published 5.25.2016

From the Sea to the Sky – Extreme Sports on Mt. Olympus

by Onassis Foundation USA

Imagine for a moment – you’re taking in a deep breath of fresh, cool, mountain air and you open your eyes to realize that you’re almost 3,000 meters above sea level, overlooking the Greek coastline. Standing on the peak of the fabled home of the Greek gods is truly incredible. It’s a feeling that tangles a taste of adventure and freedom with the sense that you’re on top of the world. Now imagine you can experience all of this on skis, speeding down from the peak into snowy ash…or, it’s summertime and you’re looking up at the peak from the canyons below, while waterfalls splash in your face and keep your canoe a-rocking. These are the stories our particularly adventurous friends share with us from their extreme sporting ventures through alpining, mountain biking, ski mountaineering, trail running, hiking and trekking Mt. Olympus.

Now, we know what some of you are thinking – There’s no way I’m skiing down Mt. Olympus. Thankfully, our friends were kind enough to share videos, so those of us who are scared of heights can live vicariously through them, and maybe, just maybe, we’ll work up the courage to follow in their tracks.

This video was taken by skiers participating in what’s called the Poseidon Challenge—where athletes compete to climb from sea-level to the peak of a mountain and then ski their way back down in under 24 hours—hanging out with the god of the seas, Poseidon, and his brother, Zeus, in the same day!

…and this was shot by a group of friends at Olympus-Climbing.gr who take us through a quickened version of the steps of climbing the mountain—starting from their stay at Christos Kakalos refuge and laughing along the way to the top.

All we have to say is, Wow, how do they do it?

The next time you need a little motivation to start your day, think of how you too could be climbing to the highest point in Greece and skiing down to sea level in just 24 hours…or, on the other hand, sit back and find relief in knowing that your day isn’t quite as intense!

A special thank you to our friends at Christos Kakalos Refuge and Olympus-Climbing.gr for making an adrenaline buff out of all of us. Check out their website for more info on how you can join their activities and follow their trails on Mt. Olympus!