lot of visitors. On the main lifts there was quite a lot of queues, but in the end it was also maybe 15 minute wait for these long runs, so not too bad. Here's the ski area map: map. However, there's no rush at all on the east side of the ski hill. That's also where I parked, at it was smooth. Go to Amfikleia Elateia instead of Polydrosos. The main rush is one lift up from the parking area on the west (Polydrosos) side.

Still, the west side is nicer and bigger place to ski in. But there's quite decent, sustained steep runs on the east side as well.

The one really nice run (#24) leaves from the top and goes from from the west side back to the east. It is mostly a narrow traverse route, but you can cut across the slope and ski as well... when I was there, I was able to find quite good powder.

There are also nice (but rocky) areas of the ridge to traverse to on the far west side of the west slopes.

After ski action was mostly in the west side, where the rush traffic was, obviously :-) The restaurant that ate quick lunch was on the east side, and their selection wasn't too great. I'm sure the after ski area has better cafeteria.

Here's the first view I got of Parnassus:

And here some of the views from the actual mountain:

At the top there's a small chapel to light candles for a memory of someone. I lit one for my father... and rang the bell.

Here are some of the slopes:

Many of the slopes were marked with danger signs, and they indeed were quite rocky:

The slope that I liked the most was the Peripheral, #24. It goes from the top and around to the side that I started from. 

When the day was over, I enjoyed some very basic meal -- the only one really available: a hot dog and coke. It had to do, but the food in Kalavrita was clearly better. Of course it is possible that some other restaurant in Parnassus would have had equally good selection.

Then it was time for two minutes of after ski. music played by a DJ, by the relaxed bar setting under the slopes:

On the way to Parnassus I also got a glimpse of a cave I wanted to visit. I wasn't quite sure where I had seen it, but managed to find it again on the way back. Here's an article about the cave and tower on top.

This article has also appeared in TGR. Read the full Planetskier series at, or all blog articles from BlogspotTGR. Photos, videos, and text (c) 2023 by Jari Arkko.

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