sun rock II – the ottoman empire strikes back

April 16th, 2014 by pebbles

Sun rock 2 was a mash up of YAC folks and various friends who were all lured to climb on turkish rock at Geyikbayiri in Antalya in the far south of Turkey, where we had heard the rock was steep and unpolished, the routes were long and well bolted and the sun was likely to shine. All were true. We had also heard the grading was quite stiff, and egos were likely to get battered. This was also true.

The landscape was fantastic, a deep valley just over an hour from the airport, lined by a succession of vertical limestone cliffs honeycombed with spectacular caves and interspersed with lush green woodland. Above the valley was a range of impressive mountains, on days when the clouds hung round the peaks the effect was like a japanese painting.

thunder3 stormyday trebenna

above – Geyikbayiri landscapes

The local crags were so extensive it was possible to stay there all week without running out of routes at the grades we were looking for, so Ali, Rachel, Poppy, Peri, Andrea Graham and Dave S did that, while Simon Carmen Pete E and Dave D and Isabelle mixed it up a bit more, with a cultural visit to an ancient deserted city and to seaside climbing at Olympos seaside (verdict – water worn, rounded and stiffly graded) plus a couple of trad days.


above -Graham on Turkish Standard, 6b+, one of the classics of the crag

One of the trad days provided us with a fine epic. Simon Carmen Pete and Dave D decided to do a big day out on a big nearby peak. The rest of us frowned a little when at 6.30pm we got a text from S & C saying they had just reached the summit…. later in the evening we got another text explaining that Pete and dave had liked the mountain so much they would be staying there overnight. Pete had pulled off a rock,  mashing up his ankle and been unable to finish in daylight, so they very sensibly decided to bivvy and complete the route next morning. S &C arrived back at midnight, then poor simon got up at the crack of dawn next day to collect the others. After a long day limping up the rest of the way to the summit and down the other side with a badly swollen ankle they arrived back  30 minutes before the drive to the airport.


above – the overnight bivvy party returns, and Petes battered legs (didnt get a pic of the ankle, probably just as well as it might put you off your food)

We stayed at a local guesthouse, Rasayan Organic. However another time we would definately stay at Jo-si-to campsite instead, which was five minutes walk from the crag and had a lovely welcoming atmosphere, plus nice bar and cafe,  a fire pit with benches round it and a slackline. We hung out there a lot, you could sit at the bar after climbing with a nice cold beer and watch people still on the routes, trying for the umpteenth time to work the hard moves over the cave roofs.


above – Dave S at josito demonstrating his mastery of slacklining

If only we could have said the same about the guesthouse…it was an attractive well furnished building with great views, but spoilt by the attitude of the owners who levied additional charges at every opportunity (you want coffee at breakfast? no-one in turkey drinks coffee,  you will have to pay extra to buy the coffee and cafetiere! You want to use the kettle to make tea? Three euros per 7 uses!) . The high point was probably when Simon got up early on his rescue mission and Carmen was subsequently woken by the landlady shining a torch into their bedroom, presumably seized by the suspicion they were doing a runner.

On a much nicer note we also  paid a visit to a lovely fish restaurant based near the local trout farm, where we sat on low benches while the smiley owner brought out the freshest fish ever and piles of chips, aubergine salad and popcorn – definately worth seeking out – take the turning below sector anabolic.

overall verdict – great place, would love to go back. Just book early enough to stay at Josito's!

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