TURKEY'S KAZIKLI VALLEY—WORLD'S BEST NEW SPORT CLIMBING AREA?

Posted on: July 30, 2007


Cecilia Marchi on Duman's Song (7a), Kazikli Valley, Turkey. Maurizio Oviglia, the great Sardinian guidebook activist and pioneer, estimates the potential for 500 routes in the valley. There are currently 100. The climbing, on limestone and conglomerate rock, is primarily vertical to overhanging and features strenuous moves on small pockets. Oviglia notes that its potential and ideal climate have the potential to make it one of the top sport climbing areas in the world. [Photo] Recep Ince

In June and July, I left my home in Sardinia (see the May 23 NewsWire) for a third visit to Turkey's Ala Dagar massif in Southern Anatolia. [On his last visit, Oviglia, with Rolando "Rolly" Larcher and Michele Paissan, established, ground up, Uc Muz (8a, 650m) on the 700-meter east face of Demirkazik (3756m), then made the third ascent of Mezza Luna Nascente (7c, 270m), on the striking obelisk Parmakkaya (2800m), with the husband-and-wife team of Recep and Zeynep Ince. For a note on the trip, click here. —Ed.] This time Recep, an Istanbul climber who now lives in Cukurbag with his wife Zeynep, and I established two new multi-pitch climbs: Asla Durma (6a, 190m) in the Cimbar Valley and Yaz Ruzgari (6c+, 325m) on the little-known Yelatan massif. Recep, Simone Sarti and I also did the first repetition (on sight) of Orient (7b, 7a obbl), Helmut Gargitter and Paul Trenkwalder's route on Parmakkaya.

Turkish climber Zeynep Ince on Trans-Ala Daglar (7c+). Zeynep, with her husband, Recep, has been at the forefront of route development in the area, where there are currently routes up to 8a+. [Photo] Recep Ince

On my last two trips I focused on establishing long, hard new routes ground up, but this time I preferred to develop an astonishing new sport climbing area in the Kazikli Valley. This area is based on the north side of the Ala Dagar massif, close to Cukurbag and at the start of the Emli Valley. The splendid valley, mainly comprised of conglomerate and limestone, spreads for kilometers. One of its strongest attributes is its climate: because it sits at an altitude of 1500 meters, the climate is mild and dry.

Zeynep Ince climbing in the Sarkac area, Kazikli Valley. [Photo] Maurizio Oviglia

Recep began developing the Kazikli Valley crags with the help of some of the climbers of Adana, and last year, Rolando Larcher and I assisted. By the time I arrived this year, there were already seventy routes, primarily focused in three sectors. Overhanging or technically vertical, the climbs feature strenous moves on small holes. Some of the routes, up to 8a/8a+, have been redpointed by Dogan Palut or other climbers from Adana.

This year, I began to develop five new areas. By the end of the year we expect there to be 100 bolted routes; I estimate there to be potential for almost 500. Together with Antalya, the Kazikli Valley has the potential to become one of the world's best climbing areas, especially for Europeans.

The Kazikli Valley. [Photo] Recep Ince

Cimbar Valley, showing Asla Durma (6a, 190m). Maurizio Oviglia and Recep Ince established the climb ground up. In the past, Oviglia has focused on establishing long hard climbs like this on Turkey's abundant formations, but this year he turned to developing its most prominent new sport climbing area: The Kazikli Valley. [Photo] Maurizio Oviglia

Turkey's Yelatan massif, showing Yaz Ruzgari (6c+, 325m), established ground up by Maurizio Oviglia and Recep Ince. [Photo] Maurizio Oviglia

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