Michailidis George

George Michaelides was born in 1915 in Asia Minor. He worked in Athens for the Water Company and in his youth he was involved in boxing. During this period he climbed the nearby mountains of Athens to train and so the mountains and mountaineering completely conquered him. In 1945 he enrolled in the Athens Department of EOS. From an early age he started with difficult ascents and climbing. The first climb of his mountaineering life took place in 1951 on the western slope of Skorda in Vardousia. The last one in 1980 on the North slope of the School on Olympus.

For 30 whole years he dominated the Greek slopes that he literally plowed. He associated his name with some of the most difficult climbs of our mountains: The Plaka of Giona, the Western Rectangle of Stefani, the Schisma of Mytikas, the North Edge or “Ax” of Gamila, the North side of Tsouka Possa, the routes of our mountains.

In parallel with his climbing achievements, George Michailidis was engaged non-profitly for almost 40 years in mountain training. He believed in the necessity of basic climbing knowledge for all those who deal with the mountain and tried from an early age to spread climbing in clubs outside the EOS (since 1953) meeting the reactions of the then mountaineering establishment.

In 1956 he was trained at the School of National Instructors of Italy. On 26/2/66 he was awarded the diploma of “National Climbing Instructor” by King Constantine (supreme lord of the time).

Present in every movement related to climbing, Michailidis, a tireless worker, hurried to every corner of our country to serve it. Always eager, diligent and methodical, with his articles, speeches and rock lessons he tried to introduce Greek climbers to his climbing techniques, until 1990.

In 1990 and 1992 G. Michailidis was elected to the central committee of MOUNTAIN WILDERNESS. An exceptional honorary distinction since the committee consists of the leaders of world mountaineering, climbers such as John Hunt, Pennolt Messner, Chris Boninkton, Kurt Drirberger, Patrick Cabaru and others. It was an international recognition of the work of George Michaelides, a man who dedicated his life to mountaineering ideals.

On July 23, 1995, Olympus, the mountain – a world symbol, kept George Michaelides close to him forever. The 80-year-old George Michailidis was descending excitedly from Mytika (2917m.) Where he had climbed with his grandchildren, he fell and was killed. No one knows if he slipped or fell due to heart failure. But it is certain that he left happy, on the mountain he loved so much.

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