On top of the Ionian

The ridge looking East and the fir tree forest

Yesterday Nikos and I took the path that goes up to the top of mount Ainos from the Northern side, straight up. Mount Ainos is the highest mountain in Kefalonia and in the whole Ionian sea.

An 800m ascent (from 820m a.s.l to 1628m), that starts from a dirt road, goes all the way through the fir tree forest, crosses the road along the ridge and ends up on the barren top.

The path is new and well marked. It’s also steep!
According to the GPS we walked the 2.4km in 1h05m, which is pretty impressive. The path starts with some very high steps, just to kill your legs from the beginning. We found the first snow at 1350m, and from there it increased. After 1450m we were just walking on half a metre of old frozen snow.

We’re on top!

We got to the road along the ridge just below the top and the sign indicated 500m to be covered in 25minutes! Our thought was ‘screw it, we’re going up straight’. The path wasn’t really visible anymore, most signs covered by the snow as well. We climbed up with the help of our hands, over 50% slope, and in a few minutes we came out of the forest to find a strong wind blowing from the other side. I was left breathless, literally, while Nikos was merrily hopping towards the peak.

It was a great feat. We pulled out the visitors book, delighted to find out we were the first ones of the year to sign it. We had a vital little snack.

Shame views weren’t great, it was cloudy and hazy. We could see Sami and the bay in front, but nothing much on the Southern side.

Then we skidded back down quickly until the snow stopped, and from that point we kind of ran all the way to the bottom. Got back in 45 minutes, well exhilarated.
Nikos kept repeating he wanted to do it again. And again.