The first time I climbed the trad routes at Hurma (Hurma Kayaları), I was surprised to find bolts on Etli Döner. There are over 1000 bolted routes nearby at Geyikbayırı. Why would anyone want/need to bolt some of the few trad routes in Antalya? I asked the trad climbing guidebook author, Yılmaz, about this after seeing the bolts. I was certainly surprised that he knew nothing about the bolting there. He was shocked and said bolting definitely wasn’t allowed in that area. He immediately sent someone up to cut the bolts (the two-bolt anchor halfway up the route was left in place for ease of descent). Of course, it’s important to do this sooner rather than later to send a message to the bolter that this won’t be tolerated. As far as I’ve heard, no one knows who did the bolting.
Ferda and I went up there again and climbed a couple routes on the same face with Fahri and Kevser. It’s a fun place to spend the day. Here’s Ferda making her way up to the first belay station:
Look, you really can use trad gear in Antalya:
My favorite place to backpack in Turkey is the Kaçkar Mountains. I’ve backpacked there three times, and there are many other routes I’d like to do. I’ve also backpacked in Aladağlar a couple times, and in Sarıkamış, Yenice (Karabük), and Köroğlu Dağları in Bolu. Küre Dağları in Kastamonu are high on my list. I crossed them by bicycle once but haven’t backpacked there yet. However, the most popular place to backpack in Turkey is probably the Likya Yolu right here in Antalya.
The Likya Yolu (Lycian Way) is a marked 500km trail from Antalya to Fethiye. Because there are lots of road access points, it’s possible to do most (all?) of the route as day trips if you’re willing to organize a lot of transportation. The Antalya hiking groups often do just that. They hire a dolmuş with a driver so getting the vehicle from the start to the finish point is no problem. I did one of these hikes when I was first in Antalya in April 2012 from Adrasan to Karaöz.
This short stretch from Kaleüçağız to İnişdibi is, somewhat amazingly, only the second section of the Likya Yolu that I’ve walked. It’s a good section, taking in the archaeological sites of Theimiussa and Simena. I had been to Kaleüçağız once before with Ferda when we did a little seakayaking so I knew what a beautiful spot it is.
The original plan for this day had been to walk from Kapaklı to Kaleüçağız, but it was raining hard in Kapaklı so we decided to drive on and see if the weather was any better in Kaleüçağız. It wasn’t. We waited for about an hour for the rain to let up and ended up having pretty good weather the rest of the day. However, because of the late start, we cut the hike a bit short by coming out at İnişdibi instead of Kapaklı. That sort of flexibility is quite easy to arrange when you have a driver and ubiquitous cell phone coverage.
Mediterranean views, Likya tombs, easy walking — a good outing.
I’ve sort of been on a roll about these easy peak-bagging hikes near Antalya. This one’s Delikli Dağı, a hike I did over three years ago. The group leader was Metin, the same Metin who led us up Güllük Dağı recently. Delikli Dağı means Holey Mountain or Mountain with Holes, named after the large holes in the mountain that are supposedly visible from Antalya. Our destination, in fact, wasn’t the summit at all, but a couple of these holes. Perhaps we’d call then arches in Utah or Colorado.
I’ve never been able to spot those holes from Antalya.
The access to Delikli Dağı is from Sarı Çınar, the peak above Hisarçandır with the large antenna at the top. We drove almost all the way to the summit, parked, and actually started our walk to Delikli Dağı with a 400m descent! I think it wasn’t more than three hours to the arches.
I remember at the time that I had been getting tired of the large, regimented group excursions that are common in Turkey. It’s quite different from what we’d expect in the US. I’ve commented on this before, particularly about how I’ve caused problems, I’d guess you’d say, for some leaders. Metin’s more casual than most, and my notes from this day say this “was one of the best group excursions from Antalya” that I’ve done.
Here we’re descending away from the antenna:
Termessos is one of my favorite ruined cities in Turkey. It has a beautiful setting in the mountains above Antalya. I’ve been at least five times — only once by bicycle — and have blogged about it before. This was the first time, however, I climbed Güllük Dağı. That’s the steep mountain that you can’t help looking at when you’re sitting in the theater. Here it is behind me in a photo taken almost five years ago:
This is the view we got of the mountain as we were walking up to the summit a couple weeks ago:
The hardest thing about this one-night backpacking trip with Özgür and Burak was remembering the name of the first peak we summited: Tastaratacağı. Çalbalı’s a little easier, but maybe that’s because I’ve climbed it before.
We drove up to Hisarçandır and then took the dirt road that heads up to Sarı Çınar, the summit with the large antenna on top. In the forest there’s a marked intersection with a sign indicating Üçsöğüt Yaylası is to the left. It’s not. We went right and then left onto a smaller road at an unmarked intersection higher up. We followed that road most of the way to Üçsöğüt Yaylası until the going gets too rough for a normal car.
From where we parked our car to the summit of Tastaratacağı took less then two hours, even carrying our big packs. I was surprised as I’d heard that access to Tastaratacağı was rather difficult. It turns out that the difficult thing is getting to the bottom of Tastaratacağı. There are a couple 900m trad routes up the steep east face of the mountain. Getting to the start of those routes takes some effort apparently.
Here are some views from Tastaratacağı’s jagged summit: