Climber on Bad Karma VIII+/IX-
Horguc Magara (Olympos, Turkey)
climbing in Turkey was initiated by European climbers as early
as the 1950's. In the late 1980's Turkish climbers began climbing
significant ascents. Many of these climbers began their training
in Huseyingazi, Ankara and Ballikayalar in Izmit (near Istanbul).
These areas contained the first one pitch routes. The first
bolted routes came about in 1993. Öztürk Kayikci
has developed most of the sport climbing in Turkey . The first
sport climbing and bouldering competitions where held at at
Hacettepe University (where we now train), Ankara (2002) and
Atolye climbing wall in Istanbul (2001).
is about a 1 1/2 hour drive from Ankara. It's 'possible' to
get a bus to Eskisehir and be dropped off at the Karakaya
turning, and then walk to the camp site which would take about
1/2 hr. The closest place for supplies is Kaymaz (10 minute
drive). There is a trickle of water which is okay for drinking,
there are no other facilities. The campsite is under the trees.
The rock is granite and nice and solid. Local climbers focus
on the sport routes which are clean from the repeats, trad
routes are climbed less. There are boulders everywhere. There
are about 80 routes that have been developed by Öztürk,
Findik, Maurits Van Kaag and others. We met Maurits and
Seckin, who were busy putting up more sport routes, over a
week, before a climbing festival. Ankara climbers migrate
here most weekends.
topping out on an VIII +
Geyikbayiri (meaning doe/ female deer ground) is located in
the Taurus Mountains, 25km west of Antalya in Turkey. It was
discovered by Metin Yilmaz who invited Öztürk Kayikci
(the pioneer of Antalya climbing) from Istanbul to take a
look in December 2000. Öztürk recalls in his new
guide book of Antalya Climbing;
" Explaining the villagers of rock climbing, proving
that we were not treasure hunters,was exhausting but fun.
The villagers who would notice us from far away and think
that were climbing without ropes would get worried and shout
frantically "Get down from there or you'll die",
at the top of their lungs. A
Rock Climbing Guide to Antalya, Öztürk
Öztürk, local and foreign climbers have developed
a really cool climbing area. There are roughly around 300+
routes which have been bolted, of various grades (UIAA 4 to
10). Twenty six areas have been developed, with a few routes
below UIAA 5-, almost 60 routes between 5- and 6+. The majority
of grades are between UIAA 7 to 9. Geyikbayiri is the first
climbing area in Turkey to be known internationally and it
has developed massively in the last two years. Climbers are
comparing it to Kalymnos and the Verdon Gorge.
The best climbing is from early September to June. The rainy
season, particularly on the south coast, is usually December
and January (although January 2007 has seen some amazing spring
days!). July is hot and August is unbearable. It is a beautiful
time in the winter with the green/ blue ocean and the snow
We stayed at the JoSiTo
camp for one night which is central to all of the crags. The
Climbers Garden is also very central http://www.climbersgarden.com/
from JoSiTo climbing camp.
JoSiTo stems from the names of the three founders: Jost, Siri
, and Tobias. The
JoSiTo-camp is situated in front of Heart Sol, Heart Sag,
Left Cave Sol, Left Cave Sag, Yilan, Turkish Standard and
Right Cave crags. Most of the crags are 5 to 30 minutes by
foot from the camp. Akyarlar is small sea crag (off the beach)
25 minutes from the campsite. It has roughly 20 routes and
is in a beautiful bay. The food at JoSiTo's is absolutely
delicious and the atmosphere very, very relaxed and friendly.
You need at least a week here.
The drive to Olympos is roughly about
two hours from Geyikbayiri. Olympos has a long beach covered
in colourful rock pebbles, with a fresh water stream running
into it. Looking skywards it is surrounded by mountains (including
2366m Mount Olympos) covered in trees . It is 'another' Turkish
paradise! Olympos is one of the most important historical
cities of ancient Lycia and there are ruins everywhere.
The rock is a myriad of incredible colours.
The philosophy at Olympos is, 'I came, I saw, and I stayed
and stayed and stayed and stayed.......'
Ashton Smith (it was hot, even in Oct!)
I noticed the band of rock from the far side of the beach,
I rushed there in excitement. The shapes and colours of the
rock where almost like a painting. The wall, which was absolutely
vertical and blank like it was cut by the sword of Zeus, had
a mesmerizing effect that took one from the Turquoise coast
and drew one to itself through the historical ruins."
(A Rock Climbing Guide to Antalya, Öztürk Kayikci).
Öztürk is talking about Cennet (c in Turkish is
always pronounced as j, as in jam), which translates as Heaven.
The first routes in Olympos were the few across the stream
from Kadir's Tree houses. They were originally put up for
search and rescue operations. Since 2002 many routes have
been developed. Olympos has eight areas
developed with about 110 routes.
chilling out at Kadir's Tree houses....
Aladaglar is the northern part of the
Taurus mountain range. It begins from Middle Anatolia and
reaches South for 60 km. It's 25 km wide. The Cimbar Valley
has lots of sport and alpine sport routes, ranging from 300
to 700 m. The Cimbar valley is set around 1600m. The best
months to climb here are May to November.
There are multi pitch climbs and big wall routes on the high
peaks, and the ideal months for these routes are June to September.
See the web site of, Zeynep Tantekin Ýnce and Recep
Ýnce for more information.