From sea level to Medetsiz (3524m) (and Tarsus)

It’s one thing to drive to a trailhead and walk up a mountain.  It’s quite another thing, and much more aesthetically pleasing in my opinion, to make your way under your own power to the trailhead and then continue to the summit.  Maybe Göran Kropp is the only one who has really climbed Mt. Everest?  Actually I’m sure that’s not true as there must be numerous Sherpa who have walked from their villages to the summit.

From my house in Boulder I collected a number of bike-then-hike summits: Longs Peak (with Craig), Mt. Evans (with Kurt), North and South Arapaho (with Karl), Bear Peak (with Kevin), Apache, Mt. Meeker, a number of times up Audubon, and others I’m certainly forgetting.  Once for Audubon I tried to do it fairly quickly and was pleased enough with my time that I posted it on one of the record sites that was up then.  I can’t find the site now, and my personal notes aren’t readily accessible, but I can assure you it was well off what the real athletes do.

From Antalya the only ones I can think of are Sarı Çınar and Geyiksivrisi.  For the latter I’m not too embarrassed to say it took 9.5 hours from my house in Kaleiçi to the summit and back.  Speaking of speed Héctor Ponce de León’s sub 24 hour time from the Gulf of Mexico to the summit of Orizaba is definitely something to be proud of.  Wow, while researching this post, I learned that an Italian bested Héctor’s time seven years ago, but the Mexican has come back and done it again in just over 13 hours!

Bagging summits on a bicycle tour is definitely a different style, perhaps the “Nice Michel” style, I can say?  Years ago, when warmshowers was a paper list mailed annually from Balboa Island, I took advantage of a similar French list, CAC (Cyclo Accueil Cyclo), to find hosts.  Michel and his wonderful family hosted us in their house near Nice.  I still remember Michel describing his US bicycle tour.  He flew to San Francisco, pedaled away from the airport, and along the way ended up on the summit of Mt. Whitney.  Wow, “that really counts!”, I’ve always thought.

Over the years I’ve been up some peaks in that style.  Two come to mind: Kaçkar from Erzurum and Doi Inthanon from Bangkok.  This week it was Medetsiz, the highest point in the Bolkar Mountains.  42 days from my house in Antalya to the top of Medetsiz certainly doesn’t set any speed records.  However, less than 48 hours before I was on the summit, I dropped into a canyon and crossed a river at about 500m.

IMG_20200707_105312 by bryandkeith on flickr

IMG_20200709_090946 by bryandkeith on flickr

I wish I had taken a selfie at the bottom.  I was covered in sweat in shorts and a t-shirt!

With the ups and downs I think it was about 3700m climbing in 48 hours which, well, counts for something, I guess.

IMG_20200707_102343 by bryandkeith on flickr

IMG_20200707_122756_8 by bryandkeith on flickr

IMG_20200708_095311 by bryandkeith on flickr

IMG_20200709_121520 by bryandkeith on flickr

IMG_20200709_103941 by bryandkeith on flickr

Looking north -- toward Maden, I guess. by bryandkeith on flickr

I stopped here to rest and cool down on the way down:

IMG_20200709_123138 by bryandkeith on flickr

Meski (the Mersin Water Department) gets water from here (thus, the pipes). by bryandkeith on flickr

A day later (via dolmuş from Gülek) I was back in Tarsus for yet another dentist appointment.  Since I can now say fairly confidently that I won’t be back in Tarsus any time soon, I’ll include some photos of my three recent Tarsus visits here.

In spite of Tarsus’ long history, the city really isn’t that interesting to visit.  I felt the same way after spending about three days in Tarsus three years ago.

There’s a small area of somewhat neglected old houses,

IMG_20200706_100303 by bryandkeith on flickr

The area of Tarsus' old houses is pretty small and run down by bryandkeith on flickr

the Kubat Paşa Medresesi,

Kubat Paşa Medresesi by bryandkeith on flickr

the Ulu Camii with its nice courtyard and a clock tower instead of one of the minarets (with Arabic numerals on the face of the clock!),

IMG_20200710_185330 by bryandkeith on flickr

IMG_20200710_185707 by bryandkeith on flickr

Cleopatra’s Gate (with the obligatory “Love Tarsus” letters; these seem to be everywhere now!),

Cleaopatra's Gate by bryandkeith on flickr

but the highlight for me was, I think, Tarsus’ famous humus and fındık lahmacun (much better than what I complained about in Çamlıyayla).

Tarsus' famous humus and fındık lahmacun by bryandkeith on flickr

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7 Responses to From sea level to Medetsiz (3524m) (and Tarsus)

  1. Derek and Jennie Werner says:

    As always inspiring and interesting. Derek and Jennie

  2. Mike Painter says:


  3. Zoë says:

    This is really cool

  4. Zoë says:

    This is really cool the food looks delicious I wish I was there

  5. Karl Thompson says:

    Dude I still remember the bass drum pounding in my head as we traversed from South to North Arapaho peak. What a day!
    PS I love this blog. I’m glad it sent me an email reminder to check it 🙂

    • Bryan Keith says:

      Hi Karl,

      Yes, that was a great day on the Arapahos. Sure, you had a little headache, but wasn’t that good training for your weekend on Orizaba? You’re a crazy man! 🙂

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