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Turkey: Recent Rock and Alpine Routes

Tunç Fındık and partners have developed numerous routes in the mountains of Turkey, with roughly 25 long new rock, ice, and alpine routes from 2016 to 2018. [See AAJ 2016 for reports on previous Fındık climbs.] In 2017, in Antalya, Fındık and Cemal Zerepcan made the first ascent of the east face of Çitdibi Tower via Karamursel Sepeti (485m, VI-), with exposed climbing on “sometimes not so forgiving rock.” On the east face of Sivridağ, the same two climbed Lost Friends (325m, VI-).

In late October 2017, Fındık and Zerepcan received a military permit to access the Sat Moun- tains in far southeastern Turkey, a sensitive area near the borders with Iraq and Iran. Here they did the first ascent of the east ridge of Satbaşı Spire (3,475m), an elegant tower with good granite. Their route is called Mudur Yolu (575m, with six pitches of technical climbing up to IV+). Fındık said there are many good climbs waiting to be done in this region.

In the Aladag Mountains, in late August 2018, Fındık, Kemal Doğan, and Burak Gürer climbed the south ridge of Kucuk Demirkazik (3,425m) by the route 1071 (500m, 9 technical pitches, VI-). In November 2018, Fındık, Doğa Ceylan, Bora Maviş, and Serhan Pocan climbed a route up the southwest face of Demirkazık (3,757m): Montaigne (1,300m, with 300m of technical climbing and difficulties to IV+ and M4). In 2017, two other routes were climbed up this face, to the left of Montaigne.

More information and photos of these climbs, plus other recent new routes in Turkey, is found below.

– Information from Tunç Fındık, Turkey

2016

1. Erzurum-Uzundere, Basamaklı Selale icefall at Cevizli village (235m, WI3/4+ 235m), a very fine ribbon of stepped icefall that does not form every year. First ascent: Tunç Fındık, Mustafa Kalayci.

2. Aladaglar, Narpuz Gorge Gozcu Towe, southeast face new route, Giulio Cesare (235m, VI+), a steep and exposed traditional alpine rock climb on beautiful limestone. First ascent: Tunç Fındık, Gilberto Merlante.

3. Maraş/ Elbistan, Nurhak Mountains, north face,  middle slab, first ascent of İnleten Kaya (280m, VI+, VII). Steep and technical slab climbing in a mountain setting, good rock quality. First ascent: Tunç Fındık, Burak Gürer, Kemal Doğan.

2017

1. Erzurum-Uzundere, Buyuk Selale icefall at Cevizli (70m, WI5). This one does not form completely every year, and when it does, it is rather delicate and brittle. First ascent: Adrien Georges Godat, Olivier Alexander Messerli.

2. Van-Erek Dag, Erek’ icefall (30m, WI4). A very elegant icefall on a mountainside at 3,000m, not easy to approach, with avalanche danger on the way. First ascent: Tunç Fındık.

3. Antalya, Çitdibi Tower, first ascent via east wall, Karamursel Sepeti (485m, VI- 485m). This climb offered exposed climbing on sometimes not so forgiving rock. First ascent: Tunç Fındık, Cemal Zerepcan.

4. Antalya, Sivridağ, east face right-hand side, new route Lost Friends (325m, VI-), a typical Sivridağ route with combination of fine slabs and exposed steeper walls. First ascent: Tunç Fındık, Cemal Zerepcan.

5. Dedegöl/ Eldere/ Kuzukulağı Pasture, left side lower massif: Aksam Gunesi (165m, VI+/ VII-). A traditional line following perfect, steep and exposed natural line of water-worn slabs, cracks and seams. First ascent: Tunç Fındık, Cemal Zerepcan.

6. Hakkari-Yuksekova, Sat mountains, Satbası Peak (3,475m), east ridge, first ascent Mudur Yolu (575m, IV+). Being in a sensitive military area in Iraq border, we were lucky to climb this elegant tower by a new line, and there is a fascinating array of climbs waiting to be done here in this region. Rock is perfect granite. First ascent: Tunç Fındık, Cemal Zerepcan.

