This past March, speed mountaineer Benedikt Böhm rocked a five-hour sea-to-summit expedition up Mount Parnassus in central Greece. Starting at sea level on his road bike at the village of Itea on the Gulf of Corinth, he climbed up to an altitude of 2.414 metres.
Mount Parnassus towers above the ruins of the Oracle at Delphi, the most important shrine in ancient Greece.
The first leg of the ascent led Benedikt through mountain villages full of olive, lemon and orange orchards before reaching the ruins. Then at around 1.200 metres there was sufficient snow cover to swap bike for skis.
At altitude, the conditions became windy and cold. After five hours of climbing Benedikt finally reached the summit in a white-out, then began his descent through a half-metre of fresh snow.
Looking back on his adventure, he compared Parnassus to Mount Fuji or sacred peaks in the Himalayas. There’s a reason why people have made the pilgrimage to Delphi and Parnassus for more than 3000 years.