Sciora peaks, Graubünden. From left to right: Sciora Dafora, Punta Pioda, Ago di Sciora (the needle), Sciora Dadent. Credit: Samedan,  Shot on 2009-08-27 Photo taken in , Bodno, Graubunden, Switzerland.Licensed under: Public Domain.
Sciora peaks, Graubünden. From left to right: Sciora Dafora, Punta Pioda, Ago di Sciora (the needle), Sciora Dadent. Credit: Samedan, Shot on 2009-08-27 Photo taken in , Bodno, Graubunden, Switzerland.Licensed under: Public Domain.

General

Europe has many mountain ranges in various parts of the continent. However, when speaking about Europe and mountains in same sentence, most people will immediately think about the Alps a vast mountain system in the Central Europe and the birthplace and mecca of mountain climbing. Perhaps the most spectacular, and certainly the highest, peaks of the continent are not part of Alps though, as mountains of Caucasus exceed the ones in the Alps in height by quite a margin. However, Caucasus is far lesser known, a lot more remote and access is order of magnitude more complex due to political situation.

Those highest ranges aside, far lower Scandes, High Tatra, Pyrenees and mountains of British Islands have significant appeal for alpine climbers, at least to local ones. On the other hand, the highest peaks of southern Europe, such as Teide (3718m), Mulhacén (3478m) and Olympus (2917m) are not that interesting from alpinistic point of view. That being said, many lower peaks in the Southern part of the continent, most importantly Sardinia and Corsica, offer rock climbing that is full-on alpine by scale.

  • Northern Europe Iceland is an island located southwest of Greenland. Due to impact of Gulf stream, climate is not as extremely cold as the arctic location might suggest. There are several volcanic peaks with Hvannadalshnukur (2119m) being the highest. The volcanoes are generally easy one day climbs, but tend to be snow-covered and icy.
  • Alps
  • Carpathians Carpathian mountains is a long half circle rising in the eastern Europe, east of the Alps and NE of Balkan peninsula. Most of the range lie in Slovakia, Ukraine and Romania although the range extends to several other countries. By far the most famous part, and most interesting for climbers, is Tatra located in Western Carpathians (also northernmost part), where the peaks rise to above 2500m meters on or near the border between Poland and Slovakia. Peaks of southern Carpathians are of similar height but generally less steep.
  • About Iberian Peninsula Iberian Peninsula is home to several mountain ranges, in fact most of the peninsula is covered by mountains of some type. The most famous range is likely Pyrenees forming the border between Spain and France. However, the highest peaks of the range are to be found in far south at Sierra Nevada of Cordillera Penibética where Mulhacén rises to 3478m. The wildest peaks of the peninsula ar to be found in somewhat lower Cordillera Cordillera Cantábrica where peaks of Picos de Europe are steep and rugged. Perhaps the most stunning alpine climbing objective is Picu Urriellu (Naranjo de Bulnes, 2529m) is found here together with many other stunning peaks.
  • Southern Europe Greece, many of the islands both on Canary Islands as well as in Mediterranean sport numerous mountains, many of which are popular hiking destinations. The highest peak of southern Europe is Teide (3718m) located on Tenerife. Some of the lower peaks offer great potential for alpine rock climbing, as well as having host of shorter climbs. Alpine scale rock climbs are most likely to be found on Sardinia and Corsica.
  • Caucasus Caucasus range, extending 1200km between Black Sea in the west and Caspian Sea in the east, forms both geographic, ethnic and political barrier between Europe and Asia. North to south the range extends maximally 180km. Although it is the home to the highest mountains of the Europe, the area is relatively little known among western climbers, as the access was formerly difficult. There are seven peaks above 5000m. The Great Caucasus is traditionally divided into three regions - Western, Central and Eastern, with conventional borders coming through two highest peaks: Mt. Elbrus (5642m) to the west and Mt. Kazbek (5033m) to the east.

