Tonight’s topic of dinner conversation with the group of highly inspirational septuagenarians I am skiing with? They are discussing which of the latest ATK pin bindings to fit to their new skis. Tucking into Trachanás, a filling shepherd’s staple made from sundried wheat flower, eggs and milk after a ski ascent of Greece’s second highest mountain, these are not your average seventy-year old’s. To keep doing this stuff the team need lighter kit.
The first day in the heat on Olympus was the hardest, Smolikas the most magical and the 1700m finale on Ploskos the most satisfying. Skinning and skiing through the majestic centuries-old Bosnian pines on Smolikas must be one of the most perfect ski touring experiences anywhere.
Writing of the pines I am reminded of the story of the battle of the dragons as told by Giorgos. Many years ago the resident dragon on the tree covered mountains of Timfi fought with his adversary on the rocky summits of Smolikas. The former threw trees, and the latter threw rocks. It is for this reason that Timfi is now a barren, rocky massif and Smolikas tree covered. Unsurprisingly the land in between is both rocky and wooded.