Katara Pass

Katara Pass, an epic road trip, dangerous in winters

The Katara Pass (also known as Metsovo Pass) is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 1.705m (5,594ft) above the sea level, located in the Pindus mountain range, in northern Greece. On November 2011, the road over the pass was officially closed. It's one of the highest mountain roads of the country.

The pass is located on the border of Ioannina regional unit and Trikala regional unit. The road traversing the summit is called E92-6. It’s asphalted. Tire chains are used every winter and at the time traffic was at its peak between the 1960s and the 1980s, notably the early 2000s. With the opening of the Metsovo Tunnel in the 1980s and since 2004 and 2005 connected with the rest of the Egnatia Odos, traffic sharply declined.
On November 2011, the road over the pass was closed. On the east side of the pass a concrete road block blocks one of the two lanes and the other is marked with a label “Only for local residents allowed”. The road is still paved and wide but not under maintenance so as time goes by the condition becomes worse.

Excellent parts of pavement alternate with parts which are only hard to pass, probably due to earthquakes, which made the asphalt to slide down at minimum for 15 centimeters. So if you do not have enough ground clearance it seems to be extremely difficult (or impossible) to cross this pass. At some points the asphalt has dropped more than 30 centimeters across the whole width of the road. It seems to be quite improbable that this will be repaired because there are grass, bushes and trees growing on the street. The asphalted road is surrounded with pine and spruce trees, it is one of several pass that has lamp posts along the highway. It offers views of the Aoos and the Pineios valleys as well as the surrounding mountains.
Road suggested by: Michael Spannlang 


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