Rock climbing is a lifestyle, not just a hobby. A lifestyle that is fueled by an unflattering motivation. The motivation that a glaring challenger spawns. The unconquerable rock surface, standing tall, gleaming in the midday rays begging for a challenger with the will to face it.
Dedication, training, planning, and fierce mental strength are just some of the words used when describing rock climbers. With all those standout attributes, climbers need a rock-faced nemesis to conquer.
Because most rock climbing spots are located in remote areas, finding appealing rock surfaces can turn out to be just as much of a challenge as the climbing itself.
Fortunately, one of the easily accessible destinations, indeed climbing paradise, can be found in Turkey.
Turkish Paradise for Rock Climbers
Comparatively new to other countries where rock climbing is a sport, Turkey has begun to establish itself as a go-to destination for rock climbing enthusiasts. The country has a moderately sunny climate throughout most of the year, that is why actually every time of the year is an excellent time to go there.
Turkey is a massive landmass that spots some of the most breathtaking natural rock formations on the planet in great abundance. Its vast natural mountainous formations contain thousands of climbing routes suitable for various climbing styles such as sport, traditional, bouldering, top-rope, or free solo climbing. Adding to it, the low cost of living, friendly locals, and you can see why Turkey is a prime destination for rock climbing and generally tourism.
If you consider checking yourself this climbing paradise, you may need to apply for a visa to make your trip to Turkey possible. Getting an e-Visa to Turkey is a great option since applicants from eligible countries don’t need to visit the Embassy and waste time on time-consuming paperwork. The entire application can be done online!
Now without further ado, lets check out some of the best rock climbing spots in Turkey
Top Rock Climbing Crags in Turkey
The district of Antalya and the area surrounding it towards the southwest of Turkey boasts some of the world’s largest and most spectacular climbing routes. 15 km from Antalya lies Geyikbayiri, Turkey’s most famous climbing area, renowned for its 700 sport climbing routes, breathtaking views, and solid rock. Close to this location, you can also find Olympos, Citdabi, Akyarlar, and Karataslar, excellent sport climbing locations. As a bonus, you can try Feslekan Yayla, which is a 2000 meter high bouldering section.
2. ALADAGLAR NATIONAL PARK
Towards southcentral Turkey rests the Aladaglar National Park. This sprawling mountainous region is affectionately known as the “Alps of Turkey.” It is home to the Taurus mountain range, known for its immense limestone rock formations. Its climbing routes range in difficulty with single and multi-pitch routes up to 650 meters long.
3. BALLIKAYALAR CANYON
A little over 66 km from Istanbul, with over 100 routes, Ballikaylar Canyon claims to be the country’s first developed sport climbing area. Easy to get to, it makes it a favorite climbing destination both for novices and expert climbers.
4. KACKAR MOUNTAINS NATIONAL PARK
The Kackar Mountain range has peaks well over 3000 meters, Altiparmak, Kavran, and namely Vercenik, which towers at a whopping 3,710 meters. Mainly composed of granite, cyanite, andesite, and diorite, it appeals to the more experienced and adventurous climbers.
The Aegean Port of Datca may come across as the epitome of a quiet Mediterranean seaside village. Still, it has pockets of rock faces adorned with vertical walls, crimps, overhangs with tufas, and monster overhanging caves that will take an expert climber’s breath away.
- Try to avoid climbing alone – climbing can be a dangerous passion. Especially, if you are a beginner, climb with someone more experienced than you. Moreover, climbing is more fun with a partner with whom you can share your experience and back up if something goes wrong.
- Take your time and check – check every aspect of the climb beforehand. Don’t rush but enjoy the entire process. Attention to detail may not only make your climbing experience easier but can protect you from possible accidents or even save your life.
- Check the harness – your harness is your cradle. During ascension, making some adjustments to your harness can be extremely difficult. Take time to fit it into a comfortable setting and double-check its security before starting.
- Check knots – check your ropes threading to your harness. It should be threaded through both the waist loops and the leg loops. Double-check your lead climber’s knot is tied correctly and completed with a backup knot.
- Wear a helmet – many climbers decide to climb without a helmet. That is brave but not smart. Helmets significantly reduce injuries from falling objects and fall from heights.
- Use long lengths of rope – rock climbing requires exact preparation, but there are areas and situations that you can’t foresee or prepare for. Compensate by extending the pre-calculated length of rope.
- Always bring enough gear – just as above, be prepared for the unknown. No climb plays out like the one before.
- Always climb over and around the rope – accidents do happen on climbs. Lead climbers are especially at risk and carry a lot of “responsibility on their shoulders.” To avoid being flipped over and hitting your head during a fall, make sure the rope is over your leg, NOT between or behind your leg while climbing.
- Use safety anchors – when reaching the top of a pitch, use two or more anchors. As you climb, more overall weight will be added to your rope. Make sure your anchor’s foundation is strong enough to hold the accumulated weight.
- Prepare for extended hours – no matter how well you have planned for a climb. Anything can happen. Make sure you leave room for weather changes, temperature changes, route changes, hunger, thirst, and most of all – exhaustion. At any time, your situation can change, and if you need help, another climber will need to reach you.
- Be calm and enjoy the climb – rock climbing is a thrilling activity that can be overwhelming too. Patience and being focused all the time is the key to success. When you have set yourself into a comfortable perch, please sit back and enjoy how far you’ve come and admire, especially the view. It’s priceless!
Turkey is a country that has been blessed with some of the most beautiful nature in the world. The Turkish landscape holds many wonders, but one of its best-kept secrets is its climbing paradise. If you are an adventurer looking for something fun to do on your next vacation, then this may be just what you need!
Remember that climbing can help improve your mental and physical health by increasing strength and improving balance. It also offers opportunities to explore new places while getting exercise at the same time! What are you waiting for then?