After having not been up Sivri Dağı in many years (five?), I went up two different routes last week. The first, shorter and less successful effort, was with Philipp. He had been up to the ridge a number of times but had never made it to the summit. I told him I knew a summit route that didn’t require a rope. Well, we’d only been on the trail about five minutes when Philipp said we were going the wrong way. I suggested we go on. Another five minutes — same thing, and five minutes later — the same thing again. Not being so sure that I was going the right way, I acquiesced. We walked back about 10 minutes and started up what Philipp thought was the correct route.
As we made our way up the wide ramp, I kept thinking we weren’t going the right way, but at the same time it seemed familiar to me. Indeed, all became clear later. We were on the Classic Route, but I had wanted to take Philipp up the Yusuf Yusuf Route. We got to the ridge where you get a nice view of Çalbalı:
Looking in the other direction, however, you see this:
That’s the summit that Philipp wanted. It’s the summit of the Classic Route, and I used a rope when I went up that way years ago. Carrying no rope, we turned around here, the same thing Philipp had done two or three times before. We should have stuck to the trail that I was following first thing in the morning. I found it more amusing that he did.
I guess this is the best photo I have of Philipp from that day:
Bülent was in charge of our Sivri Dağı excursion a few days later. It’s too bad Philipp couldn’t come — he had to work — because we were a bit more successful. However, the summit we reached this day was the Yusuf Yusuf summit, farther north along the ridge and a couple hundred meters lower than Philipp’s goal, the Classic Route summit.
From below, this ridge doesn’t look so confusing,
but it’s not all connected as it appears in that photo, and there are quite a few towers and challenges impeding travel along the ridge.
On this day Bülent took Semra, Özgür, and me up the North Ridge (Kuzey Sırt) route, a first for all of us except Bülent. We parked the car at the çeşme in Gedeller, the same starting point as for the many trad routes on the east face of Sivri Dağı. We barely walked through the forest for five minutes before we started the rock scrambling that continued for about the next four hours.
It’s temping to compare this route to the standard route on Geyiksivrisi. I’d say the North Ridge on Sivri Dağı is just as long (Özgür disagrees, saying it’s much shorter), and it’s also more difficult. There are more places where you need to be careful because a fall would have bad consequences.
Here’s one of the tricky sections.
The scrambling just kept coming.
Part way up, the North Ridge route joins the Yusuf Yusuf ascent route so this bit of steep section
might look familiar if you’ve been up the Yusuf Yusuf Route. That’s the last difficult section (going up) before reaching the summit about 10 minutes later.
What I hadn’t remembered is just how difficult the Yusuf Yusuf descent route is. Nor did I recall that Yusuf Yusuf is a loop — the ascent and descent routes are different. The start of the descent is marked with cairns, not far from the summit in the above photo.
I remembered it being a fairly well-marked trail. See Bülent and Semra on the “trail”?
Hahaha, it’s certainly not a trail, and it’s not particularly well-marked either. I definitely would not want to go down there in the dark. As you’re heading down and come to what appears to be a dead end at a cliff with slings around a tree for rappelling, head up through a small notch, hug the cliffs along narrow, slippery pine needle covered ledges to reach a larger notch. We rested there.
The dangerous difficulties end there. The biggest concern of the last hour of walking through the forest are the brambles scratching your legs and ripping your pants, trying to trip you.
Well, that didn’t make it sound very fun, did it? Actually this North Ridge route was probably my favorite route on Sivri Dağı. However, here’s another alternative to consider: instead of coming down Yusuf Yusuf, you could go up the North Ridge, traverse the ridge to the Classic Route summit, rappel to the saddle, and head down the route that Philipp I used a few days earlier. Even better, if you can find the descent somewhere in here:
(it really exists according to Fahri abi), you could do that whole route without carrying a rope. So many choices!