The Ottoman Empire Strike Back – the other bits

April 17th, 2014 by David Dickinson

An addendum to the Ottoman Empire Strikes back….

Whilst ‘Team Peri’ was doing the ‘Ard stuff ('ard with a capital A), Peter and I were entertaining ourselves on the 4s and 5s which were not quite so plentiful. Simon and Carmen obviously doing stuff somewhere in between.

'Josito's  from crag above.'

Our trad trip on the Tuesday, to the same area as Saturday’s epic (the mountain is called Sivri Dag), was notable for two reasons.

The first was getting there. We drove up the right valley, could see the ridge but could not see how to get to it as per the instructions in the guide book. Solution was to drive down the valley back to the suburbs of Antalya and drive around until we found another road pointing in the right direction. This worked out fine as we ended up underneath our ridge. Next problem was to find the parking place. We needed to know this as the path leads from there. After driving past some road works and workmen half a dozen times we convinced ourselves we were at the right place. All this took ages.

Eventually we got climbing, the rock was very good. Some of the holds were so deep that unless you consciously thought to take your hand out, it got stuck there with the back of your hand being bashed against the top of the slotted hold when you moved on.

Slots to get your hands stuck in.

'Slots to get your hands stuck in.'

The second was the weather. Once we had few routes done, Simon and Carmen set off on a multi-pitch route. Cue rain. After deciding it was not going to pass, Peter and I abandoned our rope and kit and sheltered under a tree. Simon and Carmen eventually returned from abandoning their route and retrieved it for us. Most kind!

Back to the car and back to base to dry out.

Drying out

'Drying out'

The trip to the beach (Thursday). Isabelle joined the usual 4 in our car and we went to the crag on the beach on Thursday as the weather forecast was bad. How does that work?

Sitting in the back of the car I began to recognise bits of road and tunnels we had gone along (and through) along a few minutes earlier. Eventually we pulled off the new dual carriageway and found some where to park on the now defunct coast road. Do they make detailed maps in Turkey?

Surf was up. Made access and starting more interesting. Carmen put up a rope on a hideously difficult 6A, which she kindly hauled me up later. In the interim Peter and I were messing around on the 5, when not getting soaked by the surf.

When it started raining, we gave up and went to Termessos. Termessos was really good. It is an ancient ruined city. It was abandoned in the 5th century AD and only rediscovered in the mid 19th century. It was very eerie in the mist. Two things stick out:

One – we lost Carmen. She got to a tomb at the top of a hill (tomb of Aslan, minus the broken stone table) and then could not quite figure out the right way to come down. Eventually she chose the right path and did rejoin us, but not after some consternation on our part as to where the heck she had got to.

Last known sighting of Carmen

'Last known sighting of Carmen'

Two – the tomb of Alcetas was there. Alcetas was one of Alexander the Great’s generals. A photo of the tomb was in the book I had taken for holiday reading – not that I read much of it.



(Some other tombs carved into the rock faces reminded me of photos of Petra, somewhere I’d like to go one day.)


This day, Simon, Carmen, Peter and I set off on a long route up the ridge called Kuzey Dogu Sirti (which apparently means NE ridge of Sirti, which we think is the first summit).  Followed by a scramble to the top and then along the top, an abseil down the back and a walk back to the car. 8 hrs in the guide book.

The ridge!

'The ridge! – a.k.a. Kuzey Dogu Sirti'

As we now knew the way there we arrived at 9am (ish) and started climbing soon after. Initially good progress on the pitched climbing. Less good on the scrambly bits for Peter and I. About 6pm we had an accident. Peter pulled of a chunk of rock which then rattled off down the mountain. (We were used to the smell of pulverised rock now.) Peter landed on a ledge, somewhat shaken. After a telephone call between Simon and Peter, and some recovery time, we continued. Come 8pm it was dark and we bivouacked. Peter happened to mention his ankles and shoulder hurt. Low on food and water.


6.30am. the sun rose and we set off more. Ate remaining food and water as we thought we would meet Simon soon. I was wondering if they did all day breakfasts at Josito’s. 9.15am arrived at a top where we had thought to meet Simon. No Simon. We shouted and heard a very faint reply. No option but to continue along the ridge, very slowly as Peter’s ankles were very sore.

View from top of ridge

View from top of first summit on ridge

Next summit. Shouted again. Heard a reply and saw Simon in the far distance. Could only see a white speck moving. Despair! No all day breakfast for me.

View along ridge - spot Simon

'View along ridge – spot Simon'

3pm got to summit just before the abseil. Abseiled down – fun and games with the tangled rope. Simon there with biscuits and water. Lots consumed very quickly!

3.30pm to 6pm, walk down to the car to get the 10.00 flight.  All a bit close!

6 Responses to “The Ottoman Empire Strike Back – the other bits”

  1. pebbles says:

    top epic! it was a shame your phones had run out of juice, as we were considering keeping your spirits up with pictures of the ice cold beers we were enjoying in the shade….

  2. David Dickinson says:

    Thank you. Very kind thought regarding the beer. I am in your debt. However, I would point out that my telephone had some juice in it. On the other hand it is old Nokia and no reception………….

  3. pebbles says:

    the pleasure was all mine. Literally ;-D

  4. pebbles says:

    on the plus side the plates of chips and grilled chicken ciabattas we were eating would only have made you fat….

  5. David Dickinson says:

    Food is much over rated!

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