This year's winter in terms of the amount of snow that fell in the high parts of Crete, definitely stands out from the previous years. Christos Paterakis, who manages the Kallergi lodge and is a member of the Alpinist Association in Chania, confirms that the last time such a large amount of snow in the White Mountains was observed in 2012. He also emphasized that the uniqueness of this year's winter is also evidenced by the fact that a permanent snow cover was already recorded at an altitude of 1300 m above sea level.
Kallergi hostel. The photo comes from the website www.haniotika-nea.gr
More detailed information is provided by data collected by two sensors located in the Cretan mountains. In both cases, the largest snow cover was in these areas at the end of February. On Psiloritis, the snow cover at a height of 1480 m had a thickness of 2.8 m. On the other hand, a day later the thickness of snow lying in the area of the Kallergi shelter was just over 1.6 m.
In the following weeks, these values were constantly changing. The strong gusts of wind, which caused that the snow was moved to other places, had a particularly significant effect. This is perfectly evident in the example of Psiloritis, where at the beginning of April the sensors recorded a snow cover with a thickness of only 23 centimeters.
This is not tantamount to the fact that in all places the amount of snow is comparable. Christos Paterakis emphasizes that the thickness of the snow cover is particularly diminishing in the regions of the top mountains. Snow in these regions is blown into various types of depressions and areas covered with vegetation. In these places even today, the thickness of the snow cover can reach even more than 2.5 meters. Unfortunately, such conditions cause an increase in the risk of formation of smaller and larger avalanches, which are true in the mountains of Crete, but are not very frequent.