We arrived in Greece 4 days ago after a 26 hour ferry ride from Venice Italy. We met 3 extreme travelers on the ferry who were traveling from South Africa by way of Land Rover, one which was 3 years older than ours… Crazy stuff. Anyways we camped and traveled with them for three days after we landed in Greece until we began the fieldwork in Samarina. The fieldwork requires a two or three hour hike up to an area above 2,200 meters where only one type of tree, Bosnian Pine, grows. With a chainsaw we sample dead wood and with an increment borer we sample living trees. This involves walking miles along mountain ridges and valleys, through snowfields and over limestone covered meadows to find the oldest wood possible to sample. There are some sketchy areas with extremely steep slopes that we either had to cross in order to sample or directly sample from, in this case ice picks and mountaineering boots would have been ideal but we made it work. The mountain we were working on was directly adjacent to Mt. Smolikas the tallest mountain in the Smolikas range, over 2,600 meters. Here the weather moves incredibly fast as clouds and wind is channeled through the peaks on either side of the pass. It was extremely important to layer clothing here because one moment it could be warm and sunny then the next snow and strong winds. A normal hike includes arriving at the summit round 12:00pm, and sampling for about 5 hours and then loading our packs up with extra food, clothing, equipment and now 15-20 large pieces of wood and walking 2 hours down to the truck. Great day.
Wifi is hard to come by in the mountains, that is why my posts are few and far between so bare with me! Pictures to come once I figure out how to create an album on this site.
Today we will move to a new site located southwest of Samarina near Elefthero and organize for another trip into the mountains. More updates to come!