The pools at Tastaratacağı

which may be called Çimelik:

Caner took this photo on a nice sunny day a week after we went by bryandkeith on flickr

In Yılmaz Sevgül’s Antalya trad climbing book

IMG_20210122_120508 by bryandkeith on flickr

he shows a 19-pitch trad route straight up the 900m nose on the east face of Tastaratacağı (aka Dastaratacağı or Dastaratağı). It’s easy to get to the summit of Tastaratacağı — I’ve been there before — but as Yılmaz points out in his book getting to the base of the east face of the mountain where a couple climbing routes start can be a bit of a challenge.

Bülent, Semra, and I set off to find the base of the east face. It took three separate days — all in January 2021 — before we finally found it!

On our first effort we started walking from Elmayanı and went via Üçsöğüt Yayalsı. Şerife joined us for this excursion. It didn’t take us long to get down to the top of some cliffs and realize that we definitely couldn’t continue down that way. There are sort of two saddles between Tastaratacağı and Çalbalı, and at this point we realized that we needed to cross the one farther NE, closer to Çalbalı. Here we are looking over the edge, seeing we weren’t going down that way:

WhatsApp%20Image%202021-01-07%20at%2018.52.46%20(2) by bryandkeith on flickr

A few days later we crossed that saddle closer to Çalbalı and walked down through a pleasant forest with some nice views.

IMG_20210112_094353 by bryandkeith on flickr
IMG_20210112_101413 by bryandkeith on flickr

In a cloud we made our way down a steep drainage only to find ourselves above some beautiful pools. Semra and Bülent knew about the pools in this area (though they had never here before). For me, however, it was a complete and very nice surprise.

The access though was steep, and I decided that getting through here with a large pack full of camping and climbing equipment — what would be required for the east face of the mountain — would be quite a challenge.

Trying to find a way down to the pool; this would be hard with a big pack by bryandkeith on flickr
WhatsApp%20Image%202021-01-12%20at%2018.21.50%20(1) by bryandkeith on flickr

The pools are worth a visit in their own right.

IMG_20210112_105922 by bryandkeith on flickr
WhatsApp%20Image%202021-01-12%20at%2018.34.05 by bryandkeith on flickr
IMG_20210112_112227 by bryandkeith on flickr
IMG_20210112_140516 by bryandkeith on flickr
IMG_20210112_134512 by bryandkeith on flickr

If that last pool looks familiar, it’s ’cause it’s the same one as the first photo in this post. We were in a cloud when we were there, but another friend, Caner, visited a week later on a brilliant sunny day. He sent me the sunny weather photo.

In the cloud Bülent and I continued down to the base of the mountain. I thought we had to be pretty close to the climbing routes, but we gave up without searching too long since we couldn’t see anything.

IMG_20210112_155912 by bryandkeith on flickr

A week later we went back, this time starting from Gedeller. It was the same brilliant sunny day that Caner went to the pools. He also had started from Gedeller. We caught up with him down near the base of the mountain and directed him up to the pools. It turns out that in the fog a week earlier Bülent and I had walked right by the base of the route we were looking for. I’m pretty sure this must be the first pitch:

This is, I believe, the start of the 900m 19 pitch route called "Sevgül, Mahruki" by bryandkeith on flickr

and that this:

IMG_20210119_125218 by bryandkeith on flickr

is the (now abandoned) “shepherd’s hut” that Yılmaz mentions in his book. There’s a spring about a 6-10 minute walk below that “hut”. Even though the access from Gedeller is longer, it’s the easier way to walk in with big packs since there’s a trail (difficult to follow at times) most of the way.

It’s quite a stunning area so I’m glad we were able to be there on a sunny day.

IMG_20210119_095332 by bryandkeith on flickr
IMG_20210119_125417 by bryandkeith on flickr
WhatsApp%20Image%202021-01-19%20at%2021.18.02 by bryandkeith on flickr
IMG_20210119_143539 by bryandkeith on flickr
WhatsApp%20Image%202021-01-19%20at%2021.12.30%20(3) by bryandkeith on flickr by bryandkeith on flickr

You can see from the map that there’s possible access from the coastal road at Beldibi (unnamed on the map). Maybe we should try from there too??!!

IMG_20210112_104816 by bryandkeith on flickr
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3 Responses to The pools at Tastaratacağı

  1. Derek+and+Jennie+Werner says:

    Wow, you are much more adventurous than we are! Derek and Jennie

  2. Bülent says:

    Harika! 🍀

  3. Mike Painter says:

    Great adventure, as always. And beautiful pictures, too!

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