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près de Avrakóndes, Crete (Greece)
A hike to the highest peak of Dikti Mt from Limnakaros Plateau 1130m. The route ascends on trail, following the marked E4, up to 1790m altitude. There, it derives for a lesser trail, reaching the Spathi peak at 2148m elevation. On the descent, the track follows the ridgeline SW of the peak, and then gets off trail down to E4 again, at 1540m altitude. From there on, the route is the same as on the ascent.
Total distance 12.9 km
Accumulative gain +1.130m.
(Για πληροφορίες στα Ελληνικά συνεχίστε προς τα κάτω ).
The ascent can be combined with a visit at Δικταιον Άντρον, at Psychro village, the cave were Dias ( Zeus ) was raised according to Mythology. Please bear in mind, that the conditions while hiking at altitude in Crete, are most of the time chilly and windy, yes, even at the summertime. An extra piece of clothing and a windproof jacket are advised to be carried in the backpack. The terrain is quite rocky and harsh, even on trails.
A few words about the mountain: Dikti mountain is the third highest in Crete, located at the east part of the island. The name derives from the ancient Greek: Διας και τίκτω, meaning giving birth to Zeus. According to the ancient Greek Mythology, the newly born Zeus was hidden by his mother Rea, at the Dikteon Antron , a cave in Dicti, thus protecting him from the rage of his father, Kronos. North of the massif, the Lasithi Plateau is located, at 820m, the largest in Crete. Numerous villages surround the plateau, leaving the central main part, clear for cultivation. The windmills, some of them still surviving today, were introduced at the Venetian era.
Access to the Limnakaros Plateau is easy with a vehicle, following a tarmac and concrete road, starting from the Avrakontes village, at Lasithti Plateau. The concrete road reaches the Agio Pnevma church, located at the western part of the plateau, at 1135m.
The recordings starts from this point, following the marked E4 trail. The road branches at four at this point, and we follow the branch heading South. The dirt road travels flat and passes by a couple of houses. It soon fades away, while reaching a broad dry river bed ( at summertime ). At this point we can pick a few E4 signs marking the trail, that travels at the East bank of the bed. ( While ascending, a lesser, parallel trail was followed ). Approaching the Spathi wall and at altitude 1350m, the trail turns West, and crosses the dry bed to the opposite bank, reaching the base of a slope.
The marked trail ascends on the slope and soon reaches a scree traverse. Continuing S-SW the trail aims an opening at 1540m. Just behind it, it reaches flat grounds, and aims the ridge, S-SW. At this point the trail turns S and ascends the slope between a few rocks. It now reaches some small plateaus, and moves from one to another until reaching the southernmost tip of a plateau at 1720m.
It now turns east and aims an opening above. Soon it reaches a shoulder giving view to the South Cretan Sea ( Libyan sea ) for the first time on this route. Traversing for a while, and with minimal altitude loss, we reach the trail crossroad at 1790m.
At this point, the E4 trail, continues it's descent down to Selakano Plateau, and thus not reaching the summit. However a lesser deviating trail, branches off to the NE. A metallic sign informs of this path, for Spathi Peak.
So picking the lesser trail to Spathi peak, we turn NE and ascent the slope following the trail and some faint red markings. Gaining altitude we reach the Ridge base, SW of Spathi Peak. The trail traverses the ridge from the south, gradually gaining altitude until it reaches the base of the peak.
From the base of the peak, it ascents for the the final push to the summit, finding it's way between some rock boulders. The peak is marked with a topographic pillar and some scattered rock fences, which offer protection from the frequent fierce winds. A summit log can be found as well.
The return route could be the same, however on this recording, the Ridgeline SW of the peak was followed, which offers spectacular view while on the move. to the N-NW. Reaching down to the base of the ridge again, and while on trail, at 1900m elevation, another deviation-shortcut was attempted. Heading off trail to the West, and then N-NW, descending a scree slope. The terrain at this scree is difficult, and probably not advised to be followed. Reaching E4 at 1540m, the recording follows the trail again, back to Limnakaros Plateau.
No water spring was encountered on the route.
Δίκτη, Οροπέδιο Λιμνάκαρου-Ε4-Σπαθί 2148μ.
Ανάβαση στην ψηλότερη κορυφή της Δίκτης από το οροπέδιο του Λιμνάκαρου, 1130μ. Η πρόσβαση στο οροπέδιο με όχημα είναι εύκολη ακολουθώντας δρόμο ασφάλτου-τσιμέντου που ξεκινά από το χωριό Αβρακόντες. Η διαδρομή ακολουθεί το σηματοδοτημένο Ε4 μέχρι υψομέτρου 1790μ. Στο σημείο αυτό συνεχίζει σε μικρότερο μονοπάτι με αραιή σήμανση για την κορυφή Σπαθί 2148μ. Η επιστροφή από την κορυφή πραγματοποιήθηκε από την ΝΔ κορυφογραμμή του Σπαθιού ( που προσφέρει όμορφη θέα εν κινήσει προς τα ΒΔ ), και στην συνέχεια από συντόμευση εκτός μονοπατιού μέχρι υψομέτρου 1540μ., οπότε και συναντά το Ε4 και πάλι. Η επιστροφή από το σημείο αυτό και έπειτα, πραγματοποιείται στην χάραξη ανάβασης.
Συνολική αποόσταση: 12.9 km
Θετική υψομετρική +1.130m.
Επιπρόσθετες πληροφορίες στα Ελληνικά μπορούν να βρεθούν στο κείμενο των waypoints και στις λεζάντες των φωτογραφιών.