Geyikbayiri / Turkey

Eastern is always a little tricky where we live. If the weather is good, you have a lot of options what to do, including climbing. But if the weather is bad, you have to drive quite a while.

Therefore we did not think very long in 2013. A cheap flight to Antalya was too alluring. I was there before, quite a while ago. At this time, the first foreign climbers conquer the valley. The first camp - JoSiTo - was opened, but still under construction.

I was too young to remember. The only thing wich is still in my mind is a route called “Barbarossa“. You climb up kind of a chimney. At the upper end a hole brings you back into the vertical wall. Very cool and impressive, if you are just 5 years old. I was very happy that my Dad did not rapel. He fixed himself to the anchor and waited for me. So we could share the experience.

These days things have changed quite a bit. There are lots of different camps and a never ending stream of climbers in the valley. And for a while, I am the one who clips the anchor and waits for my parents. When they follow....

Sometimes it is cool to climb with so many different nationalities at the same crack. And if you want to get a little freedom, you can escape into the countryside next to the valley. There is the sea and very high mountains nearby. It would be a cool area for cross country skiing. If you want to get new experiences you can go for a haircut. Or get a cup of tea, up in the mountains. But it can happen that there is just one teashop open. And you have to share the guest area with a fresh slaughtered mutton, packed in cellophane. Another alternative is to drive to the village of Olympos and visit the natural flames coming out of the ground. Burning there for thousands of years.

Another memory to this travel is named “Roger“. A little cat which wanted to play all the time. And of course “Ibrahim“. The good guy of our camp. Before he moved to the valley, he was the head cook in a couple of well known, big hotels. But he got stressed there, from all the fuss involved. This is why he went to work in the valley. At least for some time. I got the feeling, he is missing the big kitchens and all his colleagues. Anyway, he was that kind of person, that I was really impressed by . Hope to meet him again. Sometime, somewhere. Having him and his tasty food around all the time, makes climbing hard, a lot "heavier" ;)

Pics: © Ralf Heuber