In this adventure on The Great Escape Plan, I went to great heights to find out more about the extreme sport of rock climbing in Kalymnos, Greece.
The afternoon started with all of us boarding a small boat.
The wind was whipping strong enough to kick up waves onto the dock where we boarded the boat.
Although that would not stop our adventure and the wind was not a deterrent to the eager rock climbing students ready for their next lesson.
So we set sail in choppy waters for the island of Telendos.
After arriving at a rocky edge of the island, the group initiated its trek up to the mountain.
And soon I learned I would have to climb a little more than I thought to reach the spot.
We went up 80 meters which is more than 260-feet up the steep rock.
Only mountain goats were waiting for us.
Students then climbed another 60 feet.
Each of their moves had you on the edge–waiting to see what’s next.
“It’s a little dangerous, but we follow all the rules and we re very safe,” said one student.
He wore one of our camera’s on his helmet to show us first hand how they grasp the rock, strategically place their feet, and look for the next spot to grab.
They used rope to secure themselves to bolts placed on the rock, but at any minute, you can fall which gives rock climbers a rush.
Rock climbing instructor Aris Theodoropoulos explained that every move in which you are very close to falling gives you more adrenaline.
He recommends to rock climb at your limit which is a great way to get your mind and body in touch with nature.
Rock climbing isn’t a sport I ever thought I’d consider, but once you get up there the adrenaline gets you going and the views are breathtakingly amazing.
I didn’t do any rock climbing with ropes and hooks because these students already had a week of lessons from one of the best climbers.
Aris–as he’s known around town–actually helped bring rock climbing to the island of Kalymnos.
“We are a small, very beautiful Aegean island,” said Theodoropoulus. “And we have some of the best rock climbing in the world.”
Since the 90’s, climbers have been discovering the island with unique rock formations.
Rock climbing has helped boost the local economy, since the decline of the sponge industry and the economic crisis in Greece.
Once you see the views from up high like I got a chance to, it’s easy to understand why climbers from all over the world are coming to Kalymnos.