Paige and I left India with some flower garlands and a giant plate of fruit?! Pretty great way to say goodbye…
We arrived in Antalya, Turkey only to find that we were there on the off season so the beaches were deserted, the town was empty, and ocean looked sad.
Destroyed buildings and an old shipping channel provided us with little inspiration in a typically busy European hot spot.
But at least we had a pool. With no water…
The view from our porch was pretty alright but we were one of maybe 2 tenants in the whole place. It was quiet and erie and the only time we saw our neighbors was when an earthquake shook our top floor apartment and we went running into the hall confused about what to do in an earthquake. Apparently duck and cover, not run through the halls…
We spent less then a week climbing at a relatively unknown spot called Olympos. Vertical limestone guarded by this ruined castle. Pretty cool. Paige sent a really nice 5.13d called “Gangster” but people don’t seems to care about 5.13 anymore…
We met some new friends at a hill that was on fire… It’s called Chimaera and there was natural gas fueled fire spitting out from the ground.
I was pretty stoked for the fire mountain. Beside myself even.
We stayed in a tree house that was VERY cold and small, ate dinner in a common meal hall with the other tourists… It was pretty nice to escape for a week and not talk to anyone and just climb and eat cheese.
But we didnt come to Turkey for Olympos or the sad town of Antalya. We were there to climb limestone overhangs and clip bolts.
We met up with our friends Heather Weidner…
and Chris Weidner…
and we went to war with some rock climbs in the classic Geyik Bayiri zone of Trebenna.
Here Chris works out the lower moves on a climb he later sent called “Happy Ending” (8b).
Heather worked on the area test piece, “Sarpedon” (8b+), which Chris and Paige sent quickly.
Chris on “Happy Ending”.
Heather on “Sarpedon”, nearing the first crux.
Chris, warming up on a nice 7c at Trebenna. This route climbs up a pillar, through a hole, and out a stalactite roof. Pretty rad and pretty typical of Turkish limestone. Lots of roofs, lots of tufas, lots of 3d climbing.
Paige sent “Sarpedon” like it was her job. Made it look easy! Seems like 8b+ is not her limit… or even close. Check the video for the send footage!
Chris working out the beta on the upper mono crux of “Sarpedon”.
Heather sent the ultra classic “Ikarus” (8a/+) right next to “Sarpadon”.
We went rug shopping…
Chris sent a nice 7c+ called “Leon”.
And that was about it.
Honestly I was pretty disappointed that we didn’t get to spend more time climbing at the biggest cliff at Geyikbayiri called Sarkit. It’s home to some massive sweeping walls with amazing lines all the way to the top, but the unseasonably warm winter and the south facing orientation of the wall kept us chasing shade and climbing at Trebenna.
If you are planning to climb in Turkey at Geyik Bayiri with a group, I highly suggest renting an apartment in Antalya and driving up to the crag each day. It’s only 20 minutes and the quality of life in Antalya is comfortable and inexpensive. Camping or renting a cabin at one of the many campgrounds at Geyik Bayiri gets expensive fast, especially when you have to eat at the local restaurants for 8-12 Euro a meal. If you climb 7c+ to around 8b, there are TONS of great routes to work and more then enough climbing for a months worth of fun.
Turkey turned out to be significantly more progressive then India (the other muslim country I have visited) and was a comfortable place for a winter vacation. It was very similar to the rest of Europe despite sharing a boarder with Syria. If you are planning a sport climbing vacation, consider checking out Geyik Bayiyi if you are looking for something other then Spanish and French limestone, it’s a pretty isolated spot and it can be as comfortable as home.
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