Areas

Northern Europe

Vengetindate and Romsdalshorn. Credit: Ari Paulin,  Shot on 2009-06-21 Photo taken in Åndalsnes, Møre og Romsdal, Norway.(c) Ari Paulin, licensed under: Copyrighted.
Vengetindate and Romsdalshorn. Credit: Ari Paulin, Shot on 2009-06-21 Photo taken in Åndalsnes, Møre og Romsdal, Norway.(c) Ari Paulin, licensed under: Copyrighted.
  • Iceland Iceland is an island located southwest of Greenland. Due to impact of Gulf stream, climate is not as extremely cold as the arctic location might suggest. There are several volcanic peaks with Hvannadalshnukur (2119m) being the highest. The volcanoes are generally easy one day climbs, but tend to be snow-covered and icy.
  • British Isles Considering how (relatively) flat British Islands are, Britan has certainly had a big impact in a development of climbing. Biritsh climbers played an important role in exploring the high peaks of Himalaya. Also, Lake District and Scottish mountains have had significant influence in the development of clean climbing and ice climbing respectively.
  • Nordic Countries If you are in search for a quality climbing in Scandinavia, the safe bet is to go to Norway. There are all types of good climbing from alpine climbing to long rock routes, bigwalls to sport climbing and superb waterfall ice climbing and ski mountaineering. Most of the Finland is very flat. And even the more hilly areas are very rounded, so there's neither alpine nor longer rock or ice climbing to be found. Longest routes are two pitches, and majority of those can be climbed in a single long pitch. Region around Tampere has several crags for rock climbing with Ketaranvuori and Mustalaisvuori (Viitapohja) considered the best. None of the crags are high enough to have multi-pitch routes, the highest routes are about 25m. Most routes fall in between Finnish grades 5 and 7. The area has both sport and trad climbing. The easiest routes are typically trad though. In addition, there are several boulders. Valkeala has plenty of the best climbing places in Finland. Olhava is considered to be the best rock crag. It is tradional area, bolts are mostly scarce and far between unless there is no possibilities for traditional protection. There are, however some newer sport routes. Longest routes are two pitches. During the winter Pyörämäki (Rasi) and Linnavuori are the best places. Norway is by far the best bet for those in search for a quality climbing in Scandinavia. There are all types of good climbing from alpine climbing to long rock routes, bigwalls to sport climbing. Arctic Norway doesn't have very high peaks even on Scandinavian standards. There are some impressive peaks though, e.g. Stetind, Otentinden and several peaks in the Lyngen alps. Since many of the peaks start literally from the see, even moderate height can mean a very considerable distance from bottom to top. Despite its location far north, well inside Artic Circle, the Weather of Artic Norway is nowhere near as cold as one might expect. During the winter the area has very little daylight though, which makes climbing less convenient. The flipside is, that during the summertime there's really no shortage of daylight. The coastal Norway is rainy though. Alta-area seems to have several ice falls. No first hand experience, but at least the season should be long there and based on their web topo, there appear to be reasonable selection of routes. On the down side, not much of daylight during the winter months. Nord-Troms constists of many areas around Lyngenfjord. The areas includes established areas such as Kvalø and Lyngen Peninsula. Besides of rock climbs of Kvalø, the other areas are almost solely visited during the winter. Areas around Kåfjord. Kåfjord is a very varied place having several big and very difficult routes, as well as mid-grade and easy routes. Lyngen peninsula, located in northern Norway, near the city of Tromsø, is probably the best kept secret of the Scandinavian climbing areas. Lyngen looks unspectacular on the map. I mean with the highest peak of 1833 meters (Jiekkevarri) is certainly nothing to write home about. Wrong. Lyngen mountains start literally from the sea, so the actual altitude difference is quite healthy. Lyngen sports great possibilities for (winter) alpinist in search of snow and ice. Best of all, many of the routes have practically no approach at all as you just have to park your car and start climbing. Kvaløa island west of Tromsø in northern Norway offers good quality rock climbing on granite walls. Hollendaren group has granite walls up to 300 meters high and has several multi-pitch rock climbs. While its normal route along East ridge is easy (Nor I/II, 2-3h), Blåmann (1044m) on the other hand has very difficult 400-450m high north face, that is one of the hardest climbs in Norway. There are several routes with Atlantis propably the most classic line (10 pitches, A1/A2, NOR 7-8 (f6c-7b+). Midt-Troms area has the biggest ice falls in Northern Norway. Especially Skredbekken in Sørdalen (600m, WI5) and Henrikafossen in Spansdalen (450m, WI4) are good alternatives to those in search of large scale ice climbs. Senja is large island lot of it is mountainous. The peaks are not very high even on