Mountaineering :: Trekking :: Ski touring


Ski Touring in the mountains of Central Turkey

In Spring 2007 David Hamilton organized a 2-week ski touring trip to the mountains of Central Turkey for the Edinburgh Ski Touring Club. A report of this trip might get written someday (!) but meantime here is the pre-trip itinerary.
The programme that we followed contained most of the elements in this outline plan, although we were forced to change the order of activities due to poor weather early in the trip. After skiing from a campsite in the Emli valley we visited Cappadocia before returning to the Aladaglar to make a crossing of the range via the Seven Lakes plateau. We had a few days of skiing at the basic resort on Mt Erciyes, but were unable to climb the peak due to very strong winds.
The Taurus Mountains are the Western branch of the great mountain chain that stretches across much of Asia. The Turkish section of this massive mountain range follows the Southern border of Anatolia and is itself made up of four major sections. The Aladaglar massif forms part of the central Taurus range, This boasts the region's highest peaks including Demirkazik (3756 m). The geology of the area is responsible for the interesting rock formations and waterfalls. The erosion of limestone has created a fascinating karstic topography and hydrography, especially in the Yedigoller valley, where the surface water drains into underground rivers and caverns. Both the Mediterranean and Anatolian weather systems influence the climate of the Aladaglar Massif, bringing warm summers and cold winters to the area. During summer time entire families move up to the Yayla (high meadows) of Aladaglar massif where they pitch their tents for the season. During this time their main occupations are to graze their flocks, to make milk based products and to produce carpets and kilims.


Day 1 (17 March): Istanbul
Arrive Istanbul Airport and transfer to hotel, overnight at Hali hotel.

Day 2 18 (March): Istanbul
Istanbul, formerly known as Byzantium and Constantinople, was the hub of the Byzantine, Roman and Ottoman Empires. Many grand buildings from these periods survive to the present today. The markets too, would be little changed from early times, a chaotic mix of goods and wares brought by people near and far to trade.

During the day we will visit many of Istanbul's famous sites, all of which are close to the old part of town - Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, hippodrome square (obelisks), Basilic Cistern, Galata Bridge, Galata tower. We shall also take a bost trip on the Bosphorous. You could easily spend a week in this city and still not have seen all the sites. Food, clothing, jewelry, and leather goods can be found at reasonable prices if you bargain.

Day 3 (19 March): Istanbul - Kayseri - Demirkazik Village
In the morning, transfer to airport and fly to Kayseri (dept 08.35 / arr 09.55) Meet our minibus at Kayseri airport. Transfer to Demirkazik village, overnight at Mountain Hut.

Day 4 (20 March): Demirkazik - Emli Valley
In the morning transfer to Emli valley via Cukurbag village, Transfer will be by 4X4 jeeps. Overnight at fully supported camp in Emli Valley at Aksampinari (2200m)

Day 5 (21 March): Emli Valley - Ski ascent of Mt. Alaca  (3.585m)
Overnight at camp in Emli Valley at Aksampinari.

Day 6 (22 March): Emli Valley - Ski ascent of Kizilin Basi (3.206m)
Overnight at camp in Emli Valley at Aksampinari.

Day 7 (23 March): Emli Valley -Ski ascent of Guzeller (3461m)
Overnight at camp in Emli Valley at Aksampinari.

Day 8 (24 March): Ski from Emli valley to Kara Yalak Valley
Necessary equipment will be transfered to Kara yalak valley by our jeeps. Clients will climb up to Eznevit summit 2538m and then ski down to Sokulupinar Camp.
Overnight at camp Sokulupinar (2000m)

Day 9 (25 March): Sokulupinar to Celikbuyduran pass down to Seven Lakes Plateau
In the morning, we will  ascend  to the Celikbuyduran pass (3450m). After we will ski down to seven lakes plateau and set our tents by a frozen lake ( 3100m).

Day 10 (26 March): Seven Lakes Plateau - Ski ascent of Adsiz tepe (3600m)
Ski touring day from seven lakes plateau climbing up to Adsiz tepe (3600m) behind the Kizil Kaya. Overnight at camp on seven lakes plateau (3100m)

Day 11 (27 March): Seven Lakes Plateau - Ski ascent of Emler (3723m)
In the morning, we will start the walking from seven lakes plateau climb up to Emler summit (3723m). After, we will descend down to seven lakes plateau with ski, overnight at camp in seven-lake plateau 3100m 

Day 12 (28 March): Descent of Hacer valley to Ulupinar
In the morning, we will start skiing from seven lakes plateau 3100m. Until the end of Hacer valley (1800m) where we meet our jeeps and transfer to the famous waterfalls (850m) Over night at local wooden house in Ulupinar village.

Day 13 (29 March): Transfer to Cappadocia
Early morning, transfer to Cappadocia followed by afternoon sightseeing in this world famous area of stone carved dwellings.

Day 14 (30 March): Cappadocia to Mt Erciyes
Early morning drive to the city of Kayseri and drive up to the ski area. Afternoon Piste skiing or touring from the resort. l Overnight at Ayata Hotel in the city center.

Day 15 (31 March): Ski ascent of Mt Erciyes 3917m
We will use the lift system to get as high as possible before climbing to the top of this majestic volcano which dominates the surrounding landscape.

Day 16 (01 April): Fly to Istanbul - UK
In the morning transfer to airport for a 10.55 flight to Istanbul, arriving at 12.15.. Transfer to international terminal for onward flight to the UK.

Duration of Tour                              16 days
Duration of Ski                                9 days
Highest Point Gained                     3.917 m

Hotel & Pension                               5 nights
Village House                                 1 night
Mountain Hut                      1 night
Fully supported Camp            5 nights
Self supported camp            3 nights

This itinerary was prepared with the assistance of Demavend travel in Nigde Turkey.


David Hamilton
High Adventure
67 Castle Road
CV10 0SG


Telephone:    From UK    02476 395422
From other countries     +44 2476 395422

Skype:  davidhamilton8848

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