It was on July 19, 2017 when we started walking from Prionia up to Refuge Agapitos where we stayed for the night before continuing our journey to Mytikas the next day.
It took us about 4 hours and 30 minutes until we reached Agapitos. From here, we enjoyed the breeze of the mountain and the view of Litohoro village, which is located at the foot of mount Olympus.
At exactly 5:30 am of July 20, 2017 we continued our journey to the summit where we will meet up with the rest of the climbers. It took us 4 hours going up the summit regardless of the steepy paths. From the base of the Throne of Zeus, the group gathered together for the briefing on how to crawl to the top of Mytikas.
Out of 12 in our group (8 Greeks, 1 Italian and 3 Filipinos: namely Joy Oloan Ramirez, Jerry Ramirez and Marilyn Oloan) only 5 continued to climb Mytikas. The 7 got scared and decided to wait for us at the Plateau of the Muses.
So we (3 Filipinos and 2 Greeks) bravely faced our fears and crawled up the steepy scrambled rocks for about 40 minutes until we reached the very top of Mytikas (the so-called Throne of Zeus). We stayed there for 30 minutes, took some photos with our tapis and rendered an Igorot song to the throne which is “Nan Layad Nan Likatan.”
Now time for us to go down. The 5 of us stared at each other saying if only we can stay here forever because the path we’re about to pass is the same steepy and scrambled. But Kiryo Vaselis told us that we did it to the top, we must do it back down. So there we go again crawling down making sure that we will not let our fear conquer us but rather we will conquer our fear. It took us 1 hr and 5 minutes to go down the throne safe and alive. When we reached the base of the throne that was the only time that we all took a very deep breath and shouted yoho we did it. We are Alive.
We are very proud to let our co-Igorots know that we are the first Filipinos-Igorots who climbed Mytikas Mount Olympus, the highest mountain in Greece.
About the Author
Joy Tayab Oloan-Ramirez is a native of Samoki, Bontoc, Mountain Province, Philippines. She was a teacher in Baguio City but in December 2008, she gave up her position to try her luck in Greece. In 2013-2014 she was elected second president of BIMAK Greece. And in 2014, she also founded the Igorot Cooperative in Athens, Greece where until now, the organization is doing very well. She lives with her husband in Athens Greece and she also works in Turkey.