North-Norwegian standards with Breidtinden (1010m) being the highest. However, many of the peaks are steep and rugged. Traditionally Senja has not been visited a lot by climbers but during the recent years it has been visited by some climbers who have put up host of ice and mixed routes. Signaldalen is the first major valley to the south from Skibotndal, located at the end of Storfjord, to the east of Lyngen Peninsula. The undisputed king of the area is Otentinden (1356m), sometimes called the Matterhoirn of the North. Despite of its mighty look, normal route from SW side is not too difficult (Nor II, alpine ~PD(?)). East face on the other hand, is considered to be the hardest climb in Lyngen area. During the winter Signaldalen also has ice fall climbing. Sørdalen has some of the biggest ice falls in the Arctic Norway. Spansdalen is located 20km north of Bjaerkvik, about an hour away from Riskgränsen. There are some 30 ice falls with lengths varying between one and seven pitches. Most obvious route of the area is 450m Henrikkafossen (WI4 or Sco VI,5). Lofoten, or the Magig Islands as the area is sometimes referred to, locates in northern Norway, westwards from Narvik. The area is a collection of five larger and five smaller islands. Most climbing takes place on the largest island Austvagoy. Moskenesoy and Nordre Austvågoy also have plenty of worthwhile climbing. Central Norway has several famous climbing areas. For mountain climbing probably the best known areas are Jotunheimen, especially Hurrungane, Romsdal (mostly on rock) ans Sunnmøre Alps. For rock climbing, there are several superb places, including Romsdal, Innerdalen in Nordmøre, located just north of Romsdal and Hemsedal. Cluster of areas located further inland. The areaas are separeted from more westernly areas by long valley system running from Sunndalsøra to Lillehammer. The highest peaks of the area are to be found in Dovrefjell and Rondane, towards the SE. Generally the peaks in this part of the country are rounder and than further west and the the local relief is also not as great, as the peaks are located further form the sea. By large the areas are more suited to ski touring than alpine climbing. Best known climbing destination is Innerdalen/Sunndalen. Romsdal on the west coast of Norway is probably the most famous alpine rock climbing area in Scandinavia. Although the mountains arent nearly as high as the mountains in Jotunheimen, they are steep and are located very close to sea. Natural border of the area in the north are Langfjorden and Romsdalsfjorden, in the west Sunmøre Alps, in the south Dovre-Tafjord and in the east lake Eikesdalen. Jotunheimen (meaning Home of the Giants) is without a doubt the most famous mountain area in Scandinavia. In ancient Norwegian mythology the gods lived in Åsgard, the humans in idgard, and the bad giants - in Jotunheimen. Jotunheimen is located in the middle of southern Norway and is the area where the highest mountains in Scandinavia are located. Area between Sognefjord in the north and Hardangerviddsa in the south. The area does not have 2000m peaks or peaks that would be otherwise famous. In fact, many of the peaks are not particularly alpine, as their tops tend to ne rather flat. However, some of the paeaks, particualrly those close to the fjords have huge steep falls and specatacular waterfalls. Hemsedal is located high in the scenic Hallingdal Valley, between Oslo and Bergen. Additionally, it is close to many of Norway’s other major attractions, including Sognefjord and Jotunheimen. It is one of Scandinavia’s largest winter destinations, popular for its beautiful scenery, reliable snow conditions, and pristinely groomed slopes, affording fantastic skiing. Because of this, the area has well developed tourism infrastructure. While generally not nearly as well-known among the climbers as Central and Arctic parts of the country, Southern Norway also has some quality climbing. The best known area in southern part of the country is Rogaland, located close to the city of Kristiansand. The area is mostly of interest for rock climbers as Setesdal has some impressive climbs. Particularly well known is Kjerag with 1000m high vertical routes. From climber's point of view, Rjukan hides its beauties. The main valley has a droopy, slack-shouldered look to it, and although the local peak, Gaustatoppen (1883m), is famous for its views of the rest of Norway, it is a tedious, whale-like hill with nothing much on it of interest to a mountaineer. Fortunately, increasing number of nordic climbers have looked beyond the obvious and Rjukan now competes with the more established Hemsedal as a center for quality ice climbing. The best known area in southern part of the country is Rogaland, located close to the city of Kristiansand. The area is mostly of interest for rock climbers as Setesdal has some impressive climbs. Particularly well known is Kjerag with 1000m high vertical routes. Kebnekaise area is the best goal for alpine climbing in Sweden. Sarek is another alpine destination. For ice climbing, probably the best place in Sweden in Stora Sjöfallet in northern Sweden. There are several long routes (up to 9 pitches). Also Abisko area has ice climbs.

