AGION OROS - MOUNT ATHOS - THE SUMMIT
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First contact "Holy Executive of the Holy Mountain Pilgrim's Bureau" in Thessaloniki to obtain a Diamonitirion (permit -visa) to entry the Athos peninsula and arrange an overnight stay in ex. Saint Anne Skete. I advise you to do this a few months before you want to go for the stash.
The local Ortohdox rules are very strict, women are not allowed on Athos and will never get a Diamonitirion.
You need at least 12 hours to get there and get back down.
You can arrange to leave a full pack at Saint Anne while you tackle the summit.
From the kiriakon, it's one hour 15 minutes up with a daypack to the four way crossroads. Bearing north here towards the peak you'll pass a concrete trough which was a healthy spring a decade ago but is now dried up and filled with rubbish, whatever its appearrance on maps.Just behind the corner of the cross you will find a watertap where you can fill your Camelback or cantines.(N40 08.029 E24 18.572) Take at least two liter of water with you. Another one hour 45 minutes will see you along a marked trail through oak and fir to the treeline, and the chapel shelter of Panagia on a grassy saddle at just over 1500 metres. There's a (dirty) well inside, some iron beds for spreading sleeping bags, and a fireplace. If you overnight here, you'd have the opportunity of being on the summit for sunrise.
Carrying on to the peak, zig-zag up to the ridge visible on the north, where a few stubborn firs cling to life up to the 1900 metre contour. You've just over an hour up to the prominent hogback, followed by a sharp left into a defile flanked by boulders. You'll glimpse the iron cross on top of the chapel of Metamorfosi (Transfiguration) just ahead,in case of emergency you also can stay overnight in the church,sleeping mats are available and another cistern, with tastier water than at Panagia.
On clear days (rare in summer) you should be able to see from Mt. Olympos on the west to Anatolia on the east; more often, though, you'll see nothing more than the peninsula at your feet—and the reason why you've been hiking the perimeter and the south of Athos: roads everywhere, and the great scar from a 1989 fire.
Please visit this place with respect, it's the Orthodox Holy Mountain.
Coming down, you will need the same time as going up. Don't dawdle at Saint Anne (300 metres) after retrieving your pack, since you'll certainly want to reach a monastery (for example IM Pavlou) by evening and must allow for the possibility of your first choice being full.
GOOD LUCK and enjoy the hike.
If you want more information on the Diamonitirion etc...please sent PM.
I also can provide you the track of this hike if you want
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