It’s almost Christmas here on Crete and a few lucky adventurers I know are already planning their ski excursions up in the mountains. Oh, you didn’t know that snow skiers and snowboarders enjoy Crete island too? Well, the island does hold a Santa gift sack full of surprises, I’ll admit. Ski mountaineering is one of them.
A couple of years ago a brave team of five ladies from the DYNAFIT Team came to Crete island to seek out a unique winter experience, and the video they shared entitled “Crete: White Dreams – Uncovering an untapped ski touring paradise,” showed off not only their adventurous spirit but a ski wilderness like no other.
While there are no ski resorts on Crete island at present, the word “pristine” does come into play when we speak of white powder up on Mt. Psiloritis (Mt. Ida). Since there are no big resorts or lifts on the island, the remote areas where the best skiing takes place are all the more unique for the expert intent on a one of a kind ski mountaineering experience.
And for the novice or intermediate skier, Crete mountaineering clubs organize courses and training sessions related to snow mountaineering, especially in the ranges of the White Mountains and Psiloritis. For readers interested in ski mountaineering Crete, a good place to start is with the Mountaineering Club of Heraklion (Greek site). The club owns the Prinos Refuge 1,000 meters up on Mt. Psiloritis. The experts say the best season is from mid-January until even mid-April depending on the quantity of snow.
For those unfamiliar, Austria’s DYNAFIT is perhaps the world’s most famous maker of lightweight clothing, shoes, and equipment for ski touring, trail running, and of course ski mountaineering.
DYNAFIT is a member of the European Outdoor Conservation Association (EOCA), a supporter of the Snow Leopard Trust (SLT), and many other organizations dedicated to winter sports, conservation, and the perpetuation of nature.