Iceland

Iceland is an island located southwest of Greenland. Due to impact of Gulf stream, climate is not as extremely cold as the arctic location might suggest. There are several volcanic peaks with Hvannadalshnukur (2119m) being the highest. The volcanoes are generally easy one day climbs, but tend to be snow-covered and icy.

As the name should suggest, Iceland has no shortage of ice climbing. The climbing season is from November to mid April, with February considered the best month. Currently Hvalfjordur, Glymsgil gorge, Malafjall and Paradisarheimt are probably the most climbed areas. However, there is huge scope for new routes all over.

Alps

East face of Mont Blanc massif. The statue in the foreground is the summit madonna of Tour Ronde. Credit: Ari Paulin,  Shot in Chamonix, Haute Savoie, France.(c) Ari Paulin, licensed under: Copyrighted.
East face of Mont Blanc massif. The statue in the foreground is the summit madonna of Tour Ronde. Credit: Ari Paulin, Shot in Chamonix, Haute Savoie, France.(c) Ari Paulin, licensed under: Copyrighted.

The Alps are the dominant range of Europe. Although The Alps contain 'only' mountains/europe_alps_4000ers.htm Peaks over 4000m in the Alps Ari Paulin and are thus not very high in comparison with Himalayas or Andes, the Alps are steep and feature extensive glaciation. The Alps are a wide and convoluted crescent of ranges and peaks arching to the north of the Italian Peninsula, from the Julian Alps of Slovenia on the east to the Maritime Alps of the South of France on the west. <<more>>.

Carpathians

Mieguszewieckie Szczyty, Cubryna i Mnich - view from Morskie Oko, Tatra Mountains, Poland. Credit: Mariusz G,  Shot on 2013-09-03 Photo taken in Poland.Licensed under: Public Domain.
Mieguszewieckie Szczyty, Cubryna i Mnich - view from Morskie Oko, Tatra Mountains, Poland. Credit: Mariusz G, Shot on 2013-09-03 Photo taken in Poland.Licensed under: Public Domain.

Carpathian mountains is a long half circle rising in the eastern Europe, east of the Alps and NE of Balkan peninsula. Most of the range lie in Slovakia, Ukraine and Romania although the range extends to several other countries. By far the most famous part, and most interesting for climbers, is Tatra located in Western Carpathians (also northernmost part), where the peaks rise to above 2500m meters on or near the border between Poland and Slovakia. Peaks of southern Carpathians are of similar height but generally less steep.

  • Western Carpathians Western Carpathians are the the the northernmost part of the Carpathians range, located mostly in Slovakia and Poland. It is also by far the most interesting part for the climbers, as Tatra mountains is the the climbing mecca of the range.
    • Outer Western Carpathians
    • Inner Western Carpathians
      • Tatra The Tatras are located on Polish-Slovak border form the central, highest and most beautiful section of the Carpathian mountain range. Tatras is a small rugged massif, with the main Tatra ridge extending 51,5km from east to west and 15km from north to south. The high peaks of the Tatras, called "Smallest High Range in the World", are rugged rock peaks with a dramatic jagged crestline. They rise in a sudden cluster like an island of peaks in the surrounding valleys. The highest peak of the range is Gerlach in Slovakia (2655m) and there are dozens of other rising to over 2000m, and crags often fall over 600m into deep cirques. There are both summer and winter climbing. Skiing and especially off piste skiing in the high valleys is also popular.
  • Eastern Carpathians
    • Beskides
  • Southern Carpathians
    • Făgăraş Mountains "Transylvanian Alps", the highest range in Southern Carpathians containing most of the highest peaks of Romania. Although the height is similar to peaks of High Tatra, the peaks are generally far more rounded and don't lend themselves for alpine climbing particularly well.
    • Bucegi Mountains
    • Parâng Mountains
    • Retezat Mountains
  • Western Romanian Carpathians

Southern Europe

Galéria (Corsica) - Panorama de la Paglia Orba (2525 m - Albertacce) et du Capu Tafunatu le "sommet troué" (2335 m - Manso) à droite, d'une distance orthodromique d'environ 18 km. Source: . Credit: Pierre Bona,  Shot on 2010-11-10 Photo taken. (c) Pierre Bona, licensed under: CC BY-SA 3.0.
Galéria (Corsica) - Panorama de la Paglia Orba (2525 m - Albertacce) et du Capu Tafunatu le "sommet troué" (2335 m - Manso) à droite, d'une distance orthodromique d'environ 18 km. Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Paglia_Orba_Panorama.jpg. Credit: Pierre Bona, Shot on 2010-11-10 Photo taken. (c) Pierre Bona, licensed under: CC BY-SA 3.0.

