It was back in 1996 when Andrea di Bari “discovered”, almost by chance, the nigh limitless garden of rocks on the island while holidaying in Greece’s Dodecanese with his wife. The Italian immediately returned the following May to bolt the first 43 sport climbs at the sectors Arhi, Odyssey and Poets, and from that moment on there was no way of stopping the wave of development on the island and on nearby Telendos.
Since those early beginnings Kalymnos has evolved into one of best sport climbing areas in the world and it has become a reference point for the entire climbing community. The island hosts circa 15,000 climbers each year; everyone comes here in search of that magical mix of fabulous limestone, the exceptional Aegean sea and the legendary Greek hospitality and cuisine that all render the atmosphere on the small island absolutely unique.
After 20 years of incessant new routing, those first 46 climbs have grown exponentially and the number is now about to tip 3500. Incredibly, the potential for new routing is not yet exhausted. The whole island reborn since then with many people started new businesses, restaurants, rentals, climbing shops etc etc. During the high season at October, Kalymnos International Climbing Festival takes place every year. Some climbing brands like The North Face, Petzl, hosted it for some years and the best climbers out there meet each other on this small corner of the Aegean.
While the whole climbing “mood” started to explode, the need of a trained team that could help in case of any accidents was very necessary. A bunch of local people, offer their voluntarily help in those accidents until 2013 ,when Kalymnos Rescue Team formed with those people among many many more in order to cover voluntarily as better as they can, every climbing accident may occur.
Kalymnos Rescue Team has the full support of Hellenic Mountaineering and Climbing federation.
Every year those guys take seminars in rope rescue and first aid and since 2013 team made over 100 successful rescues. As volunteers,their support comes from climbers who support and donate through the famous orange boxes around the island,or their PayPal account.