Hike to Pachnes Summit

Details

Distance

1.9 miles

Elevation Gain

1650.3 ft

Route Type

Out-and-Back

Added by Andreas Brokalakis

Hike to the highest summit of White Mountains sierra

Pahnes is the highest summit of White Mountains sierra (Lefka Ori in greek) at western Crete. It is located at the heart of what the locals call "mountain desert", a unique geological area at an altitude of 2000m and above, where one may encounter more than 30 peaks lying above in cone-like shapes.

The easiest way to get to the trail is to follow the dirt road that starts from Anopolis and enters the mountain desert crossing the eerie landscape at Ammoutsera and terminating at Mavra Gremna. The dirt road is generally in very bad condition as a result of the harsh weather conditions and therefore to drive through it you will need a very capable 4x4 vehicle.

You can leave your car at Mavra Gremna, where you will find a clear sign that marks the beginning of the trail that ascends to the summit. The trail is marked with a white and orange flag. The trail starts at 1950m altitude, therefore there is an elevation gain of approximately 500m to reach the summit. The trail is approximately 3km long and you will need 1.30 to 2 hours to get to the summit and less to get back.

The trail is not difficult, however you should be reasonably fit and I would recommend to have previous hiking experience. You should also be extremely aware of the weather conditions. Pahnes is located at the heart of the White Mountains and it is very common to start from a pretty sunny weather and by the time you reach the summit to encounter very strong wings and rain. Therefore you need to be well prepared for all sorts of weather conditions and to have checked the weather before you start your hiking adventure. I would suggest good hiking boots, walking sticks and at the very least a wind/waterproof jacket. You need to bring also enough water with you and snacks.

Another thing to note is that during winter, the whole area is covered in snow. Summitting in winter time is a mountaineering adventure that requires significant skills and equipment and you should only attempt it if you are highly experienced and with a local guide. Best way in such conditions is with mountaineering skiing.

The snow will remain till late spring/early summer. Even at that time you may encounter areas that are covered with ice and therefore you should be extremely careful. In the end though, the magnificent and unique landscape will put an endless smile in your face!

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🥇Top Contributor

3 months ago

Update on certain conditions

I recently hiked the trail again and they have improved the dirt road quite a bit. Therefore, this means that with a reasonable SUV type of vehicle you should be able to approach the beginning of the trail. However, remember that since this is a dirt road and not a paved one, weather conditions may cause damages and therefore it is a very good idea to either ask someone from the Mountaineering Club of Chania (ΕΟΣ Χανίων) or any of the villagers in Anopolis (the last village before the dirt road) about the condition of the road.

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