7. Balıkesir-Susurluk-Çataldag Peak, southwest face new route via granite slab Cehennem Davulu (250m, V-). Not unlike a Yosemite slab, this face is rare find in Turkey, although with accompanying huge flakes and lack of belays. Nevertheless, fantastic granite climbing on steep slabs! First ascent: Tunç Fındık, Serhat Alkıvılcım, Barış Yıldırım.

8. Aladaglar, Vayvay Peak (3,600m), northeast wall: Nessun bolted alpine sports route (470m, VIII/ X-), by Rolando Larcher, first repeat by Zorbey Aktuyun and Muammer Yalçın. This is a very hard, exposed alpine-sports climb with a difficult crux on one of the remotest faces Aladag range has to offer.

2018

1. Aladag, Demirkazık Peak (3,757m), southwest face, new route Montaigne (1,300m long, III+, IV+ trad rock climbing with M3, M4 pitches). This route was climbed by Tunç Fındık, Bora Maviş, Serhan Pocan, and Doga Ceylan on November 10, 2018. The southwest face of Demirkazık is a huge rocky face with lots of different routes on it, old and new. This route follows a natural line of weakness, and the crux is 300m of technical climbing on rock and mixed terrain.

2. Aladag, Kucuk Demirkazik Peak (3,425m), south ridge first ascent: 1071 (500m, 9 pitches long ,max VI- trad rock climbing). This route was climbed by Tunç Fındık, Burak Gürer, and Kemal Doğan on August 26, 2018. A very nice line on solid limestone, the route offers fine tech climbing on slabs, cracks and some offwidth chimneys too.

3. Aladag, Eke Tower (3,455m), first ascent from southwest face, route named Son Nefer (300m, III+, IV+) alpine rock climbing on a remote setting, with mostly broken, rotten rock quality. Tunç Fındık, Mustafa Kalaycı, July 11, 2018.

4. Aladag, Kayacık tower, west face: This beautiful rock face has three new trad routes, as well as three other alpine sport routes:

• Kararsız: 170m, 4 pitches long, max VI- trad multi-pitch route, Tunç Fındık, Mustafa Kalaycı, July 13, 2018

• TT route, 190m, 4 pitches long, V+ trad multi-pitch route, Tunç Fındık, Mustafa Kalaycı, July 8,  2018

• Aksamuzeri Humması route: 150m, 3 pitches, VI- multi-pitch trad route, Tunç Fındık, Cemal Zerepcan, May 9, 2017

5. Antalya, coastal Beydagları Range, Guzyaka East Peak, south wall: This interesting face now has nine routes opened by Tunç Fındık and colleagues in the last three years. Being accessible from the Antalya- Kumluca highway easily, this 300m rock face offers beautiful climbing on mostly sound limestone. The latest route opened in this wall was Samsara, by Tunç Fındık and Alper Kabran, May 1, 2018, 270m, 5 pitches long, VI trad multi-pitch route.

6. Antalya, coastal Beydagları range, Hurma Tower west wall new routes: This limestone bastion offers fine steep climbing on solid limestone and overlooks the Mediterranean metropolis of Antalya; it has new routes on its west wall:

• Zebani Yolagı, 220m, 5 pitches, VI trad, Tunç Fındık/Cemal Zerepcan, February 17, 2018

• Zagor, 215m, 4 pitches, VI+ trad route, Tunç Fındık/Cemal Zerepcan, December 14, 2017

7. Dedegol Range, south side, Kuzukulagı Pasture climbing area, new routes:

• Aksam Gunes, 165m, 3 pitches, max VII- grade tradroute, Tunç Fındık/ Cemal Zerepcan, October 19, 2017. A very exposed climb on perfect, steep, beautiful limestone, a magic to climb, on the lower left side of the massif.

• Effendi&Count, 180m, 4 pitches, VI+ trad route, Tunç Fındık/ Alex Gavan, October 7, 2018. A fine, exposed crack-chimney climb on very good limestone, on the right side rock band, by the left side of the great cave.

8. Maras-Kaya Duldul Peak west face slab, first ascent, route name Vahsi, 700m face with 350m climbing, max grade V trad, by Tunc Fındık, Burak Gurer, and Hakan Ozer, April 30, 2017. This slab is at a remote, unaccesssible part of the mountain area of Maras in southeastern Turkey and it offers nice climbing on steep slab terrain.

– Information from Tunç Fındık, Turkey