Greece, many of the islands both on Canary Islands as well as in Mediterranean sport numerous mountains, many of which are popular hiking destinations. The highest peak of southern Europe is Teide (3718m) located on Tenerife. Some of the lower peaks offer great potential for alpine rock climbing, as well as having host of shorter climbs. Alpine scale rock climbs are most likely to be found on Sardinia and Corsica.

  • Atlantic islands Lot of Atlantic islands, particularly Canary islands have plenty of mountains. The peaks are of volcanic origin and shaped accordingly. Theerfore the7y do not lend themselves particularly well for alpine climbing despite reaching significant altitude, particularly at Teide (3718m, higher than anything on mainland Spain). The islands have a lot of sport climbing though.
  • Mediterranean islands Not much in a way of classic mountaineering or anything icy and snowy is to be found on Mediterranean islands, but there are several big rock routes in some of the islands. Corsica is likely the best bet for those who are looking for rock climbs of alpine character. Most of the climbing is bolt protected, except for Malta which is predominantly trad venue. By far the most famous peak of the islands is Sicily's Etna.
  • Southern Italy Apennines range run through most of the Italian peninsula. The peaks rise to well above 2000, but the range is not that interesting from alpine climber's point of view. Crags are different story, of course.
  • Balkan peninsula Most of Balkan peninsula is covered by mountains. By far the largest ranges is long chain formed by Dinaric Alps in the north and Pindus range further south in Albania and Greece. These ranges are closely connected and the distinction of the two is not well defined. Another major range is is Balkan range, namesake of the peninsula. However, neither the highest (Musala, 2925m in Rila range) nor the most famous peaks (Olympus, 2919m) of the peninsula is located in either of these chains. Due to southern latitude and modest height, the peaks have no glaciers and only seasonal snow and ice climbs. The wildest peaks on Balkan peninsula are to be found in Prokletije range, mainly located in northern Albania and Kosovo. The peaks in this range are generally rugged and steep, and the climbing potential of the area is largely untapped. Aside of alpine areas, some areas in Greece and Croatia are well known hotspots for crag climbing.

Atlantic islands

Lot of Atlantic islands, particularly Canary islands have plenty of mountains. The peaks are of volcanic origin and shaped accordingly. Theerfore the7y do not lend themselves particularly well for alpine climbing despite reaching significant altitude, particularly at Teide (3718m, higher than anything on mainland Spain). The islands have a lot of sport climbing though.

  • Craggs, Chris: Rock Climbs in Mallorca (Cicerone Guide). Isbn: 9781852843199. Cicerone Press, 2001.

Mediterranean islands

Not much in a way of classic mountaineering or anything icy and snowy is to be found on Mediterranean islands, but there are several big rock routes in some of the islands. Corsica is likely the best bet for those who are looking for rock climbs of alpine character. Most of the climbing is bolt protected, except for Malta which is predominantly trad venue. By far the most famous peak of the islands is Sicily's Etna.

  • Alamichel, Eric: Above the Sea - The Mediterranean's Finest Rock Climbs. Isbn: 9782741705093. Editions Gap, 2014.

Mallorca

Sardinia

Like Corsica, also much of Corsica is largely covered by mountains. The highest peak is Punta La Marmora (1834m), part of the Gennargentu Ranges in the centre of the island. Other mountain chains are Monte Limbara (1362m) in the northeast, the Chain of Marghine and Goceano (1259m) running crosswise for 40km towards the north, the Monte Albo (1057m), the Sette Fratelli Range in the southeast, and the Sulcis Mountains and the Monte Linas (1236m). Apparently the islands has quite a bit of big rock routes as well as sport routes.

  • Oviglia, Maurizio: Pietra Di Luna. Isbn: 8889661054.
  • Suchergebnisse & Oviglia, Maurizio: Pietra Di Luna. Isbn: 9788889661185. Fabula Verlag, 2011.

Corsica

Corsica is the most mountaineous of Mediterranean islands. Mountains make up two-thirds of the island, forming a single chain. The highest peak is Monte Cinto (2706m) and 20 other summits of more than 2000m. The island has a stunning alpine landscape with peaks that dramatically fall away into the sea. This landscape means there is an abundance of beautiful bolted rock to climb, from coarse weathered granite rock, to sandstone or limestone rock. There is climbing all over the island, from single pitch routes to multi-pitch routes up to 300m long, plus many bouldering areas. Corsica is claimed to have more unclimbed rock than anywhere else in Europe - a truly impressive statement. Most alpine climbing is to be found in NW part of the island in Paglia Orba mountain range. It rises steeply with vertical faces on all 4 sides making Paglia Orba (2525m) the queen of Corsican Mountains. There are many routes here up to 400m long on conglomerate rock.

