Apr 12 19
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We haven’t been on a hot rock bolt clipping holiday for ages, so when we heard Elsie was planning on going to Geyikbayiri near Antalya, Turkey, with her friend Koon we decided to crash their party. We know a few people who have been before, so we knew the rock would be excellent.

Koon had organised our accommodation in the village of Geyikbayiri. We are staying at Nancy’s B&B which provides an excellent base close by to the climbing. Nancy is an excellent host and provides great entertainment.

Despite our late arrival on Sunday night, and Elsie and Koon’s even later arrival in the early hours of Monday morning, we got up with great expectation on Monday to glorious blue skies, and a hot, hot sun. Oh, yes, too hot for many, but my sun starved soul said bring it on!

Our first venues were Left Cave Sol and Heart Sag, two of the crags opposite JoSiTo campsite, where we managed a few warm up routes to get used to the rock. How more perfect can it be, 5 minutes walk in, fantastic climbing, no queues, and only 5 minutes back to the bar where a lovely cold beer was waiting for us at only €2.50.

Koon & Elsie

Pete reaching over the overhang of Mountain Gay

Laetitia, Elsie & Koon enjoy a beer at JoSiTo

Knowing the real hard nuts get up early, climb in the cool morning, have a siesta in the heat of midday, and climb again in the evening, we decided not to bother with all that, so we didn’t set our alarm, we got up late, had a leisurely breakfast, and made or way to our venue for our second day, Kebap Sol, just as the sun was getting super hot.

Again, another fantastic day. Another quiet venue, but amazingly we met up with some familiar CC members, Chris and Mike Simpkins, and we shared a few stories before lunch.

Elsie, Koon, Pete & Laetitia enjoying the belay bench

Wednesday was forecasted to be rainy with thunder in the afternoon, so we decided to drive to Olympos so we could catch some sight seeing if the rain got too heavy. Olympos is about 80km away from Antalya, so we easily got there within an hour and a half.

We drove down to Cirali and parked near the beach and made our way towards Cennet Sag. This was quite a steep crag, and we knew we wouldn’t exactly be ticking all the routes, but there was enough to test us. We had the place to ourselves.

The most adventurous part of the day was getting across a small river estuary where Poseidon was in a particularly cheeky mood.

After dodging the rain showers and climbing a few routes we visited Chimaera. According to some legends, the Olympic Flame was first brought from the eternal flames that came from the dead body of Chimaera, slain by Bellerophontes with the help of Pegasus. Who knows, I heard the Olympic flame came from Olympia in Greece!?! Anyway, as I had already held one of the 2012 Olympic Torches, I thought it was appropriate to check out the flame.

Pete approaching failure on an ambitious 7a!

Koon escaping Poseidon

The beach view at Cirali

The eternal flame of the Chimaera

Here’s the location of the eternal flame of the Chimaera…

Venues

On Thursday we went to Alabalik Balkon, another crag in Geyikbayiri, and another glorious setting. As we climbed we debated where our favourite bolt clipping destinations were, and I couldn’t think of anywhere better. We were sat in the shade of some trees, looking out towards the mountains, with the gentle flow of the stream and singing birds providing a continuous background rhythm to the occasional grunts and roars of the athletic climbers failing on the 8c’s.

Walking through a meadow on the approach to the crags

Laetitia inspecting the holds above on Pembe Hayaller

Lunch under the shade of the trees

Laetitia & Koon fooling around in the hammock at our apartment

Series - Gerikbayiri

  1. Turkish Bolt Clipping
  2. Kizlar nerede?
  3. Gerikbayiri – a summary
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