My Favorite Playground – KALYMNOS 

Posted on in Adventure + Travel, Featured, Health + Lifestyle, Nature + Outdoors, Sports + Training by Rannveig Aamodt
2015kalymnos-238

Photo of Rannveig Aamodt. By: Nathan Welton. (http://www.dreamtimeimages.com / http://www.aamodtstudio.com)

Coming to Kalymnos as a rock climber is like discovering Nirvana. It's a little island off the coast of mainland Greece and it might have the highest concentration of sport climbing routes anywhere in the world. The style of the rock climbing is varied but often very steep and three-dimensional. Many times I've found myself in an ocean of stalactites sticking out from the rock walls wondering which way to face my body. The broad variety of the difficulty of the climbing makes this place fun for climbers at all levels. You can often see people who are climbing for the first time in their life and elite level climbers at the same crag.

2015fall-kalymnos-112

Photo of Rannveig Aamodt. By: Nathan Welton. (http://www.dreamtimeimages.com / http://www.aamodtstudio.com)

During the high season you've got climbers migrating here from every corner of the world and you can be guarantied to meet new people and reconnect with old friends. The climbing community is a quite interesting group of people. We are almost like different species of migrating birds who, year round, are chasing the weather for the best climbing condition. We all have different preferences of what temperatures we like to climb in. Some people prefer to spend their holiday in the sun and don't mind the hot temperatures, and others, myself included, seeks out the dry, cold and crisp conditions to optimize our performance. This makes it very likely to run into the same people in different countries year after year, and to bond with people from across the world. We all come from different backgrounds with different stories, but with a common intention in mind: to play on rock.

My husband Nathan and I both have jobs that let us work from anywhere. We had decided to spend fall of 2015 to spring of 2016 in Europe. We came to Kalymnos in late October with the intention of going to Spain after some time on the island. A month later we saw people leaving, the shops and restaurants closing and the little town we stayed in transforming from being a crowded melting pot, to a ghost town. For two months we found ourselves alone at the crags, in perfect conditions with only a few other local climbers. We felt like we had discovered a huge secret.

It was so peaceful. There were nowhere else in the world I would rather be than right here. That itself is quite a precious feeling. It's the feeling when you are exactly where you want to be.

2015fall-kalymnos-346

Photo of Rannveig Aamodt. By: Nathan Welton. (http://www.dreamtimeimages.com / http://www.aamodtstudio.com)

This place gives me deep peace.

Now, spring is here and the island is becoming alive. We no longer have Nirvana for ourselves, but the feeling of change in season is always good. The hillsides are turning yellow with flowers and the whole island smells like a herb garden. You walk through fields of thyme and rosemary to get to the crags, and the aroma is released as the twigs break while you walk.

Kalymnians like their Greek food, and put pride in their meals made from local ingredients. Everything is so fresh, and you can hand pick grapes, oranges, olives, lemons, figs and clementines. It's not that hard to eat a meal that is completely local.

2015fall-kalymnos-488-2

Photo of Rannveig Aamodt. By: Nathan Welton. (http://www.dreamtimeimages.com / http://www.aamodtstudio.com)

I love cats, especially one. Her name is Gaia, and she adopted us a few months ago. We cared for her, fed her, and had her neutered so she could live a life with less stress. In turn, she learned the sound of our scooter and would jump out of the bushes to say hi every time we returned home from climbing. A few weeks ago, we found her on a mountainside with a compound fracture of her rear leg, and Gaia, now an amputee, is recovering in our apartment.

IMG_7574

Photo of Rannveig Aamodt. By: Nathan Welton. (http://www.dreamtimeimages.com / http://www.aamodtstudio.com)

To keep up with Rannveig and Nathan's journeys, follow them here:

facebookRannveig's Facebook

IGRannveig's Instagram

facebookNathan's Facebook

IGNathan's Instagram


Rannveig Aamodt

Rannveig is a professional rock climber, photographer and a certified yoga instructor. She has also spent many years in school studying alternative veterinary medicine. Rannveig splits her time between Colorado and the rest of the world traveling for rock climbing.Rannveig was born in Norway in 1984, with nomad blood, on a farm way out there. She grew up by mountains and loves the feeling of being a part of nature. She loves exposure and high places. Rannveig loves hiking into remote crags with a pack, feeling tired, watching how the light falls on the mountains throughout the days and with the seasons. When people ask her when she started climbing, she likes to quote a famous Norwegian philosopher and mountaineer - Arne Næss: “I just never stopped.” Her older brother brought her rock climbing some time in her early 20s. It looked like he was dancing up the walls, and Rannveig got totally fascinated at how it captured her mind. For most of the time when she's climbing the rest of the world just disappears. She's completely in the moment. And after years of climbing, that same feeling is what keeps her inspired to go climbing and working on projects. She feels like the more she gives and engages with climbing and the process of working a route, the more she gets back. Every new route teaches her something new about herself. It makes all her weaknesses and strengths stick out, and it makes it all too clear sometimes. She feels like climbing teaches her how to work with the elements, not fight against them. (although sometimes, sends her battles!) You can’t change the rock, you have to focus and engage on the next move.In 2016, Rannveig spent 4.5 months crossing the length of Norway. It was a 3,000km journey on cross country skis some years back.In April 2012, Rannveig broke her back, both ankles, pelvis, and her elbow in a 15m ground fall while rock climbing in Turkey. She was in a wheelchair for two months and had to re-learn how to walk, but through rigorous training and a lot of determination, Rannveig returned and was in the best shape of her life. She loves climbing and what it has given her, despite it almost killing her. Rannveig's immediate goals are to keep improving, keep traveling, and continue to have more fun than anybody else at the crag!


Latest Posts

The Rest of Us

Nature's Bakery Ambassador Jaclyn PaasoNature's Bakery Ambassador Trevor DeRuiséNature's Bakery Ambassador Jay and AnikNature's Bakery Ambassador Rannveig AamodtNature's Bakery Ambassador Denis IsbisterNature's Bakery Ambassador The Vegan CyclistNature's Bakery Ambassador Jody StoopsNature's Bakery Ambassador Matt BalzerNature's Bakery Ambassador Kelsey and Jared WolfeNature's Bakery Ambassador Fit Mom DietNature's Bakery Ambassador Ty TremaineNature's Bakery Ambassador Jason MattickNature's Bakery Ambassador H24cyclingNature's Bakery Ambassador Timothy MuellerNature's Bakery Ambassador Alex MockNature's Bakery Ambassador Parker HeathNature's Bakery Ambassador Jenna DramiseNature's Bakery Ambassador Bryon and NatashaNature's Bakery Ambassador Jeremy PondNature's Bakery Ambassador Nelly SteinhoffNature's Bakery Ambassador Truckee River OutsidersNature's Bakery Ambassador Kreitler Racing TeamNature's Bakery Ambassador Moxie MultisportNature's Bakery Ambassador Jerheme Urban

Categories

Archives

© 2017 Nature's Bakery All rights reserved     Privacy Policy     Terms of Use