  • B., Maurin & T., Souchard: Falaises De Corse, 5 edition. Isbn: 9782952638869. FFME, 2015.
  • Collomb, Robin G.: Corsica Mountains, 2nd edition. Isbn: 0906227445. West Col Productions, 1990.
  • Klettern 5/2015 Klettern 5/2015

Malta

Sicily

  • Vertical #22

Balkan peninsula

Most of Balkan peninsula is covered by mountains. By far the largest ranges is long chain formed by Dinaric Alps in the north and Pindus range further south in Albania and Greece. These ranges are closely connected and the distinction of the two is not well defined. Another major range is is Balkan range, namesake of the peninsula. However, neither the highest (Musala, 2925m in Rila range) nor the most famous peaks (Olympus, 2919m) of the peninsula is located in either of these chains. Due to southern latitude and modest height, the peaks have no glaciers and only seasonal snow and ice climbs. The wildest peaks on Balkan peninsula are to be found in Prokletije range, mainly located in northern Albania and Kosovo. The peaks in this range are generally rugged and steep, and the climbing potential of the area is largely untapped. Aside of alpine areas, some areas in Greece and Croatia are well known hotspots for crag climbing.

  • Dinaric Alps The Dinaric Alps or Dinarides is a mountain chain which spans areas of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Italy, Kosovo, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia. They extend 645km along the coast of the Adriatic Sea (northwest-southeast), from the Julian Alps in the northwest down to the Šar-Korab massif, where the mountain direction changes to north-south. Most of the highest peaks of Dinaric Alps are found in Prokletije range, mainly located in northern Albania and Kosovo. The peaks in this range are generally rugged and steep, reputebly the wildest on the Balkan peninsula.
  • Greece The Greek peninsula is comprised of several large islands, with hundreds of smaller islands rising in the surrounding seas. Greece is a mountainous country, with many of its peaks rising close to if not directly out of the water. The Greek Mountains are essentially a continuation of the Dinaric Alps. Greek mountains can be divided into following main ranges:
  • Balkans Large west-east chain located in northern Bulgaria. Although the range is namesake for the entire Balkan peninsula, it is not as extensive as Dinaric Alps of Pindus range. Highest peak of the range is Botev Peak (2376m) located in the Central section.
    • Western Balkans
    • Central Balkans
    • Eastern Balkans
  • Rila Mountains Rila mountains of southwestern Bulgaria is the highest mountain range of Bulgaria and the Balkan peninsulas, with its highest peak being Musala at 2925m.
    • Northwest Rila
    • Kapatnik Ridge SW Rila
    • Skakavets Ridge Central Rila
    • Musala Ridge East Rila
  • Pirin Mountains
    • North Pirin
      • Mramor
      • North Central
      • South Central
      • Polezhan
      • Kamenitsa
      • Sinanitsa
      • Debeli Rid
    • Central Pirin Lower and heavily forested part of the range. Orelyak (2099m) is the only peak rising to above 2000m.
    • South Pirin Lowest part culminating at Svesthnik (1975m).
  • Berg, Marloes van Den; Groenewegen, Wynand & Jaeggi, Daniel: Rock Climbing Atlas South Eastern Europe. Isbn: 9789078587019. Rocks Unlimited Publications, 2006.

Dinaric Alps

The Dinaric Alps or Dinarides is a mountain chain which spans areas of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Italy, Kosovo, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia. They extend 645km along the coast of the Adriatic Sea (northwest-southeast), from the Julian Alps in the northwest down to the Šar-Korab massif, where the mountain direction changes to north-south. Most of the highest peaks of Dinaric Alps are found in Prokletije range, mainly located in northern Albania and Kosovo. The peaks in this range are generally rugged and steep, reputebly the wildest on the Balkan peninsula.

Dinaric Alps consists of three parallel chain running generally north to south. Each of these ranges is then further divided to smaller areas.

