SOTA: 5B/CY-010 (Mavrogenis)

Mavrogenis is an eight-point SOTA peak not far from the Kikkos Monastery. There is a parking area to the south side of route E912 (34.9708N,32.7622E).

This is the view looking northwards on the way up to Kykkos Monastery. There is a large grassy field to the left of this side where you can park.

A nature foot trail departs downward from there towards the “pitch kiln”, but the trail of interest for SOTA is the unimproved road to the side. My best guess is that the pitch kiln is an outdoor kiln for tar production (either ancient or more modern).

The nature tail heads downwards, but we want the road just to the left of the trail.

The road extends roughly southwards and winds around the peak. At that point, the road is only about 50m below the summit in elevation.

The blue route shows the access road and the approximate place that I scrambled up at the foot of the final hill.

One very important thing to know, though, is that there is a Do Not Enter sign posted on this road, so it will be a 2.5km walk to that hairpin turn rather than a drive.

Here’s the start of the road near the parking area. Note the do-not-enter sign to the right.

The road is in good repair and unobstructed, so it is not clear why it is closed to vehicular traffic — probably more of an administrative decision. The absence of cars makes it a nicer hike, though. The road slopes up very gently and there are frequent shady bits to take a rest, although temperature was not a problem this early in the year.

A typical bit of road on the way up to the summit, with a steep wall to the left and sharp drop off to the right.

The road has been cut into the side of the mountain, revealing some interesting strata; geologists should like this hike. I have no idea what I’m looking at, but there are all sorts of colors and textures, with bits and pieces chipped off along the side of the road (providing convenient cover and lounging spots for lizards who scramble when hikers approach).

What’s that black stuff? Basalt?

The greatest challenge with this peak is finding a place to ascend the last 50 meters. At the point where the peak is just to the left of the road, the rocky wall on that side is about 7 or 8 meters high and not climbable.

Unless you are a goat, you will not be able to walk directly from the road to the peak.

The hairpin looks promising, as the wall height above the road is about 3-4 meters, but the wall is sheer and made of crumbly rock and dirt.

This is hairpin, with a bit of the road shown as it wraps around the bottom of the final hill.

The best place I found to scale the side wall was just before the hairpin. I made it up there, but it wasn’t pretty. A climbing pole or two might help. If more than one person were along, I’d recommend a bit of rope so the first one up could help those behind.

From there, the walk to the peak is not too steep, but it is covered in slippery pine needs, so some care is required. If the approach is made from the hairpin turn in the road note that the first peak encountered is not the canonical summit just a bit more to the north. However, I believe that first peak is probably in the activation zone. If you want to push on the actual peak, follow the center of the ridge into a shallow saddle point and then back upwards to the slightly flatter real peak.

Trees near the peak seem tall, but they all some to about the same absolute height, i.e., those below the peak are taller and those nearer the peak are shorter. I ended up tossing my end-fed antenna into a tree on the side of the hill and then also suspending the feedline end of the antenna about two meters above the ground nearer to the top of the hill.

Despite not entirely ideal antenna placement and the fact that this mountain is not taller than surrounding mountains in every direction, signals were good. I worked 27 CW contacts on 20m. I tried calling on 10m and 40m as well, but I was not picked up on the reverse beacon network and had no replies. I would have self-spotted, but at about 14:00h local, fog (or clouds?) rolled in and the temperature up there plummeted and I thought the weather might take a turn for the worst. I packed up and walked back to the car, making it back to my peanut-butter and jelly sandwich before the drizzle began.

Another view from along the trail. The structure on top of the hill just to left of center is Throni (5B/CY-007) and the Archibishop Makarios monument.

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