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The High Mountains of Crete: A Walking and Trekking Guide: The White Mountains, Psiloritis and Lassithi Ranges (Cicerone Mountain Guide) Paperback – 18 Sep 2008
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Now published as a full colour guide, this new edition supersedes and expands Cicerone's original guide to The White Mountains, with additional routes, photographs and information for the Psiloritis and Lassithi ranges, and new mapping. With an agreeable climate, an amazing landscape and a history stretching back to the start of civilisation, Crete makes an outstanding destination. The beauty of the Gorge of Samaria National Park is well known, but Crete offers many other spectacular gorges, together with numerous peaks rising to over 2100m. There are high mountain plains, forested crags, massive cliffs, and remote beaches. Proud, but also informal, friendly and hospitable, Cretans offer a range of facilities to visitors both in the countryside and on the coast.This work features general information on: walking in Crete; Western Crete: 53 walks in the White Mountains and south coast together with 10 multi-day trekking routes; Central Crete: 17 walks and treks on Mount Ida; Eastern Crete: 12 walks and treks in the Lassithi Mountains; and, E4 Trail across each of these ranges.
About the Author
In 1979, after returning from a spell in the early Dubai building boom, Loraine Wilson swapped life as an Architectural Assistant for trek leading, mainly in the mountains of Greece. A lifelong hillwalker and backpacker, she has been walking the Cretan mountains since 1982.
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The walks and trails I have undertaken in Crete since discovering the island's adventurous challenges at the age of almost 60 are well described, so I can only assume that the quality of information regarding the ones I would have liked to tackled before age and arthritis put a damper on my safety and confidence, are up to the same high standard. For the aging Armchair Mountaineer like myself the descriptions bring the countryside to life and the photograph in themselves are a joy.. Most of my lifelong hill-walking and climbing has been undertaken alone and this book would have sounded many a cautionary note of safety-first as well as tempting me into those magical high places.
It is robustly bound, printed on good-quality paper and is of a sensible pocket-size., which unfortunately means that it a little on the heavy side, but then, the British Climbers-Guides of the 50's and 60's were heavy, too, but essential reading, so one has to accepted that. No one wants a guidebook that falls apart in the rain just when it is most needed!.
This has all the feeling of an excellent guidebook to one of the Western world's lesser known mountain area's and used sensibly will take the competent hill-walker and scrambler into places that one could previously only hope to traverse safely with the help of a local guide, though no one should underestimate the difficulties imposed by navigation, weather and remoteness and turn away from the safety value that comes from having a live and experienced companion.
I am only sorry that this guidebook was not available to me 30 year ago; I could have gone to so many more of the places i have admired from afar among Crete's magical mountains and gorges.
As a footnote, I can only wonder at the skills and endurance of those who, in the past have lived and worked and, yes, even fought in less peaceful times, amongst these high and remote places.
A greatbook for the Armchair Mountaineer and the younger, fitter explorer alike. Just don;t under-estimate Crete's mountains, though, they are serious mountains, so follow Ms, Wilson excellent adviceon what you will need to travel in safety. Remember, you won't get anythin like the Snowdonia, or Scottish Mountain Rescue teams coming to your aid if anything goes wrong, because Crete does not work like that...
We went to Crete for just a week and did 3 of the walks from this book. We may have been unlucky but all the trails were uninspiring slogs and very overgrown (close to impassable in places). I accept that vegetation grows up but the routes themselves lacked detail in their description and the features along the way were glossed over or missed entirely, in some cases to the extent that I question whether the author had ever walked them. The locals are not shy in erecting fences and barricades when it suits them or their livestock so be warned.
I am sure that there are some magnificent walks in the mountains of Crete and perhaps one day I will go back but not with this book. Strongly advise you to look at alternatives.
Probably only suitable for the regular mountain walker as opposed to the stroller
The E4 routes through the white mountains are hard with tricky paths .The waymarking on the sections we walked
Other routes near the north coast were more straightforward