  • Maritime Dinaric Alps Lower coastal range running along the coast line. As far as the climbing goes, the range is primarily rock climbing destination. Probably the most established climbing venue is Paklenica of Croatia. Most of the climbing in Pkalenica is sport but some trad routes exists as well and routes are up to 350m long.
    • Dalmatian Alps
    • Biokovo
  • High Dinaric Alps Central part of Dinaric Alps with almost all of the highest peaks.
    • High Karstic Plateaus of Slovenia and Croatia
    • Lika Mountains
      • Velebit area Velebit area of northern Croatia is home to Velebit, one of the highest peaks of Croatia. it is also home to Paklenica, most famous climbing area of the country.
    • Mountaisn of Western Bosnia and Dinara
      • Dinara
    • High Herzegovina
      • Prenj
    • Central Herzegovina
      • Maglić massif
      • Vranica
      • Bjelasica
    • Površi, Brda & Prokletije
      • Durmitor
      • Prokletije range Most of the highest peaks of Dinaric Alps are found in Prokletije range, located mainly in northern Albania and Kosovo. The peaks in this range are generally rugged and steep, reputebly the wildest on the Balkan peninsula. The climbing potential of the area is largely untapped.
  • Northeastern Dinaric Alps Further inland beyond High Dinaric Alps.
  • Cujic, Boris: Croatia Sport Climbing Guidebook - 2016 Edition. Isbn: 9789536912209.
  • Cujic, Boris: Paklenica, 6. Edition edition. Isbn: 9789536912100. Astroida, 2013.
  • Berg, Marloes van Den; Groenewegen, Wynand & Jaeggi, Daniel: Rock Climbing Atlas South Eastern Europe. Isbn: 9789078587019. Rocks Unlimited Publications, 2006.

Greece

The Greek peninsula is comprised of several large islands, with hundreds of smaller islands rising in the surrounding seas. Greece is a mountainous country, with many of its peaks rising close to if not directly out of the water. The Greek Mountains are essentially a continuation of the Dinaric Alps. Greek mountains can be divided into following main ranges:

  • Rhodope Mountains NE part of Greece and southern Bulgaria
  • Pindus range The Pindus mountain range lies is Albania south of Dinaric Alps and across the center of Greece in a northwest-to-southeast direction. Extensions of the same mountain range stretch across the Peloponnese and underwater across the Aegean, forming many of the Aegean Islands including Crete, and joining with the Taurus Mountains of southern Turkey.
    • Korab Mountains
    • Northern Pindus Northern Pindus is located in Albania and northern part of Greece. Most of the highest peaks are located in the northern section. Best known peak on the Greece side is Smolikas (2637m), but few peaks on the Albanian side are higher culminating at Golem Korab (2764m).
      • West Vardar/Pelagonia
      • Šar Mountains
      • Ceraunian Mountains
      • Mali i Gribës
      • Tymfi
      • Gramos
      • Vasilitsa
      • Voio
      • Tzoumerka
      • Meteora
    • SE Pindus Central and western Greece contain high and steep peaks intersected by many canyons and other karstic landscapes, including the Meteora and the Vikos Gorges - the latter being one of the largest of the world and the third deepest after the Copper Canyon in Mexico and the Grand Canyon in the United States, plunging vertically for more than 1100 metres.
      • Agrafa Range
  • Eastern Greece North-South chain of mountains running from southern Albania to east coast of mainland Greece. By far the best known peak in this chain is Mount Olympos.
    • Voras Mountains
    • Olympus Range Mount Olympus is the highest point in Greece and the fourth highest in relative topographical prominence in Europe, rising to 2919 m above sea level.
  • Peloponnesos peninsula Islands
    • Taygetus
  • Islands Several of Greece's islands are filled with mountains are crags. Particularly Kalymnos and Crete are well known climbing destinations. Both are best known for sport climbing but Crete has some areas with trad climbing, particularly Mount Gigilos with routes between 600m and 1500m in length and generally trad.
    • Kalymnos Very popular rock climbing destination. Virtually all climbing is sport, mostly single pitch.
    • Corfu
    • Crete Large island with several mountain ranges. Thehighest peaks are high enough to have some snow covering, apparently even ski mountaineering. Rhe island has reasonably popular rock climbing destination, predominantly sport. However, there are some areas with trad climbing, particularly Mount Gigilos with routes between 600m and 1500m in length and generally trad.
    • Cyprus

The mountains have played important roles in the history of the Greek people. This is especially true for two of the most famous mountains, Olympus (2917m, the highest mountain of Greece) and Parnassus (2457m), both of which played important roles in Greek mythology.

Due to relatively moderate altitude and southern location, the Greek mountains are generally snow and glacier free. Among the climbers, Greece is best known for rock climbing, particularly sports climbing. Especially small island of Kalymnos is considered to be one of the best places in whole Europe.

