Pierra Creta Ski Mountaineering / Videos We Like

Meet Europe’s southernmost ski mountaineering event! 

 The high mountainous regions of Crete are the only ones where the winter is harsh cold. The abundant rainfall turns into a beautiful snow carpet that sometimes lasts until the end of June, arousing the admiration of the first series of tourists who arrive on the Cretan beaches. Not only is it the largest island in Greece, but Crete also has the most spectacular landforms, dominated by three large mountain ranges that cross it from west to east: Lefka Ori / White Mountains (2,453 m), with over 52 peaks that pass 2,000 m, Mount Idi / Psiloritis (2,456 m), central and most imposing, and Mount Dikti (2,148 m).

 Despite not having the infrastructure for mass tourism in winter, the island of Crete has become the southernmost European destination for lovers of ski adventures, especially practitioners of less conventional forms, such as "backcountry" or "off-piste". A group of passionate locals, eager to promote the unknown potential of Crete, had the idea to launch in March 2014, for the first time, a sporting event called "Pierra Creta", inspired by the traditional mountain skiing competition "Pierra Menta" (*) from the French Alps. And their passion and boldness bore fruit.

 Year by year, the number of supporters has increased, reaching more than 200 participants from over 10 countries in 2019. The Pierra Creta event usually is planned for the beginning of March and takes place over two days. Enjoying a friendly and cheerful atmosphere, the competitors gather in Anogia, one of the most famous tourist villages in the Rethymno region, perched at an altitude of 700m on the northern slope of the Psilorits Mountains.

 The children are also invited to participate with their parents, as they are destined for the first day of the competition. For adults, the traditional route is a 14.8 km long circuit that involves four ascents and descents and lasts about three hours. The starting point is Lakkos Migerou, located at an altitude of 1,570 m, and the highest point reached during the race is 2,434 m. In the evening, after the end of the circuit and organized return to base, the program includes a party with dinner, dancing, and socializing.
 The experience of the adventure on the Cretan snows is difficult to express in words. The footages made by the organizers and participants, along the way, speak better. We really liked it and we recommend you to watch the official video "Pierra Creta Ski Mountaineering Race", made at the 2017 edition. Details about the Piera Crete race can be found on the dedicated website.

 Find on this post other things that might interest you for an authentic winter in Crete.

(*) Pierra Menta is a ski mountaineering competition held annually since 1986 in south-eastern France. It is one of the three most famous races in the Alps and a stage of the La Grande course, which includes the most important ski mountaineering competitions of the season.

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