[IMAGE]                  Hobbies – Climbing
I was introduced to rock climbing at the tender age of 50, by Tzortzis Milias, a dear friend who is a chemistry teacher in Athens and a well-known persona on the Greek mountains. Persistent training with Tzortzis in Greece, including on the island of Kalymnos, a world-class climbing destination, and also in and around the Boston area with MIT students and colleagues (Kuang Xu, Guy Bresler, and many others) finally bore some fruit. Here are some of the most memorable adventures.

  • August 2016 - Yosemite Snake Dike. Tzortzis made the long trip from Greece to San Francisco. With him leading, we climbed the Half Dome, in Yosemite, via the Snake Dike (5.7R). The long hike and approach to the base of the route, the climbing itself, and the long walk back, took us about 22 hours, nonstop. The experience was unforgettable, especially because the poorly protected route was at times intimidating – Yosemite's smooth and featureless granite was a novel experience.

    A description of the trip (in Greek) was featured in the mountaineering magazine Κορφές ("Peaks").

  • April 2014 - Nireas, Symi, Greece. The beautiful Aegean island of Symi, is endowed with a variety of sports routes and a spectacular 300+ meter vertical wall. After gazing at that wall for many summers, it finally became accessible. With Tzortzis leading all except for the easier first pitch, I followed along the Nireas route (250 meters, 6c/5.11a, marked yellow in the picture).