  • Theodoropoulos, Aris: Kalymnos - rock climbing guide, 2008 Revised Edition edition. Isbn: 9789608564480. Aharnon Alpine Club, 2008.
  • Theodoropoulos, Aris: Greece Sport Climbing - The Best of Guide 2014: TER.G020. Isbn: 9789609456203. Terrain, 2014.
  • Crete - Climbing Near Chania. Isbn: 9789608195950. Anavasi Mountain Editions, 2007.
  • Bugada, Philippe: Crete - Kapetaniana Kofinas Climbing Guide Ed. La Corditelle, 1 Edition edition. Isbn: 9782952637800. La Corditelle, 2006.
  • Bugada, Phillippe: Crete From North to South (French Edition). Isbn: 9782952637817.
  • Maps, Terrain: Kalymos - TER.G050. Isbn: 9789609456197. Terrain, 2010.

Mountains

Carpathian range

Atlantic islands

Mid-Atlantic Ridge

Ponta do Pico (Montanha do Pico)38.468888889-28.3677777782351
II class 2.
Teide (Pico de Teide)28.273055556-16.6272222223718
1900-01-01
Event
Normal route. T1.
Pico Ruivo32.763888889-16.90751861
T1.
El Gigante (Los Gigantes)28.29162-16.86439450
T3.

Apennines

Massif du Monte Incudine

Monte Includine41.8494079.2071092134
T2.

Massif du Monte Rotondo

Monte Rotondu42.2158339.05752622
T3.
Monte d'Oru42.13769.0986112389
T4.

Monte Cinto

Monte Cinto (Cintu, Monti Cintu)42.388.91944444442706
The highest peak of Corsica. Normal route includes some scrambling. NW face also has some technical routes around 6a (TD).
North side
Voie N depuis le Haut-Asco. II PD-.

Paglia Orba

Paglia Orba42.34288.87712525
Widely considered to be the most beautiful peak of Corsica. Even the easiest require some easy climbing. North and east faces have technical routes. Voie Finch on the East face is probably the most famous climb in Corsica.
North face
Voie du Nid d'aigle. Rock, III TD; 6a+; 250m, 7 pitches.
East face
Voie Finch. Rock, III D-; 5a+; 400m.
West ridge
West ridge. I F; 600m.

Gennargentu Ranges

La Marmora (Punta la Marmora)39.9880555569.30916666671834
T1.
Etna (Monte Etna, Mongibello)37.751214.99423323
The tallest active volcano in Europe and the highest peak of Italy south of Alps.
T2.
Corno Grande (Gran Sasso d'Italia)42.4713.5661111112912
F.

Balkan peninsula

Dinaric Alps

Prokletije
Maja e Jezercës42.442519.7858333332694
1929-01-01
Maja e Jezercës, ,
First ascent
Sleeman, Elmslie, Ellwood

Pindus range

Olympus Range
Olympos Oros (Mytikas)40.08277777822.3488888892917
  • Mytikas (2917m40.08277777822.348888889)
  • Stefani
The highest peak in Greece, second highest in Balkan and one of the greatest prominence in whole of the Europe. It is located near the east coast, where it gazes out to the Aegean Sea. Its character is that of a massive ridge, rising in rugged precipices to a broad snow-covered summit. The mountain has 52 peaks, deep gorges, and exceptional biodiversity. Known worldwide as the "Mountain of the Gods", as the 12 Gods of the ancient Greek religion, made it their home and fortress when fighting against the Titans (based on Mount Orthri) for control of the universe. Getting to the summit requires no proper climbing.
1913-08-02
Olympos Oros, ,
First ascent
Christos Kakalos. Frederic Boissonnas &amp; Daniel Baud-Bovy
Normal route. class 3.
Normal route. Non-technical except for the finale from Skala summit to Mytikas.
Liakoura (Mount Parnassus, Parnassos)38.53583333322.6091666672457
Parnassos is located in south central Greece, just north of the Gulf of Corinth. It is an isolated massif that is barren in summer, and a popular ski area.

Greek islands

Crete
Idi Range
Psiloritis (Timios Stavros, Mount Ida)35.22666666724.7608333332456
T2.
Dikti Mountains
Spathi (Lasithiotika, Dikti)35.11888888925.4677777782148
T3.
Peloponnese
Taygetus
Profitis Ilias (Taygetus)36.95388888922.3477777782404
T1.
Olympos34.93833333332.8388888891952
T.

Balkans

Pirin Mountains
Vikhren (Vihren)41.76777777823.3991666672914
T3.